Sometime in early 2014, René Christopher Bridgman leaves his native Australia to settle in East London, and later debut his Ezekiel Rhodes persona via his self-released limited-edition 12”, “The Violator”. Right away, it showcases his proclivity for weaving dry wit, a pinch of sleaze and dollops of bass into genre-obsolete UK club cuts that nevertheless skirt the edges of techno and house enough to be unanimously DJ-friendly. Now, in 2015, for the seventh entry in our Tessier-Ashpool Research & Development series, “Seventh Substance”, the club Casanova comes at his wittiest, sleaziest and most bass-generous.
For this (our proprietary version of a summer scorcher), René picked the cheekiest of concepts, and used Ayurvedic medicine and ornate wordplay to disguise it. So, as a bonus to the serious tuneage herein, there’s a puzzle with a chuckle at the end for you culture vultures.
“Viscous” starts proceedings with an alarmingly disturbing passage of inhuman language, before segueing into a gutter, high-octane, intoxicatingly ebullient electro number, adorned with all manner of machine interjections and club-coercive deep-throated chants. A textbook TAR summer jam, if there ever was such a thing.
Second off is “Thermal”, a booty house/ghettotech mélange that is nevertheless profoundly European in its brittle, meticulous techno percussion, its ruptured, aquatic arpeggios and its sun-caked, laid-back groove. One for beaches, boats and poolsides.
To wrap things up, Mr. Rhodes gives you “Saline” and “Adhesive” - two deconstructive hybrids of new guard grime and old guard dubstep that further showcase the depth of his intimacy with bass music of all persuasions. While “Saline” is akin to an acidic, dubbed-out countdown, rife with atmosphere and intrigue, “Adhesive” is its cathartic cousin – a Mariana Trench instrumental grime tour-de-force. Swallow your fear and partake of the seventh substance.