I’m not sure why Ford Foster has remained under the radar for so many people. Across his releases for labels like Bad Mums and Opal Tapes the Yorkshireman and resident at Leeds club Sect has put out a number of records that would seem to be very much to the current taste, combining as they do the raw crunch of a certain breed of US House with a very British take on Techno. A Resident Advisor review of his Low Ceiling EP for Bad Mums marked him as a ‘British Counterpart’ to LIES stalwart and LA Club Resources head Delroy Edwards but although that doesn’t do either man a disservice, its not entirely accurate, either.
Although both producers share an obvious love of Ghetto-House, and the sounds and speeds particular to that genre, there are vital differences. Where the bulk of Edwards’ material has the vibe of straight House, Foster’s verges far more into a stripped down Techno sound that feels as if it has risen from the old UK rave scene where form and function are equal partners in crime. There is something to it that reminds me of Paul Birken and Birken’s hard but playful take on electronic music, full of bleeps and Acid lines that sounds as if they’ve been nicked out of a van parked outside a packed warehouse party.
Foster’s release on new label Just Left White is a development of the sound of the Bad Mums record. Velocity is kept in check, giving the sounds room to breathe and grow. All the same, the tunes carry the same grunt and snap that have become his blueprint.
Hammer Curl is a fine opener. More than that, in fact, it’s a great piece of Acid with a warbling, bass-thick 303 snaking around the snare heavy drums. It’s a simple tune, and effective in its work and the way it marries Old-School Chicago Jack to a very modern nous.
Crows is more of a driver than a jacker. Thundering toms blitz their way through the track, accompanied by a riff that carries with it the growl of vintage Jeff Mills. A fragment of vocal sample injects some anxious energy to the proceedings. It’s bleaker than Hammer Curl , designed for darkened, late night floors and the spray of strobes. If there is any sense in the world, this should be already be getting rinsed at your local night.
Steady Creep dirties up the beats and introduces something of the East Coast feel that is doing the rounds at the moment. A filthy, low-pitched bass provides the foundation for some warped action. Somewhere in the background the synths fade in and out like half heard Police sirens away in the distance. It packs more groove into it’s sub five minute length that a few tunes I could mention that are twice as long.
Running Round is a twisted tribally stomp. A gleeful rain-dance in an already drenched land. It’s entirely about the drums and the way they build along with the wonky bass, pumping and pulsing, shuttled along by the ever so lightly muted percussion and a piano string taut one-note riff.
Pure jacking class once again. He’s going to get a reputation. It’ll be about time, too.
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