For its 15th release Coin Operated Records re-summon the three noise-merchants featured on ‘Assorted Nan-Bangers’, its previous outing into the world of low-end, dancefloor depravity. Nu-skool upstarts Kanji Kinetic and Mr Sly are once again united with wonk stalwart Michael Forshaw, this time with the assistance of Off Me Nut Records co-honcho Dankle, to deliver ‘Mutant Bass UK’.
‘Mutant Bass’ describes well the sonic blueprint we’ve come to expect from Coin Operated. Across its back catalogue heavy bass underpins a wide spectrum of rave styles, mutating from Edit’s broken wonk and the hardcore breaks of Onken, through Forshaw’s banging techno to the militant bassline stylings of The Squire of Gothos and Pirate Soundsystem.
This release succeeds in encompassing most of the Coin Op repertoire. Kanji Kinetic kicks off the A-side with ‘Masamune’, and an intro melody that could have been lifted from any 90’s happy hardcore dancefloor. This soon succumbs to a barrage of kick drums, and a 4×4 tearout joyride littered with rave hoovers and laser-guided stabs. The epic piano riff prevails throughout a track that has just the right balance of hands-in-the-air moments and brutal drum work to make it something of a nu-skool anthem.
Steel City bass plunderer Mr Sly goes in hard with ‘How Do I Get Out’, a schizophrenic trip through shifting drum patterns, weird samples, screeching synths and warped wobbles. Switching between disturbed half-step and full-pelt 4×4, this is Sheffield niche turned upside down and murdered with a dubstep chainsaw. Watch dancefloors melt.
Michael Forshaw drops a large slab of raw, reinforced booty techno on the B-side. ‘Step Into Me’ sees ‘ard-as-nails drums and driving percussion give way to ghetto vocals and enough squealing, wonked out distortion to sit it comfortably amongst the madness of the other cuts.
Finishing off the release enters Dankle with his semi-exotic take on heavy bass, similar to lying on a sun-bed at a squat rave. ‘Stank (Invisibility Skank)’ moves between wobbling syncopations and straight 4×4, all smeared with nightmarish squeals, bleeps and deep-end subs, and a lovely, yet all-too-brief, acid line that makes a cameo half way in.
Another big Coin Operated Release here, journeying through the many sounds and styles that define not only the label’s identity, but also the ‘Mutant Bass’ mega-genre which it operates within.