It felt like some kind of watershed moment when the announcement hit that Detroit house (and yes, he’s actually from Detroit) wunderkind Kyle Hall was doing his own single on Hyperdub, unquestionably one of the premiere dubstep labels. If you have doubts about the legitimacy of dubstep or bass music in general, or don’t believe all the chatter about genre-bending and breaking, then this release, Hyperdub’s 41st single, should set you straight. Having released a remix of Darkstar’s “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer” on what was probably the best single of 2009, his appearance on Hyperdub is not completely unprecedented, but given that that was a house remix of a dubstep track, this is something entirely different. HDB032 features KMFH doing 140ish dubstep in his own inimitable classic Detroit style.
And for those out there who don’t give a shit about genres or bending, the good news is that this is still fucking essential. “Kaychunk” rolls along with dusty, blocky percussion sounding like Omar-S in a tumble dryer, driven along by a huge but nimble bassline that bobs and weaves. Lush strings drape over the beat, a hypnotic melody trickling through the dense tangle of the beat. A synth line spins in the depths of space, before accelerating into the void, all starlight gleam and future dreams. For a brief moment it’s nothing more than a distant gleam, melodic gauze fading into the night before the beat starts back up, that reassuring pulse as close as a heartbeat. It’s that same beautiful throb, that same effortless night-time glide that guys like Carl Craig and Juan Atkins know how to tap into, and it’s one of Hall’s most luscious tracks to date – sterile but moving, clinical but overwhelmingly emotional, as he takes the typical Detroit sound palette (using his own distinct dirty house aesthetics) and bends and reforms it to fit a faster, more dubstep structure.
The flip side “You Know What I Feel” feels like a smooth journey through the sky, the world spread out below in a sun-dappled haze. It’s a flight at what feels like about ten miles per hour, enough to appreciate the scenery and take in the lush sights and sounds. Deceptively, the track is actually faster than “Kaychunk,” with rapid percussion fidgeting and bumping underneath the slick, swooning keyboard melody that has a touch of the Dam-Funk to it. It’s funky and beautiful and dizzying all at once and feels like Kyle Hall is just going from strength to strength. He always had a bright future ahead of him, but right now it looks absolutely dazzling.