Floating upon the winds of England’s purest countryside is an uncharacteristically dark sound. While it’s as soft and round as the hills it hails from, this sound hums rather than whistling. It warms your chest and clears your mind of all conscious thought, while its earth-movingly deep tone rouses your soul to attention. This obese noise has been captured before by many a daring British producer, but those who’ve harnessed its power are few. Over the last 12 months, the world has quietly observed Shadow Child as he became a part of that rare club.
In order to control these impossibly thick frequencies, Shadow Child decided to let the sound swirl around in the heart of an unorthodox engine. Constructed from a higgeldy piggeldy collection of metal and plastic off-cuts, the engine clicks and snaps as its various parts jerk around with perfect mechanical precision. It’s not all rigid movement though – sand trickles down through certain sections of the device, causing the occasional piston or gear to shift and shuffle around in its socket. More than all this, however, is the wind’s bassy hum that drives it all. Swelling and retracting, an impervious balloon restrains the mysterious noise’s attempts to push free. As long as it pushes though, the machine stutters along with it.
It’s no surprise that such a complex device was created by the man who also happens to be Dave Spoon‘s evil twin. Shadow Child’s music may swing in a different groove, but both egos deliver a very real threat to anyone who wishes to remain stagnant on the dance floor.
While most of the basslines in Shadow Child’s earlier work have a smooth flow to them, his recent edit of The Other Tribe‘s ‘Sing With Your Feet’ is braver. The life at the heart of his music-making engine jabs at the walls of its elastic prison, and the resulting bass bounces wildly. It thrusts the device into life and carries the track along. Remixing calls for some third-party additions to the machine. In this case an occasionally-twisted vocal and a generous helping of jaunty marimba do the trick. No matter how intricate things get, the rhythm still keeps its snap.
This producer has the potential to push the Dirtybird label to greater heights and lift bassline house up with him. Truly his music seems much more mechanical than digital – full of what feels like organised three dimensional movement. Simply put, if you like your grooves sharp and your bottom end at its mind-wiping purest, Shadow Child has got your back.
Download Shadow Child’s VIP of The xx’s ‘Angels’