Shackleton first came to my attention late in 2008 via the sublime mix album Uproot (which I posted here in April), produced by one of my absolute favorite beatmakers, DJ /rupture. Almost exactly one year later, this collection – entitled Three EPs – drops the definitive word thus far on his (already stellar) burgeoning career.
Earthquake-level bass lines slither beneath evasive percussion maneuvers throughout every moment of this disc, providing a cavernous bottom end to support the origami skyscrapers of of sampledelic dexterity, all wrapped in loops of pulsing synth candy. The palpably soupy atmosphere creaks and groans like an old ghost ship refusing to sink, far removed from the climate of foggy London alleys of dubstep to altogether more obscured and claustrophobic (not to mention exotic) environs. Sitar drones ride lines of tablas and salt shaker cymbals, disembodied vocals drift through the mix spectre-like, and a time machine’s load of futuristic effects beam us from deep underwater through the Oort cloud and back. More than anything else, this is music to disappear into, be swallowed up for an hour and dropped out with faint knowledge of where, exactly, the journey took us.
With a darkly romantic night drift more akin to Burial‘s pitch black monster Untrue than anything strictly dubstep and a calculated iciness echoing nothing less than Muslimgauze himself, Shackleton stands neatly alone in his world. This melange, spiced with minimal techno, middle eastern percussion tapestries and a truckload of straight dub effects, is truly a unique proposition – something felt more than heard, a necessary experience for anyone still reading. Don’t be left out. And, if you’re still unconvinced, merely try out There’s A Slow Train Coming, directly below.