October 5, 2011

Review: Mizz Beats – ‘Scientific Brainpest’

Posted in Reviews tagged , , at 1:56 pm by essentiallyeclectic

Mizz Beats – ‘Scientific Brainpriest’


            ‘Scientific Brainpest’, Iman Tonge-Grant’s latest foray into the world of her alter-ego Mizz Beats, is a timely piece of sonic landscaping driven as much by huge open spaces as by tight, neck-snapping beats. For those who have spent the last month or so engrossed in the mind-bending world of Balam Acab’s ‘Wander/Wonder’ album (guilty), slowly developing a paranoid sense that electronic music may never sound as good again, here lies a blissful 6”18 of reassuring solace.

            Londoner Tonge-Grant made her name collaborating with the likes of Roots Manuva and Dizzee Rascal, as well as a scatter-gun grime remix of Lady Sovereign’s ‘Hoodie’ – a song so initially off-putting it’s amazing that Tonge-Grant was able to salvage anything from it at all. Yet Mizz Beats productions themselves tend to be far loftier and more ambitious constructions. The ‘Are we the Dictators’ EP from earlier this year showed a remarkable range of production skill – everything from the breakbeat-and-synth workout of ‘The Day Before Tomorrow’ to the computer game glitch of ‘Sanctuary’. Pete Rock’s jazz swagger can be detected on ‘2Bit Road’, and ‘Dirty Dishes’ sounds like a collaboration between Luke Vibert and Herbie Hancock, yet the leaps in style don’t stop the collection flowing seamlessly from start to finish.

            ‘Scientific Brainpest’ is an altogether more summery affair. Its sense of space is implemented outright, with an undulating, half-time beat planted underneath synth sweeps that seem to go on for days. A tripleted synth line introduced halfway in breaks the carefully arranged lull created in the opening minutes without rushing the rhythm, before gently lowering the listener back down to ground level like spider carefully removed from the bath on a scrap of paper and placed outside.

The vinyl release of ‘Scientific Brainpest’ is due to feature as its B-side the soulful house of ‘Pimpin’, a track initially released only as a limited white label earlier in the year, and one that will surely be a faultless companion.

Read this review in context over at HYPONIK


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