Mumdance’s Twists And Turns mixtape, released in June through his sometime label Mad Decent, was particularly aptly titled. Setting out in hazy, synth-pop territory, the all-originals mix soon took in a combination of the nebulous and the muscular, pitching glassy synth peals against irate kicks that appeared to thrust pneumatically from the darkness. The Genesis EP draws on some of the material from that mixtape and there’s also a sample from Logos’ exceptional forthcoming album in the shape of “Wut It Do”. If Twists And Turns was no-holds-barred constant propulsion, the EP format gives Mumdance and his collaborators time to explore the intricacies of their dismembered grime-not-grime tracks.
The set opens with Twists And Turns track “In Reverse” in PIV format, which could almost be a VIP of Rockwell’s “Reverse Engineering” augmenting a similar style of reverberant bass drone with hyperspace twinkle. Flipped cymbals appear from the technicolour ether, providing a hinge around which the rest of the verging-on-demented percussion swings before, in its final third, oddly animalistic, time-stretched vocal samples drill incessantly.
“Turrican 2” is a more straight up production, the austere percussion coming on something like John Heckle making grime. Here, though, mantle-bothering, trampoline bass vies for attention with the piercing synth notes that characterise so much of Twists And Turns, like someone polishing diamonds with a buzzsaw. Again there is something bestial here, and not only in the macaw-like screeches that jostle for position in a mix that soon begins to heave under its own weight. “Wut It Do” is the most explicitly vocal of all the tracks here, and it is also the most immediate. Appearing as a perfect synthesis of Mad Decent oil drum snare and scratchy breaks, “Wut It Do” sees Mumdance and Logos in a state of excitement quite uncharacteristic of the record more generally.
On “Truth”, meanwhile, a collaboration with Mao, the combination of deep forest and deep space is explored again, with woodblock percussion elements puncturing a smog made in equal parts by thick, grim bass and choral pads. “An axe can be a tool to cut wood to build a house, or it can be a tool to slaughter your neighbour,” the sample says, “in the same way that a synthesiser can be a tool to really hurt people’s ears and interfere with their lives, or it can be a tool to make a really nice sounding instrument.” It’s might be trite, but it’s a nice encapsulation of the way in which Mumdance, Logos, and Mao use their own hardware, putting it at once in the service of floorboard-warping low end and sparkle-doom atmosphere.
Perhaps the signal quality of Genesis, though, is its claustrophobia. Much of the mix is directed very firmly into the centre of the stereo field and, when combined with the sheer weight of the bass frequencies, this creates an effect not unlike being waterboarded with concrete. It’s a delightfully unnerving feeling, and one that the producers would do well to mine further.
A1. Mumdance & Logos – In Reverse PIV
A2. Mumdance & Logos – Turrican 2
B1. Mumdance & Logos – Wut It Do
B2. Mumdance & Mao – Truth