Monday, June 4, 2012
Blueprints as documents are poised in a strange place between past and future. The plans exist outside of the structures they detail, overlapping the un-built, demolished and extant forms in a singular moment. Due out later this month, Blueprint EP is the debut release for the UK label Vital Sines. Brimming with summer vibes, warm sub-bass and liquid echoes, the four tracks on this EP skillfully recombine elements of Drum & Bass and early Dubstep into the 130 Garage framework to produce an assemblage that is as inspiring as it is nostalgic. Some of you may recognize Kanvas from a 2009 release on Whistla's L2S label amid rising interest in so-called Future Garage. Others, more watchful than I, will be savvy enough to connect the sounds of Kanvas with his earlier moniker, Kion, who is well known for his early contribution to Dubstep's evolution as well as for his Dubpressure Ministry of Sound Radio show and Brighton based event of the same name. With this context in mind, it's possible to hear where the wide range of sonic styles present in the Kanvas work are originating from. The use of vintage drum sounds throughout is very much in line with the ongoing trend favored among both Grime and UKG/Funky/130bpm producers and is the primary feature connecting this EP to early Chicago house. The layout of the songs parts however is distinctly linked with Drum & Bass, as are the echoing/stretched vocals featured in each of the four tracks, which give the EP an effervescent, bubbling feel. The above mentioned qualities are of course also linked with Dubstep and where the vocals breach the rhythm in unintelligible gasps they become reminiscent of 80's UK Dub experimentations like Dub Syndicate and New Age Steppers. The other features, restrained bouncing basslines and modal synth chords for example, are more in line with a standard UKG build and offer an immediate entry point for wide number of listeners on the bass music spectrum. If this release is as much a sign of things to come as it is a retracing of the sounds of the past, then this is a blueprint of something certainly worth remembering.