[by steve rastin]
KUSP hail from Liverpool but have gained a massive North Walian following on the back of a series of mind-blowing sets at the Late Lounge.
Local techno dons such as Ashley Eccleston, Paul Maffia, Marcel Muller and Harry Hogan have constantly bigged the duo up and it’s easy to see why – KUSP make music that is aimed squarely at the floor and their latest release serves up five tracks that hit their mark with unerring accuracy.
The EP is called Freedom Of Fear and the title track is a sonic wrecking ball that makes you all too aware of what the pandemic has cost us in terms of being able to lose ourselves completely amongst a crowd of sweat-soaked fellow hedonists.
It’s ushered in on a kick drum that could seriously imperil a venue’s structural safety (hard hats as clubwear anybody?) and is quickly joined by hi-hat and a battery of FX that either enhance or play off that kick.
The overall effect, aside from that irresistible compulsion propelling you towards the floor, is to induce images of an adrenalised chase sequence in a particularly nightmarish dystopian sci-fi thriller – maybe movie producers as well as technoheads need to check this beast out?
Troubadour jumps straight in on a similar kick n hi-hat ticket, the kick bathed in some low end reverb to give it a slightly more muted impact which is something of a Trojan horse because the track is a guaranteed floor filler.
When the handclap FX land, they had this writer subconsciously chanting the tagline from an old 70s/ 80s classic – “We love the music, we like the disco sound, HEY!!!” – which I seem to remember Pop Will Eat Itself sampling for Can U Dig It a couple of decades ago (grebo techno anybody?).
In a sense this is the key to KUSP’s growing reputation – they are as shiny new and contemporary as their peers but also have their roots sufficiently anchored to the past to connect them to an older generation of clubbers as well.
Circulus gives a gentle press to the accelerator and propels the atmospherics back towards the dystopian – if Freedom Of Fear is a night time flight from the unknown or unseen then Circulus is a head-down sprint through a concrete sprawl in the blinding glare of a midday sun.
Regardless of the images it paints, it’s another bomb for the Big Room that is going to be a mainstay of many a jock’s set when (if?) we finally shake off restrictions and start partying once more.
Xerox is a slightly more subtle animal that nonetheless stays floor-friendly, but which distinguishes itself from the rest of the EP by pushing a mutated whispered vocal line to the front of the mix, a welcome addition if you’re listening to the EP as a whole in downtime rather than losing it to individual tracks on a night out.
Fictus is a metronomic crowd pleaser that somewhat bizarrely had this writer imagining that this is how Autobahn may have sounded if Kraftwerk were making that particular classic today because it’s all in the atmospherics (there’s that word again!!!).
Hopefully it won’t be too long before there is a return to gigging and it’s a cast-iron certainty that KUSP will be at the very top of a lot of clubs “wanted” lists so a North Wales date is pretty much guaranteed – watch this space!!!
“Freedom Of fear” is out now on Rekids: lnk.to/RSPX24