Hensen: Boss Mei – ep review

Hensen: Boss Mei (Templar Sound)
12″ Vinyl

Sydney producer Hensen’s track Boss Mei first appeared on the now sold-out TS000 compilation from earlier in the year. The two tracks featured on this vinyl only release swing from one extreme to the other, from the bouncing riddim’s on the one side to chilled ambience on the flip. The vinyl drops on 1st Oct & our man favio db overclock thinks you need to clear a space in your record collection for it already.

Australia’s label Templar Sound brings us Boss Mei, the anticipated debut single from Hensen. Actually the original mix has been around since earlier this year as it has been featured in the label’s compilation CD and most notably in the Templar Soundsystem guest mix for Rinse FM in late May. Finally the aussie imprint delivers a full release backed with Thigpen’s remix.

Since Dubstep, or more precisely its evil twin Brostep, took over mainstream charts it was just a matter of time till the underground scene pushed the envelope and set new standards once again. It has not passed unnoticed that this new direction is somehow moving back towards its UK Garage roots, as suggested by the triumphant return of Burial, MJ Cole, Todd Edwards and the likes, but this new movement is not just a nostalgic look into the past but rather a forward thinking take with a whole new generation of ‘steppers blurring the edges of ever-spanning sub-genres. Among these new kids on the block is, of course, Hensen.

Boss Mei is a deep affair. It starts with a thrilling intro commanded by distant echoes of vocals floating over a sea of icy pads, elliptic beats and glitchy but refined percussive noises. As we get close to the one-minute mark it’s time for a deep bassline to drop like a monolith on the soundsystem. Then the track develops progressively, adding layers of subtle nuances and detail, reaching a breakdown section that eventually builds up and leads to a second, gentler, bass drop.

On the flipside it’s Thigpen on the remix duties. Expect absolutely nothing conventional here. This is a complete rework of Hensen’s piece, retaining very few elements from the original, further experimenting with them and resolutely entering into ambient territory. Despite its reiterative structure, an in-depth listening will reveal clever technical elements like an elaborate kick-drum pattern as the track evolves into abstract grounds.

Fans of people like Phaeleh, Congi and Ruckspin, as myself, probably want to go for the more dancefloor-oriented original. On the other hand, the rich complexity of Thigpen’s work will satisfy the more demanding ambient heads. Either way, you better staple this release on your record bag when it comes out October 1st. That’s right, \’cause Temple Sound has made a bold move and this one will be available exclusively on 12-inch vinyl. Get those dusty Technics out and take \’em for a spin huh?

All words by favio db overclock.

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