Review: Boneless One/Type 303 7″

Boneless One/Type 303 – Split 7 (Not On Label)

It’s probably fair enough to say that of all the countless forms of electronica, acid has been one of the biggest victims of its own success. Although it’s now the best part of half a life time ago that those early, primitive, acid house records began to filter out of Chicago and into the wider world the sound has refused to die, its basic vibe now incorporated into almost every other genre – sometimes brilliantly, sometimes not so much. But while these mutations now fill countless racks in your favourite record shop, music which sets out to capture something of the original energy remains a little more rare. Not that there hasn’t been a few classic feeling bangers released over the last couple of years, it’s just that they have been buried under the endless avalanche of 303 abusing tunes hailing from other places.

When I talk about original sounding tunes, I’m mostly thinking of something which filters a little of the spirit of the music of Armando, or Bam Bam, or DJ Pierre (amongst others) – stripped down jackers which rely on the functionality of a rolling groove to let the 303 do its thing. It’s not as common as you’d think any more. The trick is all in that groove, that intangible magic which should never be seen but always felt. Anyone can drag a 303 to a slab of psy-trance, but you can’t make it move you.

Over the last couple of years, Boneless One’s explorations of a relatively pure acid sound have come closer than most to syphoning the funk from these old records. His last outing, the Pixelae Destructium EP on Computer Controlled, was a fierce, cracked, and storming collection of acid doused tunes which shot up a more modern and warehousey feel with a little of that old madness, and drew on the more brain mashing moments of the likes of Bam Bam to source the DNA.

This 7″ release is closer to the original Chicago vibe than that – closer in fact than he has yet got – And he and his friend Type-303 (a newcomer, with a single other release to his name, a pretty classy blast of acid house on I Love Acid) take a side each to work the funk.

Type-303’s number, the rippling Jytäcid, is a near perfect dose which evokes old, old shapes but tempers them with something a little more modern. On top of a wonky, loose, beat, the little silver box is allowed to do what I’ve always thought it does best, it gets down and dirty amongst the lower registers where is trademark warble is swapped for a gnarly, gritty, bassy snarl which gradually climbs upwards, but never so high as it stops winding itself around your feet. it floats, and buckles, and dribbles around your brain, squirting away like a mad thing. I’ve never understood why people try to overthink the 303. This tune doesn’t; it relies on what the box is good at, warping your thought patterns. The results are pretty much all you could wish for.

Boneless One’s tune, Houz Basics 5, is very much of a similar breed, but the 303 is allowed to wrap itself around a chunky, floating piano riff which locks the tune into something a little more out there and recalls some of those old Brit acid tunes even more than their Chicago ancestors. The acid does its job brilliantly, but it’s the interplay between the warbling leads and the piano which lend it a weight it would otherwise not have had.

It can be difficult these days to get too excited about acid, even classic sounding acid. But what makes the difference here is that the sounds are, in fact, the least important things on display. It’s the grooves, the funk, which make both tunes so lively. And as I’ve said so many times before, time travelling to get the sounds is all well and good, but if you return home without the ideas, without the soul, it’s been a wasted trip. Not in this case, though: its the way they move which make them so fun. It’s a limited release so track it down before it vanishes.