Growing up in a tedious Oxford suburb, it was a move to Bristol that helped Batu, aka Omar McCutcheon, establish his forward-thinking bass-heavy sound. Surrounded by artists like Peverelist, Pinch and Bruce, he was able to find similar minds to help him crystalize not only his own production techniques, but the output of his own Timedance imprint.
Last year, Timedance made it to FACT’s list of the 10 best record labels of 2016, thanks to unmissable 12″s from Ploy, Laksa, McCutcheon’s housemate Bruce and of course McCutcheon himself. The label’s still relatively new, but this run of releases has established Timedance as a force to be reckoned with – an imprint that takes its sound incredibly seriously.
McCutcheon’s early interest in dub and resistance to the cheesiness of contemporary techno stands out most both in his curation choices and his own musical output and that’s evident on his debut FACT mix. The opening few minutes of the mix contain barely a beat – washes of synth from Gigi Masin’s ‘Still’ tumble over Bee Mask’s cinematic Blade Runner-isms and Eli Keszler’s frenetic clatter.
Before long, fractured rhythms start to emerge, laying a path for Batu’s own productions and a slew of unreleased gut-churning material from Ploy, Lurka, Bruce, Untold and others. It’s an expertly blended, subwoofer damaging snapshot of one of Bristol’s most singular sounds right now.
Batu’s next EP, Murmur, is out on Friday February 17 on Timedance.
Gigi Masin – ‘Still’ (Music From Memory)
Bee Mask – ‘Fallen Tree Thursday and the Half-Crushed Arc of the Sky Taking Tea in the Pastoral Index’ (Spectrum Spools)
Eli Kessler – ‘Cold Pin 1’ (PAN)
Simo Cell – ‘Symmetry’ (forthcoming Wisdom Teeth)
ADMX-71 – ‘Mystical Ascent’ (L.I.E.S.)
Dan HabarNam – ‘Draw Your Pattern II’ (unreleased)
Batu – ‘Groundwork’ (Timedance)
M//R – ‘Texas Acid’ (Great Circles)
Hodge – ‘Between Two Moons’ (unreleased)
Marcos Cabral – ‘Saab Crash’ (L.I.E.S.)
Batu – ‘Marius’ (unreleased)
Ploy – ‘Blow Poke’ (unreleased)
Steevio – ‘Ty’ (Mindtours)
Chekov – ‘Auyut’ (unreleased)
Tensal – ‘Inertia 3’ (Pangaea Remix) (forthcoming Kynant records)
Batu - ‘Whisper’ (Timedance)
Lurka – ‘Beater’ (Stenny Remix) (forthcoming Timedance)
E-Unity – ‘Unknown Graffito’ (FKA PK) (unreleased)
Martyn – ‘Miniluv’ (Ostgut Ton)
Ploy – ‘Bad Seed’ (unreleased)
Bruce – ‘Grey Isn’t A Colour’ (unreleased)
Untold – ‘Please and Thankyou’ (unreleased)