Bristol’s Batu has had a hell of a year. His label Timedance has come to be regarded as one of the most vital new dance imprints, receiving ‘Best Label’ props from RA, Fact, Mixmag and practically everyone else in 2016. Meanwhile he has released a near-constant stream of knockout solo releases, culminating in the Marius EP, released in June to much acclaim via the universally-adored Hessle Audio imprint.
Like fellow Bristolians Peverelist, Hodge, Lurka et al, Batu creates swinging, broken-beat techno with a dubby spaciousness and low-end weight inherited from dubstep, jungle and grime. His tracks are driven by precise, rhythmic subs and dense drums that build perpetually towards peaks that never quite arrive. As time has progressed, his music has become increasingly melodic: his latest release for Hessle is strewn with streaks of colour and splashes of melody that breathe new life into his dense rhythmic textures.
In a recent interview with Crack Magazine, Batu spoke about being driven to create “those times on a dancefloor where you hear something new, and captivating, and interesting, and imaginative, and you lose your mind”. Accordingly, his mix for us is full of these double-take moments: the ricocheting arps of Peugeot 305’s Mother Jump; the bleeping undulations of LOFT’s funemployed; the constant crescendo of Peder Mannerfelt’s Footprints In Solid Rock remix. As expected, the mix is loaded full of dubs and first plays, strung together by UK-leaning house, techno and electro cuts from T.Williams, Roman Flügel, Umfang and beyond.