Yushh // Two Knockout EPs

One of the driving forces in Bristol’s continued exploration of fractured soundsystem sonics comes good with her first two EPs of sparkling, expertly designed musique pour la danse.

Look Mum No Hands (Wisdom Teeth)

Having founded the Pressure Dome label and built up her own presence within the Bristol bassweight club music scene, Yushh’s first outright release has been some time coming. Jessica Hartley has been scattering tracks around for a few years now, on the likes of Banoffee Pies, Rhythm Section and Awkwardly Social, so along with her consistent DJ presence people should have some idea of what to expect, but even still it’s a voyage of discovery as we swerve into a fully-fledged four track drop for the always-reliable Wisdom Teeth. 

Choosing to come through with this EP for Facta and K-Lone’s label rather than putting it out herself helps adjust the focus on the music, and there’s plenty of appropriately Wisdom-ready atmospherics and acutely angled beats to absorb, but importantly Hartley sounds assured in her own production style.

There’s a strident soundsystem weight to the title track which calls back to the primal bass drops of the hardcore-derived music which has come before, but in the densely detailed percussion and ecological flourishes of the sonic movement, there’s a modernist finish which brings the music bang up to date. From the sprightly synth wriggles and warm chords of bashy house-tooled ‘Same Same’ to the angular futurism of ‘Close Fall’, the Yushh sound shimmers and gleams with invention while absolutely capturing the current bass music moment at its most engaging.

Siro Silo (Well Street Records)

Hot on the heels of Yushh’s knockout debut for Wisdom Teeth comes this follow-up for Well Street. From her position as the Pressure Dome boss to these two label link ups, her area of focus as an artist seems clear. Such affiliations aren’t especially restrictive, but you might at least be able to divine the Yushh sound orbiting the shapeshifting, soundsystem techno sphere that continues to incubate fresh approaches to sound design and rhythm while holding true to a certain dubby sensibility.

There’s plenty of dubbing going on with ‘Kara Arriba’, a taut, low tempo workout pivoting around minimalist bleeps and bass, where pitch-bending delay trails come as standard and functionality for the dance doesn’t mean dialling down the freaky sonics. It’s notable Yushh isn’t restricting herself to straight-up club tracks on these first EPs, as ‘Siro Silo’ tips towards a dreamy electronica draped in elegant melodics. There’s plenty of energy in the track, and even some occasional bass growls which nod to D&B, but it’s positively calibrated towards backroom bean bag reveries rather than anything remotely peak time.

‘Dough’ is similarly mellow in its execution, bathed in cosy pads with a Jan Jelinek tint to them. The drums have a sprightly edge, with space to burst into flurries of intricate action, but the overall effect is still closer to smokers delights than strobe light fantasies. ‘OXI Ambigan’ confirms this idea even more explicitly, chiming with half time dub rhythms and aqueous textures shot through with enough detail to align this kind of semi-ambient with the output from the 3XL crew.

Neatly aligned with her prior EP without repeating any tricks, Siro Silo EP comes on with confidence and clarity, but above all else it’s simply a joy to melt into. The production shimmers with care and attention, offering up reams of pulses and pings to marvel at, whether blissing out with your best mates at an ungodly hour or vibing out of your own body on the daily commute.