Boka are back after a two year hiatus since the last release, Let Them / Earth’s Orbit by Compa & Ipman. Having promoted stalwarts of the scene, such as Distance, Tunnidge and MRK1 since the mid-noughties, it is a welcome return to a label who have pushed both established and up-and-coming artists for over a decade. This outing sees Bristol based recruit Guesswerk take centre stage, collaborating with oneThird, and enlisting the sonic prowess of Quest on remix duties to finish off the EP.
“Falling” introduces the EP with a spectral melody overlaying a guttural snarl. The melody is gently reflected by airy flute notes, and a delicate Spanish guitar accompaniment meanders through the frequencies. It sounds like a dystopian Mexican stand-off, with enough Spaghetti Western swagger to pop Clint Eastwood’s famous brow.
Guesswerk and oneThird’s collaborative “Untitled” is a lesson in simplicity itself. The track is essentially built from three elements, percussion, atmosphere and bass, though is greater than the sum of its parts. The pulsating, arpeggiating bass that dominates the track, is controlled, so as not to muddy the percussion, while the percussion itself skips lightly with rolling hats and fills. Personally the sample does not lend itself to the track and seems a little forced, but this a small drawback to an otherwise excellent piece.
Quest takes the stripped-back “Untitled”, and conjures a monster from it. The track is barely recognisable as lunging synths swirl into a dance floor killer, while it also has that satisfying Cabasa shuffle that so many classic dubstep songs boast.
The return of Boka records to our speakers covers all the bases, from the simple, to the intricate, to the track that you immediately know would kill it on a night out. It moves effortlessly from a place of anxiousness within the first two tracks, to a cathartic release in the energy that Quest manages to pump into the closer. This not only speaks to the construction of the songs individually, but also the considered nature of the EP as a whole.