Review: Breaker 1 2, Ekman, – Ratz In The Back (Berceuse Heroique)

Second of our two part Berceuse Heroique extravaganza follows on from Tuff Sherm’s Smugglers Bureau EP with a pair of dirty, nasty underground monsters. As a label, Berceuse Heroique are beginning to really find their feet and pull in some scary talent to provide the sounds. It’s even more impressive when you realise their relative youth – the label has only been in existence for a year or two but, in that time, they have already furnished us with some amazing stuff.

Breaker 1 2, as I’m sure the world knows by now, is a guise of Greg Beato who first slammed into our consciousness last year on the back of a pair of snarling, acid drenched records for Apron, which bookended a slightly less stellar release for L.I.E.S. His debut as Breaker 1 2 last year on Canadian label Forbidden Planet seems to have divided people as well, although it couldn’t have divided people too much as yet another repress seems to be on its way. For my money, I thought it better than the L.I.E.S release. It seemed a more rounded record; the world-weary, grimy synth pop of DMT and the downbeat, reflective late night House jam of 2 showing us another side of the producer.

Ratz In The Back is closer to the brutal analogue wet-work of the Apron releases than either of the others. In its own way the track is almost a textbook example of how to do searing, Lo-fi House (which is entirely correct, given that Beato is one of it major proponents,) from the strutting nihilistic drum patterns to the downward sawing bass line and the wicked, ear bursting squeals of pure frequency that lacerate the tunes body like whips. It’s like having some nasty, weird eyed monstrosity come around and sprawl across your couch. It rolls in without invitation and leaves you bloodied and shaking, wondering what you’ve done.

The B-side is the domain of Ekman, who seems to have become something of a regular fixture on Berceuse Heroique. Fuck Your Rock And Jack Your Funk is the Housier of the two tunes on offer – but not by much. The curling synths are like some demented take on the Knight Rider theme, existing to frame the Bass which is so fat most modern speakers will be hard pushed to take it. If anything it’s even darker and uncompromising than Breaker 1 2’s work. The wicked, filthy acid line crawls through the track like a cenobite on a stag night, ensuring everything it touches turns into a hollow-eyed freak, while the vocal whispers its intentions as it caresses your throat with a switchblade. A Jack track from the borderlands of the abyss.

There is an article currently kicking around asking why EDM and the underground can’t just kiss, cuddle and get along. Well, if you have to ask, you will never know. But if an answer to such a stupid question is still needed, the publication in question should just play this and then ask it again. This is the sound of the underground. Not a single glowstick in sight, but a nightmare load of razor blades instead. Excellent jacking viciousness.

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