Occupying the sonic space somewhere between breakcore and post-Rephlex contorted beats, Dublin-based electronic producer Ewan Hennelly has been releasing tracks under the Herv moniker since 2002, and in the intervening years he’s managed to accumulate an impressive backcatalogue of web-only and CDR releases on labels including Acroplane, Cock Rock Disco and Slow Loris. Having made the decision to release all of his music for free on netlabels from now on in 2006, this latest album ‘Gang Molded’ arrives as a download-only release through UK-based electronic arts collective The Centrifuge. Opening track ‘I Didn’t Hear Anyone Asking For A Rewind’ immediately calls to mind enigmatic Cornwall resident The Tuss or Squarepusher in one of his more acid fixated modes as it threads stabbing retro-rave piano riffs and 303 squelches through a battery of contorted happy-hardcore rhythms and jagged breaks, before the more bass-donminated ‘Bad Science’ swaggers off on a more broken dancehall-informed tip, only to end up tearing itself to pieces amidst furious volleys of pure junglist ‘Amen’ break devastation.
While there’s certainly plenty of headspinning stops and breakdowns packed in amongst the nine tracks collected here, there’s an abiding melodic, almost pop sensibility at work here that renders ‘Gang Molded’ an extremely accessible example of the breakcore genre that keeps a focus on rocking a dancefloor at its heart. It’s a trait that’s particularly obvious on ‘Fair’s Fair’ as distorted generic electro-house synths get pushed through all manner of turntable spinbacks amidst day-glo rave-y synthwork, as well as ‘Now That’s What I Call Positivity’ as cliched female RNB vocals get shredded and contorted amidst a veritable forest of bass-fuelled tics, spasms and sudden drop-outs. All in all, ‘Gang Molded’ represents an impressive album offering from Herv that you can download for free.