Neil Landstrumm: Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast
Planet Mu

Neil Landstrumm throws his hat squarely into the middle of a scene presently gathering steam thanks to a recent spate of head-spinning Hyperdub singles and artists like Zomby and Rustie. Like them, Landstrumm plunges headfirst on the eight-track Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast into a psychedelic pool where 8-bit arcade melodies and grimey lo-fi beats proliferate. Don't be misled by the brain-addling meltdown of the opening track either; once its dust settles, the EP becomes a whole lot more listenable without compromising its commitment to the fundamental style.

“The Coconut Kestrel” opens with a blistering haze of shredded sounds that's so dense it almost conceals the rhythm track pounding faintly at its center. Three minutes into the five-minute track, the smoke starts to clear and, finally coming into focus, the piece gradually reveals itself to be a jumpy electro-house banger that squeals and clatters across the finish line. The considerably more listenable “Eva” even manages to introduce a subtle whiff of melancholy into its see-sawing arcade melodies. A psychiatrist can be heard conversing with a patient alongside the woozy squeal and hammering dubstep pulse in “How Do You Feel?” while Profisee, MC and producer with Scottish group Cloak x Dagger, adds a deep chant to the agitated dubstep crunch of “Can't See Me” and then dons his MC persona for the bleepy throwdown “Say ‘N Do.” The fragmented dub voices that pop up throughout “Sk1-The Damager” nudge the track even closer to conventional dubstep, even if the cut's fluttering computer game melody isn't something often heard in the genre's tracks. Landstrumm's a gifted man on multiple fronts, evidenced obviously by the EP's material but also by his talent for titling, as “The Coconut Kestrel” and Bambaataa Eats His Breakfast—an homage, one presumes, to breakbeat-and-hipo-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataamake amply clear.

September 2009