Mind bending, genre melting pure HYPE from the Texan wizard.
“This is the sound of the global underground”
One of the interesting developments in electronic music over the past few years is the unearthing of old skool driven riddims by many an artist. From heavy breakbeat, to funky drum and bass, UKG through to an electro revival, and exploration of the old styles of techno and house, its as if these seminal 90s genres never left us. Its all on display here, and dancers and listeners worldwide have rediscovered a generations worth of music, groove and heart and soul.
Textasy is one such artist who has been at the forefront of this revival. Whilst many artists have reached a point that they cannot really exploit these vibes any longer, or simply include these styles as a novelty, Textasy revels in them, embracing them as a means to explore how the underground really operates. Like a intermediate between the two decades, he operates at this middle point between the past and the future, his music not exactly a homage but more as using it as a tool to explore how genres can be spliced together into something full of energy and brimming in deep seedy atmospheres. This is much how the genres mentioned above developed, in the rave, with people full of drugs. From his fantastic release on Craigie Knowes in 2017, through his ‘Deep South Bass Cuts’ stomper, and to 2019 with his ‘Acid Eater’ release, he has pushed new boundaries with these styles, which is very much welcome when it seemed like there was nothing else left to do with them except celebrate them. His careful curation of samples and a eye for a pulsating beat, his body of work is more a mirror rather than something seeping in nostalgia. it feels new, fresh and invigorating.
His debut LP, ‘TEXAS TERRORTECH’, is perhaps his most complete and impressive work to date. The opener, ‘Bootleg the Dogs out’, starts off in a choppy fashion, with a DMX dog bark thrown in for good measure. The tune dances around like a dog barking at an intruder, running menacingly around a building beat underneath. Bass and guitar licks swarm around, before a kick drum kicks in, a proper Miami bass vibe, before a god like break beat line pounds in. Then from no where, a ‘Good times’ sample. This tune is like Grandmaster Flash’s ‘The wheels of steel mix’, uncompromising in its ability to blend so many crazy styles together under one roof. Up next comes ‘Sittin n tripping’, featuring some Eris Drew/Dj Shadow style scratching (thrown in for good measure). The start feels like a footwork beat might kick in, before all is lost on a delightful and powerful jungle beat punts that into touch. The tune again transitions like crazy, even some hardcore synth lines are thrown in there good measure. The groove slows down and moves up unbelievably fast, kicking around like a mule, no end in sight. Kreggo then contributes with a nasty vocal line, as everything drops away apart from some 90s pads. everything then moves in for the kill big time. With this track, the first part feels like all the ingredients are fighting to find clarity, and when that vocal comes in, the sequencing and scenes become so much clearer. Not to take away from this track though, its ridiculous in its sound, amazing in its fucking crazy energy.
Up next comes ‘Woodgrain’. This contains a beautiful sax and keys sample, that sits atop a pretty mental jungle-sort-of-beat-but-not-quite, with bass thumps to boot. It feels like a LTJ Bukem/Good looking vibe, or Goldie during his timeless days, or early DJ Marky. A real cool and fresh take on liquid drum and bass, but pumped up with the frantic energy of jungle. Textasy might just be the Madlib of contemporary 90s revival producers, blending a number of different samples effortlessly, with a consistant beat keeping it all afloat. It all breaks down to a proper 80s modern soul/funk beat, before the beat comes back in and dominates all. ‘Shake Ya Azz’ is a proper Ghetto house work out, with a real gritty beat thrown in there. Akin to Dj Assault and the Baltimore breakbeat scene, it has all the goods, with a focus here again inherently on the vocal samples and G-Funk key line. To end it all, we have ‘Girl U Never find a love as good as this’. The least pumped up tune on the record, but still on point, fingers on the pulse. A proper 90s r’n’b sample grooves on top of a more tempered jungle beat, still groovin’, still flowin. Facccck.
This is an album of real intent. A producer making all the right moves, Textasy has clearly found inspiration from many corners of the contemporary and 90s musical landscapes, blending styles and genres beautifully with his signature sound. The samples work perfectly, and thats where the magic happens. Oh yes, this is the sound of the underground alright.
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Textasy also has a mixtape out, full of bangers: