The Weekly Buzz – 11/01/2021

There aren’t many fledgling labels around right now that have made quite the impact that Basskruit has. Yes I know, I’ve always been mindful of spreading the focus across the widest range of producers and labels on this blog and this will now be four out of four reviews for the Basskruit crew in short succession, but for the first review of the year, how could I not? As a project that focuses on Belgian and Dutch creatives, the label came to fruition at the perfect time late last year, a time when both Belgium and the Netherlands are bursting with fresh underground talent. Ghent based Substrada is the latest to enter the fray, showcasing his cutting edge material that festers in the dark corners of 140. ‘Eerie Lab‘ EP isn’t particularly an abstract title, on the contrary, it’s the perfect two word description for this ghoulish three part experimentation.

Like a crazed professor cooking up potent mixtures of noxious paraphernalia, Substrada begins with the title track, ‘Eerie Lab‘, a comprehensive examination into the Belgian’s curious sonic laboratory. The tangible textures immediately come to the boil from the onset. Layers of metallic roughness permeate through the mix, but most notably, the creative drums. Unique and vivid, it’s an arrangement of jangling clanks that produces a potent and addictive groove. And through the bubbling groove, the blistering lows and fiery SFX, a simple yet compelling melody floats and escapes like steam from a boiling potion. The following ‘Yoxi‘, introduces us to the more aggressive side of Professor Substrada. The percs are yet again incredibly sharp and animated but this time, as if the lab has caught fire, they wield such dominance and vivacity, matched only by the distinct ascending rattle at the helm. There’s striking influences of hip-hop in there but also sounds that throw me back to the early days of Crucial Recordings and Sleeper, which can only be considered as a good thing. Completing this trio of feverish concoctions, Substrada concludes the experiment with ‘Urdak‘, taking influence straight from the DOOM video games. Amongst more hooking grooves and distinctive textures, Subtrada proposes a juxtaposition between the deadliest glass shattering rumbles to be found on the EP, and high frequency extra-terrestrial tones that leave a lingering resonance and a reminder of the Belgian’s everlasting potency.

Whilst the elements initially appear subtle and lucid on the surface of Substrada‘s potions, with a closer and deeper look into the thick gooey viscosity, the lively grooves and the compelling details that hide within become more apparent and dangerously addictive. Substrada‘s ‘Eeerie Lab’ is the latest Belgian made concoction to feature on Basskruit, all at the sizzling temperature of 140, and there’s plenty more ready to bring to the boil.

BSSKRT004 is out now and available to download from the Basskruit Bandcamp.

Check out Substrada on Soundcloud.
Check out Basskruit on Soundcloud and Instagram.