• bass clef May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way (CD, £10.50)

    label: Blank Tapes

    Picking up where 2006’s ‘A Smile Is A Curve That Straightens Most Things’ left off, the riotously ebullient new album from Bass Clef doesn’t just build upon, but multiplies, amplifies and expands the sound of that first full length outing. Starting with the same raw material of bass and beats assembled on four-track cassette (it was good enough for Lee Perry), Bass Clef has stepped beyond E8 city limits and into the studio to add African-ist percussion, This Heat-style drum freak-outs, and the usual riot of trombone, Theremin and cowbell familiar to anyone who has experienced Bass Clef live … and following his storming main-stage performance at Sonar as part of this year’s Radio One showcase, that now includes several million repeat-broadcast-exposed UK listeners. ‘Promises’ and ‘Kiss Me’ extract memories and desires and turn them into eye contact, like lovers’ rock and dub dread meeting at midnight on Mare Street. ‘May The Bridges…’ still bristles and twitches in the echo chamber of Bass Clef’s characteristic “dubstep (not dubstep)”, but this new LP defines a darker, wider, scarier, and altogether bigger space. Arcs of UK roots street music lurk in the corners, as on-u sounds travel along blue lines in search of original pirate material echoing from a haunted dancehall, but most significantly, all those bridges have been burned. Follow the Bass Clef lamp deep into the night… with eyes open or shut, it will glow.

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