2 September 2011

Lukid - Spitting Bile

Lukid - Spitting Bile (Glum Records, out now)

It's a rare joy, when writing about and analysing music on a near-constant basis, to come across something that causes you stop dead and say "I have no idea what the hell this thing is". Lukid's popped out a couple of these in his so-far-short career - his first 12" on Glum might, if you squinted and gave it the benefit of the doubt, look a bit like house, and his previous majestic efforts for Werk are best filed under "sort of instrumental hip-hop, with more bleep but also some Theo Parrish". So how then to discuss his second 12" for Glum, a four-tracker brimming with ideas and new styles?

Opening with My Teeth in Your Neck, there's shades of Madlib and Dr Octagon, but also a fair heft of wonky house that nods to Moodymann or Shake Shakir; a kick drum beats out a solid 4/4 at 120ish, whilst the hi-hats and claps shuffle about in the mix like a nervous tic. Pitched in some ungodly register, the lo-fi synth channels a bit of Manitoba/ Four Tet wonk, to further confuse the matter. It gets no easier to pigeonhole for the remainder, with Park it Low retreating into more recognisably broken structures a la Onandon, and Dragon Stout heading for 8-bit gameboy territory. Title track Spitting Bile is yet even more WTF?-inducing, building a shuffling breakbeat, throwing in a 4/4, then obliterating it all with a saw-edged synth just as it's starting to build to something, then working its way back down again.

More than just being 'wonky' or experimental, Luke Blair has managed to make something that just feels, well, wrong - the rhythms, key signatures, dynamics and arrangements all push the limits of accepted convention to make a weird geek of a record. And yet, it's somehow very right and very cool.

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