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Kodiak – Spreo Superbus review

It’s surprising to think that Numbers is only a two-year-old label, given the clout they carry in the UK scene. Granted the component labels that gave rise to the collective have a few more years behind them, but in some ways it’s hard to recall the days before major league dances were daubed in the dazzling colours of hyper-modern output from Deadboy, Mr Mageeka or Mosca.

Ever committed to their position on the wild frontier of glossy party sounds, the latest release reveals a brand new production duo from London who go by the name of Kodiak. There’s not much context to give this pair, so fresh is the signing, but suffice it to say they fit right in to the remit of the label. Kicking off on a jagged UK Funky rhythm, “Spreo Superbus” piles on the drama from the first bars as whipcrack snare delays and rushy synth pitch bends lead to the first of many drops.

The production is immaculate, packing scores of detail into the framework, from ranging synths to a multitude of vocal snippets, off beat bass stabs and clattering yet precise percussion. It’s a restless beast, this track, constantly straining at the leash to reach a crescendo. Even the breakdown is laden with decoration as it attempts to bring matters off the boil, only to give up as the grinding elements refuse to quit before the track erupts once more. It’s a peak-time belter in the truest Numbers sense of the word. Tempering those rambunctious attributes, Actress snakes in with his Uraeus remix and pares things down instantly with a low slung beat, spacious chords and vaporous hisses. It’s not until the twilight of the track that a nasty bassline comes crawling in to ruffle the feathers of its sonic compatriots.

Girl Unit isn’t pulling any punches with his reworking, riding a smoother beat but keeping the delirious synth energy of the original intact before slamming down into an electro-fied freak-out full of edgy ripples of melody. The claps and hats dagger furiously at the track’s peaks in that footwork style that the London-based producer favours, but everything maintains a consistency throughout. While the remixes do well to give credit to the source, it’s the original that really shines on this release for sheer flair and studio prowess, not to mention a deadly knack for creating hype out of pure digital freakery.

Oli Warwick


Tracklisting:

1. Spreo Superbus
2. Spreo Superbus (Actress remix)
3. Spreo Superbus (Girl Unit remix)