Hyroglifics Continues To Excite With The ‘All Talk’ EP On Critical
Posted by Adam on 14th September 2016
Hyroglifics is without doubt one of the most exciting producers in drum and bass (said every music journo about someone every morning of every day). BUT, it’s actually true! I’d be hugely surprised if 2016 wasn’t the year he really puts his own stamp on the scene and this EP is a great starter. He also gets about 2ft taller every time i see him. Chill out bruv, you’re making us hobbits feel intimidated!
With one eye on Critical’s fast approaching 100th release, this EP is a perfect example of the genre bending music their roster is capable of.
Title track All Talk is a slippery serpent of a jungle opener, morphing into a futuristic soundtrack to an apocalyptic city on the brink of destruction. So not that different to London in its current post Brexit blues. I don’t know what he’s been smoking, but whatever it is has catapulted his soundscapes into the future. I imagine this is the sort of stuff Zomby listens to in his sleep when not having a mental breakdown about high end clothing on Twitter.
Persuade, which features vocals from Foreign Beggars, picks up where the title track left off. While Orifice provides doses of intelligent and punchy lyrical content, it’s a shame there isn’t more of Metropolis on show other than the hook. Despite doubting it will go on to be 2016’s catchiest anthem, the warped sway and swagger makes it a brilliant combination and would have sat perfectly on Beggars now revered ‘Asylum Speakers’ LP which is a proper compliment to an artist collaboration not making traditional Hip Hop.
Next up sees a high tempo instrum ridden by DRS with Vision being a prime example of a producer in full stride working with a seasoned vet capable of delivering off kilter vocals with solid content. I’ve always said that Hyroglifics works well with MC’s, his music trading blows with the craft of proper spitters. It’s also great to see a youthful producer with a good understanding of jungle drums and being unafraid to use them in unconventional ways.
Hanging On You instantly hits with the type of smooth drums Ivy Lab have cultivated into an art form over the past few years. After a pretty barren intro making you wonder what’s coming, the track really delivers a smouldering punch. This tune’s a real diamond and stands the test of numerous listens. It’s punchy, pacey, but still divine in its end product. Easily my favourite of the EP but then i am a soppy old git and the vocal sample just gets me all loved up, i’m off to make a mixtape for a girl.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Delusions wraps its jaws round your ankle and drags you back under into the murky depths of this moody EP. The growing 20/20 style which has seen DnB tempos and trends transformed into an intricate blend of hip hop and glitchy beats is fully on show here. While most kids have been obsessed with MF Doom and Madlib’s smoked out beats, Hyroglifics has clearly had his ear tuned in to the Brainfeeder side of things, creating gritty aggy weapons like this. Definitely expect to hear this on Rinse shows and DJ sets where the lines of dance music merge into the grey areas of creativity.
The EP comes to an end with More Or Less who’s intro wouldn’t be out of place on the early Bukem releases. Then the switch in style comes and what you’re left with is yet more bizarre lead driven future music. If Bladerunner were set in South London, 2016, i’m pretty certain Hyroglifics would be the man to soundtrack it. It’s a bit like Jamie XX got locked in a basement, did a load of acid and someone gave him a copy of Ghost In The Shell and took his steel pans away.
Being brutally honest, i have preferred other bits of his stuff to this EP, but the best thing about music is watching artists progress and finding their own sound. The All Talk EP sounds sonically complete, at no point to you get the sense a producer has heard a tune he likes and made his own version of it, something relatively rare nowadays. This whole bundle of music makes me feel like i’m riding the motorbike in Akira and I’m pretty sure if London were to turn into a toxic wasteland of robots and cyborgs, producers like Hyroglifics would have them marching to the beat of his drum.