Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to find out much about Amduscias, apart from the fact that it’s a new alias for an established UK producer who’s already well known amongst the scene. Whatever the artist’s true identity, Amduscias describes the four tracks collected on this debut 12” EP ‘7th Floor’ on Bristol-based label Space Hardware as ‘interweaving UK bass music with British folklore and occultist connotation’.
Perhaps more than anything else, the four tracks collected here hark back more towards dubstep’s early noughties period, with an emphasis on eerie creeping atmospheres and dark hulking machinery, rather than the increasing hybridisation with garage and footwork elements that would subsequently infiltrate the genre over the ensuing years.
Opening track ‘Amduscias’ evokes the dark, hollowed-out aquatic bass-scapes fashioned by the likes of Pinch if they’d been taken in a much colder direction as urgent alarm-like pulses flit amidst sparse woody percussion, treacherously lurching hi-hats and ominous buzzing sub-bass, the icy minor key synths that enter halfway amplifying the sense of dread.
‘She-Witch’ meanwhile drops a skipping broken-beat house rhythm in alongside flashes of zapping electronics and deep rolling bass with what’s easily this EP’s most peaktime-oriented dancefloor offering, calling to. ind some of Martyn’s flirtation with 4/4 rhythms, while ‘That Nonsense Beat’ sends echoes of sampled laughter rippling amidst woozily phased synths as flickering trap-informed dubstep rhythms snap away against almost subliminal swells of cavernous sub-bass.
Finally, ‘War On Venius’ closes this EP what’s perhaps its most striking moment as tribal-sounding percussion clatters away against ominous woodblock hits and dark writhing bass, the rhythms stuttering ad dropping away against a fearsome ambient wash of eerie orchestration and echoing wordless vocals. The stuff of nightmares indeed.