Review: Brunks – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us (Remix) [WXWL004]

After some hiatus, Compa’s limited edition WX/WL drops its fourth installment, a proper garage remix of DJ Luck’s and MC Neat’s ‘Aint No Stopping Us’ by the up and comer Brunks that possess a sonic nostalgia for those early naughts bare-boned garage tunes that eventually paved the path for the birth of both grime and dubstep. Coming off a relatively quiet year in 2013 with a self-released debut, Brunks was quick to find support by 130 taste-makers like Blackdown & Dusk, Beneath, Wen, and Alex Coulton, Brunks looks poised to become a rising producer – one to watch for the the inclosing months of 2014.

Stripping the sentimental RnB motifs of the 2002 original, Brunks’s remix comes off like an El-B track with dry and crisp percussion that slinks with a kinky, feminine agenda. It’s so raw and sparse that it can offer countless blend-able possibilities for the DJs, but in any case it will go straight to your bottom for the dancers. The only remnants that remain intact and unharmed of the original are JJ’s vocal diva stylings and MC Neat’s bars that give the track an almost pirate vibe, as if you could hear it between the radio crackle while you were carefully turning the dial to find the best connection. Meanwhile, Brunks’s adds subtle revolving sonic trickery deep from dubspace that is playfully psychotropic and down below the sub growls and snarls with a menace made for the dungeon, adding much need heft to the dry and thin percussion to fill out the rhythmic pivots.

In total, Brunks’s remix kills the original in spades, gutting the RnB fluff and rather cheesy pop elements in the original, replacing them with the dark garage DNA coalesced by El-B, Horsepower and Wookie to make a track that sounds both retro and oddly contemporary – a hard trick to pull off these days when the ideology of electronic dance music is “NEW! NEW! NEW!” and bass music’s mantra of ‘forward thinking’ riddims.

WXWL004 is released November 10th and available from the WX/WL Store.

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