Blackpepper is the creator of chirpy electronica that bounces drum’n’bass and hip hop round the glitchosphere. His 4 song EP is available from http://www.dirtydemos.co.uk and is part of an ongoing 3 EP release (he has also released an album recently which is more experimental stuff created under his real name Jason Kerley) Blackpepper’s music is well worth the minimum price of investment and it comes in a dinky 3″ CD-R format with free spirograph type thing. I also got a free 7 track EP from another artist on the label, Dead Wood, which was nice.
The first track on the EP “Ambiguous Phone Sex” wheezes into existence with broken, glitchy beats and slightly asthmatic synths and sounds a little bit like someone stirring junglists into a large blender, until all of a sudden a melody comes trickling out, but a melody that is somewhat dazed by bass and staggers round not sure where its going.
The second track “Sharing My Pigeon Hole” begins with child’s music box and answerphone samples, before settling us down with classic sampled hip hop beats (James Browns “Funky Drummer” but cut up and arranged to sound like no-one has ever sampled it before (no mean feat)). Blooms of atonal bass and scratchy-glitchy flourishes keep us out of conventional hip-hop territory until the sudden arrival of a circling house-y organ line and accelerated beat chopping take your ears to an altogether more futuristic place.
The third track “Polygon Cornflour Decay” takes a rave-synth lead and teams it up with more futuristically inclined glitch / drum’n’bass beats, which never lazily settle into tired dance music grooves, keeping the track bouncing round sounding fresh and modern because of it. The musical conventions of drum’n’bass are not entirely ignored, however, with an “amen” of dirty bass thrusting through a breakdown of restless and insectile electronica to finish… or so you might think. However, the track performs yet another about turn, extracting a mournful fluttering fugue out of what sounds like a dying keyboard to leave you, yet again, wondering what it is you’re listening to.
The final track, and the one which first attracted me to the Blackpepper sound, is “Pear Decaying Gracefully”. This is a summery, jazzy excursion into glitch and bass which starts with a cheerful guitar sample and ricocheting electronic drums but soon fades into a thrillingly twisted and atonal bass that obliterates the tune under evil knob twisting. Beats, bleeps and bass stagger over each other and the whole thing implodes in a burst of fractured synth in less than three minutes.