Balkans contemporary culture guide

Blackdown – Rollage Vol.4: The Hunger EP

Keysound Recordings label boss Martin Clark aka Blackdown, makes a welcome return with the fourth in the Rollage Series, ‘Rollage Vol.4: The Hunger EP’ following on from the last offering released in 2017.

Usually producing together with his fellow label partner Dusk, the Rollage releases have been a rare outing for Blackdown to hone his skills and concepts alone. As with the other instalments in the series, number four sticks to explorations at 130bpm and drawing upon the same sound bank throughout the EP. The result gives a clear concept for the EP and by sticking to the same sounds and bpm as the base for each track, this gives Blackdown the pallet to add intricate or subtle differences to give the desired dark, uneasy and rolling impact across the release. Drifting from the tense atmospheric weightless sound Blackdown has pioneered, to kicks and rolling bass, stripped down elements and then finally the tough hard-hitting dub finish on ‘Headback Lift Off.’ As individual tracks they do not hit the same levels as some previous Rollage releases and for some could be seen as a bit too similar on first listen, but Blackdown drops in an opener with all four tracks mixed together which gives a more solid idea of how the techniques work together, all done so to incredible effect.

Blackdown’s explorations are no doubt a nod to influences of the London scene, as well as the likes of Detroit and Chicago, whilst also showing strong thought out concepts to make an impact with subtle well-placed sounds and techniques, making for an all-round impressive and emotive release!

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