Boylan & Slimzee – No Cure EP [NS007]

Two years ago I reviewed Nomine’s first EP for his then-just started label Nomine Sound, commenting that it sounded like yet another fresh start in his career. In the 20 or so months that have since lapsed, the label has become a centre place for forward-thinking electronic music, bringing together artists from different backgrounds – Macabre Unit, Cocktail Party Effect – to share common ideas and hybridize sounds, from dubstep to techno, grime or d&b. This is certainly helped by the label collaborative nature, most releases so far having been split EPs that often include collaborations with Nomine himself. He does not feature on “No Cure”, Boylan and Slimzee’s first EP on Nomine Sound, but their addition on the label’s roster feels completely appropriate in that matter: Boylan is definitely an artist whose collaborations with the likes of Trends, Spooky and Oil Gang have always showcased the best elements of his productions, while grime legend Slimzee seems to have recently tried to put together such a tightly knit community of producers through his revived Slimzos imprint.

It is no surprise, then, that “No Cure” would be perfectly successful in uniting two producers open to share ideas and melt their respective styles. Title-track “No Cure” evidences this as soon as the EP starts: showcasing Boylan’s intense and impressive sound design, yet giving it more space to breathe than on some of his solo productions, “No Cure” appears to voluntarily limit its sound palette in order to maximise the impact of each synth, each snare. Subtle breakbeats and sounds splatter through the track, enhancing the weight of a tune that’s built to stand out in any set. “Replicants” is even better, leaving yet more air to its kicks and hoovers, allowing them to completely suffocate, in turn, the sound spectrum of the track. The carefully refined sound design of the track helps shaping a misty and bleak atmosphere, further strengthening each percussive hit.

Another step in this process, “Delta City” calls in more breakbeats to fill the spaces left vacant. These come out in full swing on last track “Reinforced”, one of the EP’s most convincing moments. A perfect hybrid of grime and breakbeat, “Reinforced” feels like a timeless classic that may very well have been produced in the mid-00s, yet also sounds fresh and modern. The sound assortment that has been showcased in the first three tracks is here reincarnated with a different character, floating around the track’s central breakbeat, producing a striking ghostly effect. An impeccable conclusion for an EP that once more confirms that Nomine Sound is one of the most reliable forces acting in bass music at the moment.

No Cure EP is out now and available from Unearthed Sounds, Redeye, Juno, Bleep, Boomkat, Rewind Forward, Intense Records, Beatport and the Nomine Sound Store.

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