Rowdent - The Rowdent EP on Wonk

Words by: Kristan J Caryl
Posted: 16/12/10 11:10

Wonk, if you didn't know, is a label run by Kelvin Andrews and Danny Spencer AKA Soul Mekanik.  Here, their still young label offers up the first in what is said to be a string of releases from new studio pairing Rowdent, AKA Dennis White and Rowan Hasson (a pair about which little else is known).  In this age of information over load, such an information reticence makes for a refreshing change and allows one to approach this EP free of preconceptions, expectations or anything else...

Opening track 'Get a Bet On' is a prickly, digitalised cut which builds on a chunky house beat from the start.  As a sci-fi mystery builds in the background, sinewy synths wind their way along and, as the track breaks then pushes on again, there's an air of Pokerflat's late night colour or Martin Landsky's polished sound design in the way the beats bristle.  So far, you're likely to think, nothing much to get too excited about. 

But then comes second cut 'Rushin Roulette' which operates in wholly different spheres and instantly has you wondering, just who are this Rowdent pair?

It's a propulsive beast stuffed with effervescing rhythms, dubstep bass energy and broken beats which wouldn't sound out of place on a mutant bass label like Bristol's Immerse.  Constantly pulsing forwards, it lurches along a dystopian, prickly-hot landscape with a throbbing sub bass hum that's as intimidating to listen to as it is inviting to dance to.  Dark, heavy, busy; it makes for the EP's undoubted zenith.

It's back to more familiar territory for final offering  'Um Bongo,' a predictably African effort with some busy percussive workouts at its 4/4 core.  As warm, bounce-y and bendy chords hang in the thick air, it makes for something which treads water rather too long for it to stay in your memory beyond the final bar.  Overall, though, the diversity here, and particularly the strength of 'Rushin Roulette,' signal good things may well be ahead for this new studio duo.

Artist: Rowdent
Title: The Rowdent EP
Label: Wonk

Get A Bet On
Rushin' Roulette
Um Bongo

Our Rating: 7/10


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