Shuffle | xxxy
by Joshua P. Ferguson
It didn't take much convincing to get the Dialogue Inc camp onboard with the work of London producer xxxy (triple ex-y). Melding a fondness for 2-step, bass, house, techno, and cut-up soul, the producer otherwise known as Rupert Taylor has been on our radar since we first encountered the percolating drums, catchy soul, and thick bass riffing of "I Know This Can't Be Love" on Brighton's Well Rounded Records. Before anyone has a chance to rub our noses in it, we know this means we're disappointingly late to the xxxy party.
Well, we've made up for lost time, and spent our fair share of time, rinsing favorites like "Bash" for Halocyan, and particularly "Progression," an intense showing from Taylor that combines horror-movie synths with a broken techno shuffle. So it was a pleasant surprise when we discovered two free downloads, each of which shows off a dramatically different side of the hotly-tipped producer.
"Broken Dream Sequencer" sits comfortably in ambient territory. Textured chords, streaking atmospherics, and ghostly hums mingle comfortably until a late-stage melody adds some brilliant tension to the track without every resorting to a solid beat. Taylor points to a hard drive clean out for unearthing this sci-fi excursion, but if you didn't know better you'd almost think the track was the result of too much time spent with the new Boards of Canada record—or the Blade Runner soundtrack.
DOWNLOAD: xxxy "Broken Dream Sequencer" | 320 mp3
"Heart of Lead" seems similarly Vangelis inspired, as reverb-drenched retro keys pair with elongated new age synth tones. Eventually the tones wash away to reveal an oscillating Italo bass line and ultimately, a dramatic climax before fading to nothing more than an electronic heartbeat. Each track is unlike what we know Taylor for, namely courageous dance floor tunes, but nonetheless a worthy addition to his catalog—and perfect for lazy afternoon listening.
DOWNLOAD: xxxy "Heart of Lead" | 320 mp3