Review: Mark Forshaw – The Fuck (Berceuse Heroique)

Somewhere along the line Berceuse Heroique have gone from being an interesting but deliberately small-scale operation to becoming a big deal. Partly I suspect their success is down to a reaction against a tide of increasingly bland house and techno and, say what you want about BH, nothing they do is bland. Featuring a roster of artists like Ekman, Koehler and Mgun, all strong in the dark side of the funk, pissing off dubstep puritans by re-releasing classic Loefah tunes, and redefining record packaging with vicious polemical inserts, Berceuse Heroique have brought a tonne of righteous noise back to a scene that would seemingly rather twat off about how lovely everything is all the time.

Mark Forshaw’s début for the label comes at the head of BH’s best run to date, and it was always going to take something special to one up a slew of absolute bangers that included EMG and that Smackos album. Forshaw is a good fit for BH, his work drawing heavily on a form of loose, experimental but very sharp acid house, with nods to classic Detroit and Chicago, all refracted through a uniquely British understanding and flavouring. Whilst he has never really delved into the deep oceans of static and chaos that some of his new stable-mates call home, his music tends to roll with a tight street-wise bump that sets it apart from the pack.

The Fuck is a hard medicine. You will not sip a whisky and nod your head serenely whilst listening to its blistered acid howl. It will not make you love your fellow man, and it will not have you romanticising amongst implanted memories about the second summer of love. But you need what it does give you. You need it very badly.

Across the two tunes are the sort of raw, jacking, poisoned jams that restore your faith in just how mental-fun house music can be when it pushes itself away from the template. The Fuck itself is a razor of sound that cuts and probes for an eternity before dissolving into a brutal industrial acid groove that takes the roof (and the skin) off with its twisted melody and toxic toms. Jamal Moss’s mix on the flip dries out much of the blizzard and lets the things straighten into a jack-hammered dose of prime Chicago techno like something from Relief Records that’s got at the Buckfast and gone dancing on the moon. It’s one of the very, very few remixes I’ve heard that I would shell out the money to buy on its own. A snaking, biting piece of borderline madness that connects perfectly with the essence of Forshaw’s orignial. Not in the least delightful, and all the better for it. Nasty, classy stuff.

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