Pendle Coven: Habitual Stress EP
Modern Love

Andy Stott: Fear of Heights EP
Modern Love

Modern Love once again brings the goods on two new twelves, Andy Stott's Fear of Heights and Pendle Coven's Habitual Stress. Though Stott's two tracks are about much more than simply bass, it's still the thunderous bass that towers over all else. A humongous low-end forcefully prods the A-side's “Fear of Heights” amidst scattered keyboard interjections and incessantly chattering cymbal swing. Aquatic chords burble and echo while the hi-hats scale back to off-beat accents and the bass writhes like a straitjacketed Golem struggling to escape. The metallic chords that dance above the plodding pulse in “Made Your Point” situates the tune firmly within Monolake territory while the plummeting bass rumble and razor-sharp hi-hats push the groove forward like a battering ram.

Brothers in Sound Miles Whittaker and Gary Howell have been producing tracks for more than a decade, and their latest Pendle Coven outing shows they're no pushovers. “Habitual Stress” opens in ambient mode with a blanket of steam-driven emissions but promptly kicks into gear with a hellish groove of snapping beats, hand claps, and a pummeling bass drum. What starts out, briefly, as a soundscaping escapade turns into a club colossus with some vague hint of Warp-styled acid lunacy sneaking in ever so subtly at the edges. Moody chord washes and a generally silken atmosphere suggest “Brick Tutor” might be the EP's ‘listening' track but a skittering groove shakes the tune awake and hurries it on its way. Even so, it's clearly the more ‘after-hours' cut of the two.

September 2007