South London's Nathan Patel, aka Cloaka, has had a prolific two years. Releasing on Four 40 Records, MadTech, and indeed our very own sister label, Infinite Machine, frequently collaborating with Boxwork, and currently nursing his very own breakout label, Heretic, he's secured a steady foothold in UK clubbing. Completely comfortable within the trappings of house, techno, and bass music by now, his recent remixes have however shown a talent and proclivity for operating outside them, veering heavily into junglist murk, sonic mayhem and rhythmic roads less travelled. As such, his contribution to our Tessier-Ashpool Research & Development series, aptly titled "Adapt", sees Cloaka taking his sound deeper and further than he ever has.
The title track is a perfect intersection of tribal techno, heyday techstep and modern club innovation. Sparsely punctuated by gut-wrenching, cone-ripping sub bellows, and driven by a percussive non-melody, it rests atop a frantic, unrelenting, and heavily-syncopated beat that is sure to turn heads in any club scenario. For my Optimix (the first of many to come), I opted to coax the subtle electro backbone of the original and shove it front and center – early 90's sonics abound, the 808/909 has a field day, arps ricochet across the spectrum and submerged-motifs-to-make-Dresciya-proud interject when appropriate. I also took the opportunity to write a primer on core Tessier-Ashpool aesthetics, in remix form.
On the virtual flip, "Each & Every" sounds like an elaboration on the "half-step techno" that I'd previously dubbed Vlsonn's work. In this case, however, it's "quarter-step techno", and whereas Vlsonn's structure of choice lent his tracks a "hypnotic and engrossing reverse feel", Cloaka's structure of choice on "Each & Every" goes to the logical extreme, with each bar containing a single viscera-churning kick that seems to command a gravity field of its own. As it sucks you in, hectic sirens and playful sidesticks provide the requisite brief respite, resulting in a wonderful stop-start mechanic.
"Bandala" closes things off nicely with a seemingly reductive garage beat carrying a slo-mo jungle track on top. As reeses coil and entwine, sonars ping and beautiful junglist digi-organ chords drift in and out, the ethnic vocal cuts inject a bit of a human element to what has heretofore been a thorough automaton romp.
Early support from Scratcha DVA and Wallwork & RZR.