Although he’s never been the type of producer to toe the conventional line when it comes to bass music, this time you would be forgiven for thinking Anstam has really lost the plot. The three tracks that make up his first EP of 2012 are bizarre and spellbinding, from Intuit’s wriggling mass of steel drums and pitch-bent synths to the furious, cascading melodies of Feed The Pigs.
Dispel Dances, Anstam’s 2011 debut album, was a fantastically accomplished horror story told through blistering percussion and abrasive sub-bass. First Sprout represents his first material since dropping the album last November, and it sees the talented producer largely drop the gothic overtures of his LP and shoot instead for the blackened sci-fi vibes of earlier releases such as Baldwin/Carmichael.
The glittering high-point here is second track Feed The Pigs. In a style very reminiscent of fellow bonkers bass pioneer Loops Haunt, it opens with a maelstrom of outrageous keys and jarring bursts, eventually settling into a curious pattern of circular broken beats and odd vocal samples. Those synths return before too long though, eventually squirming out of control and coalescing into a warped organ melody that closes the track. The final effort, Whiskey, does away with percussion almost altogether aiming right for the melodic jugular with delicious, gleaming pads and even a flickering guitar line. Together with Intuit and its ludicrously skewed synths, clanging percussion and gooey vamp chords, these tracks represent a bold release from a producer firing on all creative cylinders.