Frijsfo Beats Volume 3: Various Artists

Frijsfo Beats have a tasty piece of the 2012 cake on their plate, with the imminent release of volume three in their series of vinyl EP compilations. Tuned in to the various new mutations of garage, this latest release joins label stalwart Geiom with three newer artists; Cardopusher, Desto and Submerse, all of whom have been hotly tipped for bigger things in this year’s blogosphere.

Cardopusher is a Venezuelan expatriate based in Barcelona, where I interviewed him at Sonar 2009 and discussed how keen he was to escape the sonic confines of gabba core. At the time, he was moving into some quality dubstep production, but this hungry producer has ended up pushing through into the golden triangle of tropical house, soul techno, and neo garage.

The opening ping pong beats and game show synths of Then What evoke the sunny days and electric nights of Barcelona, then suddenly the drop falls by way of a comical tom roll in to an early naughties 2-step swing. Full of production tricks that fill the track with dynamic and a slathering of nicely separated, funky triplet percussion; Then What is coloured by filmic strings, electric piano stabs, descending organ lines, and a typical (but pleasing) garage synth bass line. Packing enough technical skill for the headz and buckets of funk for the legs, Then What is an undeniable dance floor starter; easily solidifying Cardopusher into the top tier of the European underground.

Finnish producer Desto, whiplashes us into the next track with his remix of Kuoyah’s Convex Gravity (released digitally last year on Frijsfo). It follows two twelves for London’s hip Ramp Recordings and finds another victim of the Chicago juke and footwork beat wave. Deploying DJ Rashad’s take on chopped and screwed vocals, with Chicago hip hop kits and acid synth lines, Desto’s remix is a violent dance floor throw down that will sync easily into your last Addison Groove 12”.

Next up is 90’s idm survivor Geiom, who first began blowing listeners a third ear hole with releases on Neo Ouija and Manchester’s Skam records, alongside legends like Lego Feet (Autechre), Jega, Team Doyobi, and Boards of Canada. Geiom’s Chip Voices is a happy portamento synth slip n’ side, coupled with time stretched garage rushes and warm chorus bass lines. Listening to Chip Voices, older fans of the more dance oriented idm oeuvre will feel like they never left the 90’s – and really appreciate it – whilst young future garage hipsters will undoubtedly be rinsing this on their next Sub FM show.

Finally, in an exciting coup for Frijsfo, the young Submerse brings his otaku garage following, to what sounds like, the next level of his productions. Toning down his hyper j-pop garage in favour of the uber fashionable kick – milk bottle and chain rattle approach to 2-step; Bubblin’ tends sweet acapella cuts with layers of warm pads, tinted with the noise of a compressed synth breeze and the whistle of electric crickets.

This new work by Submerse may find the producer maturing stylistically, but the polished production and emo heart ache remain amidst a sparser vantage point, ensuring everyone will be seeing Submerse rising in to the next 12 months. Overall, kudos belongs to Frijsfo here for curating a very high quality collection of intelligent yet dance floor oriented works, that will sell well to both DJ’s, critics and fans alike.

Various Artists
Frijsfo Beats Volume 3

A1 – Cardopusher – Then What
A2 – Kuoyah – Convex Gravity (Desto remix)
B1 – Geiom – Chip Voices
B2 – Submerse – Bubblin’

Review by: Sean Taylor