Few producers have received as much attention as UK artist Blawan – but does he deserve the hype? This writer believes so. Blawan, along with Cosmin TRG and Martyn, has been to the fore in bass music’s crafty approximation of techno and on the evidence of his latest release for Clone, it appears that he continues to steal neo-purism’s thunder. Much of Blawan’s appeal for techno audiences is similar to the charm that Martyn and Cosmin’s productions teem with; put simply, in a world of linear conservatism, their shuffling, seemingly under-produced grooves breathe life and colour into the oftentimes monochrome form.
There is no doubt that “Peaches (Coronation)” oozes this appeal. Its raw rhythm and unhinged percussion careers like a skidding juggernaut at the listener, with tonal, filtered riffs sounding clumsy and almost misplaced. Just as it seems to veer over the precipice, Blawan pulls it all together. “Peaches” itself is even more aggressive, with Blawan donning the sonic equivalent of size 12 DMs to stomp out a belligerent, aggro track, its jarring bassline almost drowning out the basic rhythmic shuffle.
“Melting Fresh” also does a fine line in visceral bass meets techno as deranged rave riffs are hammered out over a churning rhythm, but the drums sound curiously organic. It’s this elastic, at times almost cartoonish approach – and that’s meant as a compliment – that makes Blawan such a fascinating producer; even on the more mellow “Freestone”, he manages to merge tight drums with angelic vocals, making for a mushier take on the rambunctious arrangements that prevail on this EP.