Al Bleek is better known for his output alongside Kid Drama as Instra:mental, the production duo whose classy, minimalist take on D&B more recently gave way to an interest in slower bpm’s, 808 drum machines and electro synthesizers. These excursions into post-electro and robotic funk inspired Bleek to venture further, creating the alias Boddika and releasing ’Boddika’s House’ and ‘Syn Cron’ – two debut slabs of driving 130bpm house and stark, breaks-driven electro on Irish imprint Naked Lunch in October.
Continuing in a similar sonic vein, Bleek provides the fodder for the next release on Loefah’s eclectic Swamp 81 imprint, with ‘Underground’ straddling the analogue electro blueprint and dragging it into 2011. ‘Underground’ is stripped back and dystopian, led by an urgent synth, moody atmospherics and snapping 808’s. On the flip ‘Electron’ is equally dark and minimal, built on precise 808 percussion and fluttering, arpeggiated synths. The release shows obvious influences; early Underground Resistance and Drexciya most notably, but Boddika is clearly not a man intending to Xerox their classic Detroit sound, more take the design and hammer his own futuristic stamp all over it. Could 2011 be the year the word ‘electro’ finally falls into a more mainstream vocabulary without being misappropriated by Deadmau5 fans? Let’s hope so.