Machinedrum – Gunshotta

Title: Gunshotta

Artist: Machinedrum

Album: Vapor City

Year: 2013

Genre: Drum ‘n’ Bass, UK Garage, Electronic, Aquacrunk, Progressive Hip Hop

Travis Stewart’s music is some of the most genre-defining in the continually growing UK Bass scene. Whether collaborating or operating as Machinedrum, the Berlin-based producer effortlessly subverts genre tropes and blends styles without ever coming off as a dilettante or a trend-hopping hack. Room(s) was a notable example of this kind of handiwork, as Stewart spent most of the album synthesizing elements of footwork, R&B, and the nebulous continuum of UK bass music.

On “Gunshotta”, the latest leak from his forthcoming Vapor City (out September 30 on Ninja Tune), Machinedrum continues in a similar fashion, with some more-than-welcome modifications. The track vibrates with a darker nocturnal glow similar to his previous single “Eyesdontlie”, but you don’t feel the full kick of this power trip until nearly halfway through, when a raspy ragga sample makes way for the song’s imminent drop. What really sets “Gunshotta” apart, though, is the way Stewart’s seductive and deeper-than-before elements are strategically placed, under a murky and foggy surface: Heavily filtered rave stabs, pattering hi-hats, and blips of soulful vocals all offer immersive layers of depth. It’s his most focused yet still-elusive track I’ve heard in his entire saga of ravey beats.