Review of Tunnel EP by Shuttle

Review of Shuttle's EP Tunnel released through Ninja Tune.

Shuttle Tunnel EP

Recent times has seen Ninja Tune Records veer more and more from the care-free nu-jazz scene it's been shrowded in for longer than I care to recall. That said, there has always been a few on their roster that have never failed to impress. Amon Tobin for example. Anyway, here's a recent addition to the samurai's arsenal. It could be said that Shuttle, Etan Groudswell, is an indecisive fellow.

'Tunnel' is dissodent affair with wonky, skittish beats, a slow swooping dubstep bassline and ambient and old school synth tones aplenty. The keys movements bring to mind mid-ninetys IDM, but that's a sweeping idea ass the phased wobble bass sweeps the floor from beneath you and rushes your every pour. This is the kinda production depth and forward thinking that dubstep has been shy on for years now.

Rotten Guts is an altogether different affair. Still ladel with rich brooding bass, Rotten Guts sees the addition of Canadian club-hop emcee Cadence weapon. With this comes the heavy dancefloor appeal, with over powering builds dropping into gnarling sub bass and the kinda cut up sample work edIT has been pushing for so long. Its not bad, but its' missing a lot of the promise 'Tunnel' has.

The High Rankin Remix of 'Tunnel' shows you just what it would have sounded like if Shuttle didn't have the foresight other dubstep producers have. Almost unable to put more than never settling drums and pounding bass. If you listen long enough you get the unprompted switch to gabba. Being a producer myself I can say this. Gabba is the last resort of an electronic producer who cant think how else to bring things to clomax. Unless you produce gabba anyway, in which case its just, well..silly.

If you like Vex'd, Boxcutter, Disrupt, Rustie, then this is for you, well, 'Tunnel' at least. If you're a bare bones dubstep fan, then this will go straight over your head. Either way this guy is worth keeping an eye on.

Thom Holmes

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