Dense & Pika - Colourburn (2LP)
BMG - 538651080
As Dense & Pika, Alex Jones and Chris Spero have garnered an enviable reputation for making devastating club ordnance that finds the sweet spot between dark, mysterious house and roaring, brawny techno. With over a decade of material under their belt, Jones and Spero are set to release their first studio length debut album, ‘Colour Burn’ via London major imprint BMG on 4th December, home to the likes of Leftfield, The Prodigy, Holy Ghost and Faithless.
‘Colour Burn’ is a 13-track composition crossing through downtempo house and electronica, built as a conceptual sonic representation of the pair’s live audio and visual set up. The album is a step away from harder and faster material and a move towards a more leftfield sonic trajectory, featuring a handful of impressive heavyweight features of Jones & Spero’s musical heroes who have informed the Dense & Pika output.
Released today, album moment ‘Honey’ features the master of sensual, slow-burn techno, Matthew Dear whose contribution to ‘Honey’ arrives in vocal form – a breathy, brooding ensemble of spoken word that glues perfectly with the duo’s trademark rough and textured sound palette. It helps turn what Alex calls “a headsy, dusty piece of housey tech” into something sensual and otherworldly.
Dark and smouldering, it seems to the suck the air out of the room like a tightly packed subterranean dancefloor deep in the throes of night. Glitched out percussion and fizzling hi-hats feel caustic against the track’s low-end frequencies. The thumping bassline and kick drum combination delivers punch and pressure to the mix in a true Dense & Pika format. Matthew’s sauntering vocal contribution guides the track into a deep and hypnotic groove well equipped for any late-night excursion. “The boys sent over a lengthy jam, but there was that simple loop that stood out and had me hooked. I put it on repeat and let the mind and pen wander. It’s a bit of cosmic abandonment, brazenly sung by a professional of the night.” Matthew Dear
Elsewhere on the LP, standout track ‘Hidden’ features the drums of Sepultura’s legendary metal icon Igor Cavalera resulting in a fabulous frenzy of percussion and driving rhythm. The equally momentous and unforgettable ‘Control’ features the heavily robotic vocoder of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes aiding and abetting in its quest to be a high-octane, twisted rave jam.
The impressive features on ‘Colour Burn’ are an insight into the hugely artistic and visionary A&R skills of Alex and Chris and the start of a new chapter for Dense & Pika kicking off with the long-awaited release of their first studio length album.