I never got around to writing about the Alternate/Endings LP: Lee Bannon’s Ninja Tune début and an album forged in the throws of UK Jungle, inspiration taken from the likes of Goldie, Aphex Twin and boroughs boy Burial. A Californian hip-hop producing affiliate with major successes in the system, a Pro Era Crew soldier with a taste for things beyond the horizon. Carving his own sound/genre into a fierce landscape. Alt/Endings was just that: fierce. Its breakbeats were destructive, its noise so dangerous that one listener was quoted to “fly out of his own bedroom window” whilst riding on an LB high so powerful that celestial forces unknown propelled his shellshocked body away from his hi-fi system, leaving a comet-like tail of blood, tears, broken wave formats and nasty G stank.
Alternate/Endings shattered my eardrums and re-wired my musical thinking in ways impossible – its gorgeous blend of hard, snapping crisp 808, US-bread trap and sub-heavy hip-hop with the UK-inspired post-naughties rave and haunting garage was alien in ways mesmerising. Addictive to the nth degree. And now we sit on the edge of the earth, our feet dangling over a pit-less cascade: a blanketed Ninja in the dark void launches a spiralling wax disc towards the human planet – the Pattern of Excel approaches.
Forget chopped and screwed breaks and douse your trigger fingers with an electric bucket of drone. The first LP explodes in your chest cavity like a nail-filled hand grenade, the sophomore, from what we can tell, is about to drift the shattered hull of your intergalactic star cruiser into oblivion and beyond.
Since the A/E release, Lee Bannon has been hunkered down in his secret beat-lab hooking up cables to lifeless corpses and jamming their fingers in auxiliary ports. He’s been hard grafting to steer the ship away from works he’s already covered, broken beatlings left chirping in their nest, wings spread and flying the roost, whilst momma-bird launches into the open skies in search of pastures untouched and un-Bannon’ed.
Artificial Stasis is the lone messenger, an ambient dreamscape, whispering still of his hip-hop roots, but pushing your mind, body and soul further and further into uncharted territory. The critics are already weeping with lustre at the approaching final product, leaving us to swoon on the front lines until the rest of the mystery is unveiled to the thirsty public… and we’re thirsty LB, we’re so, so thirsty…
And how long must we wait till our parched lips be quenched?
Oh, a little while yet…
Pre-order Pattern of Excel here – and wait for the next two months to pass.