Album Review: Pangaea / ‘Release’ (Hessle Audio)


Pangaea is part of the cutting edge brat pack so upfront on the darkside that most don’t realize their reinvention of cyclical styles past. Kevin McAuley, subscriber to the triple H threat of Hessle Audio, Hemlock and Hot Flush, builds a mini-album/double EP around this very theory, leaving him open to being championed in tastemaking circles populated by roughneck badbwoys.

Bass is let off as a series of controlled explosions between two-step and dubstep with a range of techno hallmarks, fired so that any thoughts of being enigmatic or even cerebral are explicitly banished. A rather too simple sample of Missy Elliott confirms, wound around bassy lift-off “Game” which involves low ends from bygone jungle. “Aware” considers its covert options, and would be were it not so loud, while end track “High” is Pangaea entering hibernation with a sculpture that’s actually of little use to the package.

Sinking lower and lower until sloping shoulder deep into a sticky predicament, “Trouble” goes so undercover that it starts believing its role of grunting lawbreaker, yanked back upwards by the fluid 4×4 firebrand “Majestic 12.” Throwing all pretence of moodiness to the wall, there’s a feel-good factor that’ll still stir up all underground urchins. Detonating from the edge, “Middleman” keeps the firepower and alters the pressure by finding space, obliterating many an EDM observer as it goes.

File under: Blawan, Pearson Sound, Martyn