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Release



Pangaea, progressive exponent of all things jungle, techno and house as well as co-founder of Hessle Audio, returns to the label with Release, an eight track LP that continues his journey through the darker sides of his previous outputs, following on from 'Inna Daze' and 'Hex', one of the hardest hitting 12''s of last year. All eight tracks are characterised by their nod to the dungeon end of jungle and techno, as well as the influences of pirate radio with chopped ragga, female vocals and samples of MCs.

Opener 'Game' sets the tone for the entire record with its rolling US vocal sample - ''Do your thing, just make sure you're ahead of the game'' - propelling the track forward, referencing the distinctive and irregular approach Pangaea takes to his music which makes him stand out so much in a scene often dominated by straight house and techno. It's a substantial opener, spraying a blend of percussion and jungle snares over a stomping kick and bass that wouldn't seem out of place in early speed garage.

The next two tracks, 'Release' and 'Trouble', take a slightly more restrained approach. 'Release' is littered with eerie tones and a continuous percussion line that gives it a sense of time, creating an emotive and musical track by Pangaea standards. 'Trouble' returns to the magic Pangaea formula with the air of a tune that sounds like tribal jungle under a microscope.

The tempo really picks up on 'Majestic 12', a straight 4/4 driving techno roller laced with organ bass lines and bumpy snares. Its upbeat nature almost seems out of place amongst the dark and sombre tones of its predecessors. The slightly rowdier nature continues on 'Time Bomb', a foot stomping track befitting of the name. If anything, these two tracks grab the listener's attention after an opening set of tracks that can at points merge into one. 'Middleman' follows, and is the most obvious indication of the dubstep roots of Pangaea and the Hessle imprint. 2-step kicks and a weighty snare punctuate brass lines and the odd vocal snippet. It's a solid and complete track that harks back to the early days of the dubstep movement, a theme carried on with 'Aware.'

Release ends with a track called 'High.' Almost devoid of drums, it instead covers a more ambient atmosphere with the odd crackle and vocal that sound like a scratched CD, skipping in a way that isn't easy on the ear.

All in all, this is a landmark release for Pangaea, and Hessle is a fine record label, both progressive and inclusive of all that has made Pangaea an exciting standout amongst today's plethora of music producers.

by Now Then Manchester