Even though drums are probably the most integral instrument in dance music (whether that’s the 4×4 kick drum, dubstep’s 3rd beat of a bar snare or the challenging rush of hi hats in drum & bass and juke) when you remove them it can have just as big an impact as a power play of tom tom rolls and cymbal crashes. Watch anyone around you in a dance search for the snap of a poignant beat: they’re jerking with their shoulders, neck or hands – they’re triggered by the rhythm. And whilst you can’t really mutilate their bodily structure as readily without that drive of percussion present in the rhythm section you can still wrap people up in the comforting swell of a bassline and confuse their bodies into paying attention to the top lines. It’s something grime godfather Wiley proved with his ‘devil mixes’ (versions of this tracks that removed the drums out of a tune and focused entirely on the low end and space of his mixdown), alongside the early meditative dubstep that primarily focused on both those things – though the fingersnap cloying, super reverbed snare points were just as important.
That mindset is probably more where the London based Logos resides. Known to some for his ‘Kowloon’ track that’s found fans in people like Ben UFO and Dusk & Blackdown (who are slated to release it on their Keysound label imminently) his music is properly icy. In the same way that Wiley’s eski beat work was calculated, measured and clinical; Logos’ productions seem to feed off that sprawling quasi-drumless canvas, developing and morphing his riffs, utilizing a lot of the same eski soundset that he eeks out of his Prophet 5 emulation plugin.
His ‘Atlanta 96’ track was in fact the thing that really turned our head: an expansive near 4 minutes of fluttering square wave synths that pique and dive around each other over the top of his 808 kick drums. It’s was abosultely arresting, like Logos stretched out the possibilities of what would otherwise be an incredibly limited palette by letting each individual sound really carve its own niche on the end product. It’s emphatic but it never dares to thump itself upon you. Other tracks like ‘Cloubursting’ mess more with delay, stuttering out his 8 bit riffs into ornamental garnishes of pixelated colour and bits like ‘Canyon (Step II)’ or ‘King Mob’ contradict a little of what I’ve just said by playing more with that ‘Treddin’ On Thin Ice’ era notion of awkward, squeaky drum patterns – though it’s never really the main drive of his music; the attention is more on the interplay of layers.
It goes without saying that we’re stoked to be able to present our 110th Sonic Router Mix from Logos. James Balf caught up with the producer to discuss his history and his techniques…
Sleep 8 Over – Untitled [Hippos in Tanks]
Logos – Cloudbursting [unreleased]
Logos – Atlanta 96 x Trim Special [Instrumental forthcoming Keysound]
Riko/Wiley/Gods Gift – Bazooka Riddim [Rinse FM Radio Rip 2006?]
Ruff Sqwad/Neckle Camp – Tingz in Bootz Remix [Heavy Meckle Mixtape]
Waifer/Slew Dem – Gunman Beat [Grimetapes Slew Dem Compilation]
DJ Metro – Burn Dat Boi [Planet Mu]
DJ Diamond – Rep Yo Clique [Planet Mu]
Rufige Kru – Ark Angel 3 [Metalheadz]
Terius Nash (The-Dream) – Wake Me When it’s Over [Logos Screwed Edit]
These New Puritans – Hologram – Salem remix [Domino]
Ruff Sqwad – Unknown [Deja Vu Radio Rip 2003]