Paul B. Davis

Universal Ends
Paul B. Davis
Universal Ends

The latest Jolly Discs offering is a CD maxi of bashy, upful, hyper-syncopated tronik house/soca slammers from Paul B. Davis. Davis is from St Louis originally, but moved to North London a decade or so ago, where he got hooked into the grime scene and starting producing beats (for Trim among others) under the name Brains, before getting the soca bug and releasing on Mixpak as Mr One Hundred. The first time I listened to this disc it made me want to throw up - in the best possible sense. On the surface it's an insanely sugary and super-caffeinated sound, the aural equivalent of a Coke float, totally irresistible and rush-inducing and ultimately well worth the stomach-ache that comes after. Its perma-peaking, aerodynamic synth arpeggios summon sickliest Euro trance but the ricocheting, bruk drums are so tuff, they anchor the thing and create an amazing tension..the vibe is rootical and dubwise (albeit in properly future-facing, SILICON SOUNDBOY style) but also turbo-charged enough to hold its own alongside the most obnoxiously pneumatic production contemporary pop has to offer. It's no mean feat, to turn out something so seemingly super-compressed but with enough SPACE in the mix to properly rough up the dance. good. What I really love about this record is that it’s first and foremost totally IMMEDIATE, route-one dancefloor music that even a 3-year-old would respond to, and at the same time there’s enough detail and grit and grain in the drum programming and syncopations that a grown-up with nothing better to do could nerd out analysing it for weeks. Special mention to ‘Deep Wine’, its more dialled-down minimal rhythm making the whole thing levitate before super-optimistic strings-of-life stabs blast it into the stratosphere (think Danny Krivit’s Soul Central edit!). Madness....and another spot-on, deeply eccentric release from the Jolly Discs stable, proving to be as unpredictable in style as it is consistent in quality. 


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