VA – ‘The Drum Kids’ EP [Animal Language]

Creation through deprivation (or I guess ‘limitation’ if you want to put a nicer spin on it) turns out unpredictable results. No point composing a 1-bit orchestra or delivering an hour of solo bass if it sounds repetitive and annoying. Really like what the Animal Language label have done with this new EP though, and while they may not have pushed the boat as far as Tristan Perich or Squarepusher they’ve still served up a quality chin-stroke collection for those that can take or leave the synth composition.

We dig drum machines to the obsessive point, big fans of albums that specify their collections; and as a side note, slightly on point, the Juhani record Häkälöylyt on Timmion remains a severely underrated piece of listening. Beat fiends should pick it up solely for the drawings of is machine collection adorning the sleeve and inside cover of the CD.

Back to this release, The Drum Kids EP collects the results of seven artists commissioned to create club tracks using “only drum machines, beat generators, rhythm reactors and blunt instruments”. Whilst Evil Nine are given star-billing (and induced me to dig out the still-brilliant You Can Be Special Too) I’m all about a few of the artists whose catalogues I’m not familiar with. Douze and The Sneekers in particular deliver ace pieces, slightly left-field from the others but still fitting to some degree in the club aspect.

Quality release, bang up our alley as a release to check out. Big ups all involved, stream the set of tracks below and press release just under that.

via Animal Language
The drum…man’s most basic, primal and long-lived instrument has long been the underpinning for much of popular music. Stripping away the drums from a house record is a little bit like pulling the wings off a butterfly or the legs off a gerbil. It is not only cruel but also leaves something that just doesn’t work anymore. Without the beats, all our club classics instantly fail. There are no podiums, no hands in the air, and gurning is something that only happened in dance mythology.

The Drum Kids E.P. is that act of animal dismemberment in reverse. Given a directive to use only drum machines, beat generators, rhythm reactors and blunt instruments to play with each act were sent away to create a set of stand-alone club records.

“The drums, the whole drum and nothing but the drum” became the mantra as seasoned producers battled against their regular instincts. To leave huge banks of studio gear gathering dust and all those pretty flashing lights switched off can’t be right…can it?

The Drum Kids E.P is the result of this experiment in gadget withdrawal. Each act has created something very different. Some tracks are beguiling in their simplicity, others sound strangely full in their complexity.

Whatever the result, its certain that going back to the root of what made us all dance in the first place still works. All hail the drum.

Please note- no butterflies or gerbils where harmed during the making of this record.  

Established twenty-four releases ago, Animal Language is the imprint of Amsterdam based producers Mason. Forging its own path with unusual releases, artwork and “refurbs”, the label is on a mission to put the originality and fun back into dance music.