Up-and-coming Glume has teamed up with DeepEnd! regular FLO to create Albion Collective’s fourth release: a clean-cut, 3 track EP featuring a heavy remix from Sepia. So far, Albion Collective have pushed out one release a year since 2015, each one exploring a different direction to the last. Because of this, future releases are hard to judge; previous ones range from introspective vocal jams, stomping dub, and most excitingly: evil, swashbuckling pirate riddims. Glume rolls the windows down and drives Albion Collective slowly through the cold, blue suburbs – a knowing ride through a dangerous neighbourhood.
Glume lays out the steady 808s (to make the place shake), whirlpooling trap and elements of Bandulu-influenced grime into the stern “Thug”. The hair-raising collusion of natural, off-tone chords alongside the mysterious riff pull in a slightly different direction to the methodical, electronic stomps of the kick and sub, leaving it somewhere between the dancefloor and the nightbus home. FLO drops in for “Skateland”, the EP’s special move. After an intro where nothing is out of the ordinary – creeping funeral bells and an eerie pulse – fades away, a headbop-certified, bouncing bassline reminiscent of J:Kenzo’s “Zbantu Shake” bumps into the mix. There are no circles in this one: from first drop to third, the calm, collected energy teases some classic wobbles, slips them into the beat and then finally goes full throttle.
Sepia steps up to remix duty with a tougher, meaner “Skateland”. Distorted, disjointed hi-hats rap over the gnarlier, periodically pulsing bassline. It feels most in its element by the time the 2nd drop swings around, a few more loose sprockets adding colour, movement and essentially pace to the aggressively slow beat lead by an often-fidgety sand-worm sub bass. The EP presents a chilling journey through a clean blend of dubstep with dashes of grime and trap. While the lack of variation lets “Thug” down, “Skateland” demands not to be mixed out of quickly, allowing the EP’s voice to fully explore itself and grow more complex. As for the label, 2018 is still young; there may be time yet for ALBION005 before 2019.