It is no surprise that Paul Woolford (pictured) & Psycatron’s Stolen has been met with little fanfare. It has now been six years since Paul gave us Erotic Discourse, the endlessly remixed tech house megahit that to this day remains the high point of his career. Since then he has been a resident at Ibiza’s Space, developed his Intimacy label and studio into one of the best in Europe, and cemented himself as one of the most sought-after headline acts in the UK. Strange then that his output since that 2005 apogee has left some fans underwhelmed, his music remaining solid and well produced but perhaps lacking that spark it once had. Psycatron have trodden a similar path, their records decent but rarely straying from their comfort zone.
2011 is the year Paul and the Irish/Belgian duo that is Psycatron set out to change their image and re-establish themselves as some of Europe’s premier exponents of cutting edge, full-bodied house. Between them, the three men have created a juggernaut of modern bass music. The influences from the constantly morphing UK bass scene are everywhere, fusing with shreds of their techno-inflected past and resulting in around half an hour of bleak, hurtling subs and occasional crushed vocals. Stolen and the two dub edits I’ve uploaded here have the potential to be defining tracks of this period in European dance music. Traditional dubsteppers are turning to techno’s regular rhythms and cold dissonance, while house and techno producers are starting to properly utilize 2-step and fragmented vocals in their productions. In the future we may look back on releases like this and think “that was the moment when everything changed.” What a fascinating time to be a fan of bass music.