2011 was a huge year for Keysound. Despite having previously played host to material from heavyweights Skream and Starkey, they had struggled to establish themselves as a truly elite bass imprint. Last year that all changed. Their release schedule grew from a trickle to a steady stream, and music like LHF’s EP series and that brilliant LV & Joshua Idehen LP I reviewed back in June forced people to take notice. To kick off 2012, label co-owner Dusk (pictured, right) separates from his partner in business and music Blackdown (pictured, left) to drop the first solo track of his career, with much hyped Bristolian Kowton taking on remix duties as well as supplying an original of his own.
Dusk’s Fraction is lithe and slick, a smooth slice of urban 2-step, crisp percussion, rolling subbass, and twilight synths. Kowton morphs the track from its swinging origins into something altogether more tense and anxious, reducing the melodies to unnerving drones and introducing cavernous space where before elements were tightly packed and well oiled. Kowton’s unhurried and effortlessly cool Looking At You closes proceedings with brushed, staccato chords and chopped vocals–a gorgeous example of his ability to craft tracks that can be laid back while remaining irresistibly danceable.