Hessle Audio are currently marauding around the UK on a huge headline tour. It was a very satisfying moment to see them come home to play to a packed out Wire in January, and reflect on how far they have come in a few years. Just behind Sainsbury’s, one can hear the echoes of those first few exhilarating dubstep tracks. That groundbreaking sound sanctified in these otherwise grim cobbled streets, and it’s hard not to feel a certain pride or sense of elevated being when strolling towards them today.
Unlike the label’s signature glitchy, stop-start bass-music sound, they are progressing unstoppably and always driving the scene forward into often frighteningly modernist realms. Pearson Sound’s debut LP, the second full album to be released on Hessle, is their latest bold passage into the unknown. As if with the Hadron collider, David Kennedy smashes the atoms of techno, dubstep, grime and ambient together to create music as dangerous and sublime as a black hole.
Although Hessle are primarily known for the quality of their club nights, it can’t be said that many of these tracks are floorfillers. At Wire, Pearson Sound was almost completely anonymous; it was Pangaea who shook the place with his thunderous, galvanising selections. The tracks definitely align with the vibe of a Hessle show: pitch black, crazed and cool, but they aren’t club ready. Instead, these songs fill your mind with fear and wonder in equal measure. They are visionary electronic sketches; glimpses of what the future sounds like, yet laced with spirit of those gloomy, student-populated streets in Hyde Park. If you were to drop any of these tunes in a set it would be the closer ‘Rubber Tree’, a percussive techno cruncher. But the real gems are the creepy, grimier tracks such as ‘Six Congas’. And it is towards grime that club music seems to be moving – at least it will be after this album does the rounds. As per, everyone is sure to follow Hessle’s lead.