First of all, if you haven’t yet listened to Blawan’s recent Boiler Room mix (complete with tracklist!), you really need to. He’s one of those rare producers who DJ like they produce. His sets are rugged, aggressive beasts. Cut after cut of hard-nosed techno, far removed from the cerebral garage and gently pumping house a lot of his contemporaries will give you when booked to play. His own productions sit apart in the same way. Right from the word go, with the skittering, tightly packed in drums of his Hessle Audio release back in 2010, and ubiquitous white label Getting Me Down, there’s alway been an immediacy about his music that hits in the gut.
This way with a slamming track has steadily intensified over the last year or so. The stripped careening cannonballs that made up his ‘Peaches’ EP, the snarling What You Do With What You Have on R&S Records – a label who in the 90s were putting out some of the kind of rough and ready dance music Blawan’s productions share so many roots with. The first few tracks to emerge (three of them are on that aforementioned Boiler Room mix) from his upcoming Black Sun EP also show a similarly pummeling aesthetic. The song with the most Youtube views by far, and rightly so, is the rather sinisterly titled Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage.
Much in the same way that Getting Me Down emerged last year, Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage has no release plans that we know of. It’s fired people up purely through being ripped, put onto Youtube, and passed about. Simple as that. But why has this song in particular got people’s attention when there’s plenty of other unreleased, and of strong quality, Blawan tracks on that Boiler Room mix?
It’s a song that’s almost too simple. The title repeated in a robotic monotone over muscular drums, and a skull-clubbing 4/4 rhythm. It’s obnoxious, brittle and kicking with a straight-forward, brazen, intensity. There’s no real development or progression in it. It’s a straight-forward floor-pounder from beginning to end. There’s nothing self-consciously clever about this track, its not trying to push boundaries, and in a year’s time I doubt anyone will still have it in their DJ sets. There’s something though about its almost cartoonish bludgeoning – an effect exacerbated further by the ridiculous title and vocal – that sticks.
There’s an artfulness to how monstrous it is, a pristine quality to the fact that there is nothing but brutal sensation at work. It’s this balance between seeming so disposable and yet so perfectly formed that makes it so instantaneous. It’ll tear a garish hole in any DJ set, and people will go nuts to it because, as has been said, Blawan makes music purely for the gut, and this is an example of him at his most instinctual. There is absolutely nothing emotional or subtle about Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage. That is its art. Because, let’s be honest, at 3am, in the strobe-strewn dark of a club, who wants subtle?