At the moment, there’s a rising energy within the Bristol music scene that’s gathering steady momentum (something we delved into in our recent feature on the Idle Hands shop and label). Even with the city’s history playing host to some of the most major evolutionary shifts in UK dance music, its current musical output is among its healthiest for quite some time. A shift towards house tempos among producers has precipitated a noticeable upwelling in creativity and an associated spike in nightlife, with longer-running collectives like Immerse and Caravan joining relative newcomers like Dirtytalk and Headrush in putting on increasingly varied and daring club line-ups.
On the production side, well-established lynchpins like Peverelist, Pinch and Addison Grove (nee Headhunter) are completely detaching their sounds from the structural limitations of dubstep, resulting in new, heavily stylised strains of bass music. And a new generation of producers are crafting tracks that feel less in thrall to any particular genre, instead choosing to exist within the blurred boundary regions where easy definitions break down: Kowton’s slowed-down, stumbling house variations; Kahn, whose Sonic Router mix last week showed off an impressively broad vision; broken house and broken beat from Hodge, Outboxx and Artifact.
Vessel is another producer to add to that list. His music is full of carefully constructed spaces, moments of almost-chaos where rhythm is allowed to fall apart slightly before reforming. The tracks that have emerged so far show off the same disregard for convention that’s always been one of Bristol’s defining traits, approaching from different angles but sharing that slightly anxious edge. His upcoming 12” for Left_Blank flits seamlessly between Hessle-esque percussive reductions and darkened, moody house, featuring a heavily swung, deliciously slow remix from Peverelist. It’s impressively fully formed for a debut release, atmospheric, thoughtful and retaining an ear for the dancefloor without allowing itself to be dictated by mere functionality. With the rumour of more releases to come and his name starting to appear on line-ups, it felt like the right time to find out more.
1 Delia Derbyshire – Sea / John Baker – Tempo Counter
2 Vessel – My Child, My Chain- Feat. Lily Fannon
3 JABU- Seaweed (Dub)
4 El Kid – Hiphop 89 ft Crook Bones
5 Trickski- Pill Collins
6 Vessel – Marvin’s Joint
7 Ron Deacon – Untitled B2
8 Vessel – Baby In The White
9 Panda Bear – Surfer’s Hymn (Actress Primitive Patterns Remix)
10 Missing Linkx – Canâ.?t U Get A Grip?!
11 The Oliverwho Factory – Galactic Transit (Recall Mix)
12 Guy Andrews – 4030
13 Space Dimension Controller – Journey to the Core of the Unknown Sphere