The lines between underground drum and bass and its leftfield, more experimental twin have always been razor thin. Sitting in the scrapyard in between, YLAS is a brutalized variation on the Martin Broadrick axis of abusive jungle electronics. Essentially a single lengthy piece, with a flipside dub knack up Degradation, Iceman Junglist Kru has the genre’s rules laid out but refuses to treat them with any sort of soft touch.
Initiating the bad vibes with a low-on-ice refrigerator drone, the tension glacially ratchets into more digital tones. Grim and clinical, metal is scraped around the rim of a china plate that sets the teeth on edge. It’s probably not a spoiler but there’s a drop. An aborted baptism of amens, gnarled rough, and strobe-lit. Bleak club scenes eventually morph into extended scapes that would bully Burial back on the bus to South London. Beats shuffle as holding patterns emerge.
Degradation takes Side A and hollows out its ribcage, letting bats skitter around while a rhythmic clang/pulse drives the undertow. Degradation doesn’t deconstruct or reconfigure, they’ve Incrediblemeltingmanned it. Acid scored and pummelled into something that ends up running down the sides of itself, Degradation’s take judders unstably. Burning out in a brief noise portion, spitting like water in oil, the frantic smoothes into a downtempo groove like rolling the FM dial through pirate radio and radiation/concrete detritus. Closing out / burning out as watery toll fills its lungs.