It’s not exactly out of nowhere, but the volume of tracks being released in the last week from Inward, Hanzo and Randie (IHR) definitely seems sudden, not that anyone’s complaining. The bass world has barely had time to settle its brains from the four esoteric and emotional dancefloor bangers contained in IHR’s MethLab IKIGAI EP before they are releasing a full LP of remixes on C4C. Give it a beat (or 174), guys!
While the Consistency of Error LP is mostly remixes of tracks by Inward, Hanzo and others (some include Randie), IKIGAI is all IHR trio, and it’s a beautiful dancefloor mess. With emotional vocal samples cut up to fit strange, dropless basslines, builds that dump seemingly to nowhere and absolutely no adherence to tempo or genre, IHR are pushing boundaries in the best possible way. No wonder so many artists want to remix them. Those artists probably just want to make order out of this glorious chaos.
A great example of the afore-mentioned glorious chaos is EP opener “Memory Check.” It opens with an intro that sounds like it could be leading to a riddim track, a D&B banger or a liquid funk track all at once. After the drop, it becomes clear that the answer is either none of the above or all of the above, depending on how one looks at it.
The drums on “Memory Check,” while at the tempo of D&B, have no conventional kick/snare combo to drive the beat and instead the track relies on multiple chopped up slash drops to comprise the beat. A half amen comes in a few times, teasing the listener into thinking a solid beat drop may finally be coming, but the track just keeps building and dropping over and over until it fades out. It’s a total sonic mind job, and that’s just the first track.
“Liberate” featuring vocalists The Science has more of a matchable beat, but it also has elements of industrial house and vocals so emo it almost sounds like a remix of The Cure. “Spacefunk” has even more trick amens and drops than the first two tracks, but is very much in the wheelhouse of neurofunk. The closing track “The Bite” is another inexplicable track whose opening is trip hop reminiscent of 90s chill rooms but it then devolves into a slowed-down, ravey, breaky halftime track. What a ride!
For a lack of any other possible description, IKIGAI is the musical equivalent of the Winchester Mystery House, in the best possible sense. It’s steppy, danceable and fun but also highly experimental, emotive and interesting, just like the trio of IHR themselves. Nice call picking this one up, MethLab.
A new video will be available for “Memory Check” on November 8, the teaser for which is above, so keep an eye on MethLab’s Facebook for that. The entire IKIGAI album is out now on MethLab and can be streamed or purchased on Beatport or Bandcamp. The forthcoming remix LP, Consistency of Error, is out tomorrow, October 29 on C4C and can be pre-ordered on Beatport.