Twenty nine seconds in, the wave hits - ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ collapses inwards under the pressure of bass so monstrous that entire Roman legions would drop arms and flee for the trees if faced by such an imposing beast. The wave subsides - would-be aggressors lie quashed; expectations are not only met but bettered beyond one’s wildest glitch-riddled dreams. All that remains is exquisite beauty - the stars shine down on an expansive plain stripped of imperfections. If Richard D James isn’t checking over his shoulder with increasing regularity then, well, he’s probably been decapitated. Somebody call his mum.
Hole, on paper, is an EP of little more than filler - the title track is lifted, sort of, from 65daysofstatic’s highly acclaimed long player of 2004, The Fall Of Math, whilst odds, sods and remixes comprise the remaining six tracks. Thing is, 65dos don’t do odds and sods per se, offering instead immense value for minimal dollar. The brutal second track - ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ - is worth the asking price alone, but its gentle slide from blood-splattered chaos into the serenity of the band’s own remix of ‘The Fall Of Math’ is beyond beautiful. For a second, the filth of the nine-to-five fades into irrelevance.
‘Betraying Chino’, originally featured on a rock sound cover mount CD, could pass for an album off-cut, but makes for an enjoyable if somewhat predictable (song is quiet, gets louder, gets loudest, song stops) two minutes. Upcoming electronic gloom-meister Mothboy adds some bass-heavy bleakness to the blinding light of ‘Retreat! Retreat!’, the result something like a collaboration between Squarepusher and dälek, and closer ‘4 Connection’ sounds eerily like a slice of the soundtrack from age-old computer game Novastorm, its chimes crisscrossing bleeps and beats to optimum effect. Only a rather bland ‘No Station’ lets this release down, its mid-record arrival slowing the EP’s flow and serving little discernible purpose other than appeasing completists.
A single gripe aside, Hole is a recommended purchase for those wanting a sneak peek at where 65dos are headed. The Fall Of Math_ has served them well, but this quartet are already looking towards its follow up. If certain tracks here are a sign of what's to come, said second album won’t merely attract the attention of the stars; rather, it’ll propel 65dos beyond them and onto an otherworldly plain entirely of their own.
8Mike Diver's Score