James Bangura // Harrar

One of the most exciting producers operating in Washington DC makes the move to major German indie !K7 with an assured 12″ of two halves.

After a sterling run taking in labels like Incienso, Mister Saturday Night and Vanity Press, James Bangura appears to be drawing plenty of praise for his mutant club sound where techno, dubstep and breakbeat become supple putty to stretch, compress and coagulate into vibrant new forms. It’s something of a surprise to see the DC resident snapped up by a label as big as !K7, but he steps up to the occasion with two razor sharp demonstrations of his strident voice as a producer, no doubt propelling him to further recognition on an undeniable ascendance. 

‘Harrar’ manages to be both slippery and surefooted, toying with warping bass and twitchy uptempo beat construction that sounds a hairs breadth from collapse without ever falling over itself. It’s a sound which could as easily sit in a DJ Stingray set as electrify a Livity Sound dance, testament to these hybridised times without falling into the trap of ‘grey area’ genre agnosticism. Proving there’s plenty of scope for variety in his style, ‘Witness Dub’ instantly sets a different mood with its Sunday morning chord blooms and rugged, bumping house beat. There’s still an off-kilter edge to the track, but it’s instantly more human than the artful techiness of the A side, adding up to a potent calling card from an ever-increasingly essential producer from a city that seems to have no shortage of talented mavericks.