“Minimal Mechanised Boxing Glove” – that could easily have been this EP’s title, but it’s not. In fact, it’s been even more minimally dubbed, ‘V.V. EP One’. Vinyl Vigilance has gathered a squad of hardworking, up-and-coming producers for its first EP. 300 copies have now been slipped into a manga-esque glitch art sleeve designed by Dan Browne. Pacific Numen, Repulsion and Nova collaborate to form this back-to-basics four-tracker. Creating characters with purple melodies, factories with grinding synths and motion trails with delay effects, VV-Three doesn’t wait around. Outside of this game, Pacific Numen is spreading his butter across a variety of 140 breads, recently having dropped some Murlo-esque business on Dream Eater Records. Repulsion has been messing with the Southside Dubstars, causing havoc with some intensely chaotic beats. Nova drives forward with the wavy trap influences, hitting up the Southside Dubstars as well as Sub World Audio and giving away a load of free downloads.
Vinyl Vigilance, led by Kemist, has set its sights on the oldschool. Unearthing dubs long thought lost to the void as well as fresh talent on the scene would seem a hard line to walk. But the eyes in the back of the label head’s head can see what legendary business is relevant today. With 140 having journeyed an octopus of pathways since its famous ‘dubstep is dead’ days (post-2010), the age-gap of artillery forged now and then is becoming increasingly more distinctive. Locating the seeds that were buried in the past which have now sprouted their influence into the genre is an impressive role that Vinyl Vigilance is invigilating. It’s fitting that K Man, a master of the teeth-gritting, relentless grind opened the record label. Subsequent releases have followed the minimal breakage that is his element. This tag-team match of up-and-coming wobblers shows the strength of the teeth-grit style in the rhythms of fresh blood.
“Late One Night” the dark cloud rumbled, the yellow light of static sparking at its centre. Not wasting time with introductions, Repulsion and Nova set a solid, minimal platform to mix upon, or to drag the air out of any dungeon. With percussion tip-toeing around the sleeping sub beast, it’s a strong lunge through dubstep containing that nostalgic minimal squelch. “Scavenger” is as clean as it is glitchy. The mesmerising, all-encompassing triplets actually affect your vision, triggering trailing delays in the mind’s eye. Sneaky, careful characters dance together in this vibrant, haunted village. The quiet hook murmurs across the whole song, like a wobble board summoned through a Ouija board. Underneath the dirty sparks a bright 808 bumbles.
Pacific Numen builds a broken engine big enough to crawl through. “Uncool” pushes everything aside. Some exhaust pump chugs and splutters over off-beat drums and the only solid thing in the track: the persistent, oil-thick bassline. The vocal sample is the cherry on the cake, providing just enough insight into Pacific Numen’s character to let us know that while he loves the grinding grit, it’s never too serious. I’m not sure I’d be able to handle this song if it had another quote from Roy Batty. Coil a wire into a ball, chuck it into an empty baked beans tin alongside a microphone and give it a good old shake whilst you’re sitting on the washing machine (loving life). Then, realise it’s snowing and go outside to quietly reminisce about your childhood friends while you draw in the snow under a purple sunset. That’s “Ring The Bell Swift +”.
It’s amazing to see such a cohesive EP formed by three separate artists with their own clearly defined styles. The A sides, whilst lacking structural innovation, would appropriately bust up room 1 and the B sides, hopefully, will thwomp through many room 2 basements. Exploring a jagged, glitching drum pattern and a complete turn of events to nostalgic, lo-fi hip hop, the latter adds the innovations an EP needs to stand out. It’s a brave move from the young label to get three cooks in on the third broth, but it’ll be a special one to look back on after watching these artists grow together on their individual paths.