Ramadanman & Appleblim – Void 23
In his recent Resident Advisor Exchange podcast interview, Blawan stated that the post-dubstep releases of the late 00s and early 2010s sound dated if listened to today. A fresh rewind does in many cases explain why a pioneer of the genre like Skream progressively adopted tech-house scene as his home. However, ‘Void 23’ the collaboration between Bristol’s Appleblim & Ramadanman is one of a few surprising exceptions to the rule. Released in 2010 on Will Saul’s and Ninja Tune’s Fink Aus Music label, it’s a collage of house, techno, electro and dub that stands the test of time where many have failed.
The intro gives the listener a hint that this is not your standard track, the first 30 seconds substituting a 4/4 drum beat loop with an extract of an airport background noise. The soundscapes that simmer into the picture are eldritch yet atmospheric. The eerie ambience invoked is reminiscent of Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill soundtrack. Slowly but surely the drums affix unto the energy created. Once the aura is brewed, a zesty bassline fizzes under the surface, never taking claim of the protagonists role. The breakdown that dissolves the existing elements into oblivion is crafted in a way that was ahead of its time. The use of indigenous percussion reminds you of an Innervisions release coming from the last few years. Rampa mixed with ÂME and a tint of Marcus Worgull. Yet the ‘drop’ which turns the track on its head dispels such direction. It rumbles with a rolling lick that funnily enough reminds of Benny Bennassi’s ‘Satisfaction’. However, the sound here is unapologetically underground, the second half of the track being a gift sent down by the tech-house gods.
Detroit legend Carl Craig jumped on a edit to offer his contribution, though here the veteran needs to concede the supremacy of the original. Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus featured it on his fabric 54 mix, showcasing its ability to feature at a headlining set held at a world-renowned clubbing venue. Resident Advisor rightly deems it to be “far from a straight-down-the-line techno effort”. Yet we’ve got no clue why Beatport is classifying it exclusively as Dubstep though. With Ramadanman since founding Hessle Audio and Appleblim sporadically releasing quality output such as Boogie Box endorsed ‘Vurstep’ and Boiler Room debuted ‘Phosphene‘,’Void 23’ proves that their partnership in the studio was prescient.