sun 26/05/2024

CD: Aquasky - Raise the Devil | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Aquasky - Raise the Devil

CD: Aquasky - Raise the Devil

Long-standing south coast outfit return with fire in their belly

Aquasky: still dropping rave voodoo by the ton

A decade and a half ago I was junglist correspondent for Eternity magazine, a long since defunct organ that catered to the then thriving print press for rave devotees. This was how I ran into Aquasky, a trio of studenty, long-haired guys from Bournemouth making chill-out drum and bass. A lot has happened to them since then.

Most notably - apart from being much less hirsute - they long ago dumped the marijuana’n’jazz approach and make, under the radar, contagiously ballsy rave music that takes no prisoners but also welcomes anyone with a party bone in their body to their party.

Their new album Raise the Devil is an object lesson in how to make this sort of music. It’s heavily indebted to the breakbeat club scene that’s cruised along steadily, unloved by London media hipsters, for years, but Aquasky have production skills and an address book to take things up a notch. They haul in Diane Charlemagne (vocalist on Goldie classic “Inner City Life”) to add impetus to the steroid dubstep funk monster “Take Me There”, and ragga-rave spitters Daddy Freddy, Tenor Fly and the Ragga Twins also pop up along the way.

It’s not an album to listen to unless you mean business, unless you want your energy levels raised. It’s not subtle - far from it. There are a hundred noises vying for the listener’s attention, from Italo-house pianos to snarling Joey Beltram synth stabs to wob-wob-wob apocalypto-step. Sometimes it steers too close to becoming a heavy-duty Example, as on “Press Play” or “Streets of Rage”, and on those occasions I suddenly woke up from a trance that the sheer joyful noisiness had induced to acknowledge the niff of cheese. No, it’s not carving new ground but it takes a grab-bag of everywhere Brit suburban rave music’s gone during the last 20 plus years, and reconstitutes it in a livid, leap-around fashion that brooks little argument.

"Superbad" featuring the Ragga Twins, M-Tek, Pedro Slimer & Mr Thing

Not an album to listen to unless you mean business, unless you want your energy levels raised


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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