BNJMN: 141
Svetlana Industries

The Belgrade, Serbia-based label Svetlana Industries label rolls out more next-level material with this latest EP from British producer Ben Thomas under the BNJMN alias (Thomas also produces material under the Jackhigh name). One hears in Thomas's four originals elements of 2-step, garage, house, and techno, and likening the BNJMN sound to some mutant spawn of Burial and Drexciya isn't too far off the target. “One Sea” seems to emerge from fog, its sounds filtered through mist, with ethereal washes of vocals and shimmering synthetics undergirded by a tight tech-house swing. Even more animated is “We Are the Weather,” which blazes with forceful determination in irradiating its vocal chants and metronomic beat with a razor-sharp synth figure. “Inout” seethes with fierce intent in flooding a stark, low-slung beat with wave upon billowing wave of dark synthetics, while “Hybridisation” softens a shotgun-laced pulse with warm emissions, the track's dizzying, multi-tiered production a marvel to behold. Lukid bolsters the hypnotic impact of “One Sea” by wrapping it in an even thicker cloud of tripped-out haze and by gradually stripping away its beat dimension until the piece nearly becomes an ambient soundscape. Kelpe's take on “We Are the Weather,” on the other hand, turns BNJMN's cut into a coiling fusion of IDM, ambient, and techno. Hydraulic noises collide with the insistent clang of a metallic beat pattern as the original's wiry synth melody carves a serpentine path through the seaside mist. There's not a second wasted in the originals with Thomas making his case with dispatch and then moving on; as a result, a given track ends just as one is getting one's bearings (interestingly, the remixes are the EP's longest tracks, with BNJMN's extreme concision making the tracks by Lukid and Kelpe seem epic in length by comparison).

August 2011