Available on: Planet Mu 12″

The US dubstep juggernaut rolls on, and apparently it’s invading the UK. NastyNasty is a Bay Area staple who finds himself at the more deranged end of things, consuming dubstep, electro, crunk and hip-hop into sludgy American party music of the highest (or lowest) order. With the previous releases coming on American labels like Frite Nite and Seclusias, a release on a UK label like Planet Mu feels like a landmark for Jasper Reeder.

It’s odd to see Planet Mu release something so definitively dubstep these days, but NastyNasty’s approach to texture and programming is anything but standard. ‘No Names’ is an auspicious breakout track, or at least it tries to be: it’s got a cartoonish lurch, a perfectly cheesy vocal sample, and all kinds of frying circuitry. The beats here tend to slam down into viscous puddles of toxic waste, splashing on impact, and the wobbling LFO bassline distorts, cuts out and overwhelms in bursts of scorched static at seemingly random times. The atmosphere is generally chaotic but Reeder maintains enviable control over his volatile concoction, keeping it in line with a modicum of dancefloor-focused restraint.

The B-side is another first: the debut from label boss Mike Paradinas’ new Heterotic project with Lara Rix-Martin in the form of a remix. The vocal sample is less execrable at the higher pitch, and Paradinas and Rix-Martin flip ‘No Names” on its head into something touchingly hopeful and gently climbing. It might not be dubstep, but it shares in the original’s spirit of vivid detail with psychedelic panning effects, lazily ambling toward the heavens. It’s an essential contrast that helps to illustrate what it is that Paradinas and co. see in NastyNasty as the latest addition to the Mu roster, though the remix builds and peters out without much in the way of a climax.

While it’s hard to glean too much off of one track, his one swim through sewer sludge here is promising enough to pique up interest for more, and hopefully that’s just what a release on a label like Mu can do for NastyNasty.

Andrew Ryce

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