Here at The 405, I serve a dual purpose. Not only do I write, I can be called “the token American,” what with my 8 hours lag behind everyone else, my dropping of the letter U from certain words, and my fully rhotic accent. It seems for once my native Californian self may have found the EP to identify with this year – grime producer D.O.K.’s latest on Hyoerdub, West Coast. Awww hell yeah. Now I can get into this without the cold apprehension of identifying with the genre! Of course I jest, for I was in that whole Dizzee Rascal fanclub and generally found the style to be worth digging through for a bit, then fell out of fascinated interest and relegated those LPs, EPs, and singles to their neatly organized folders. Looks like I should have paid attention (or read those increasingly atrocious monthly regurgitation's by P4K), since D.O.K.’s return seems to signal some changing tide, or at the very least is a telling sign of the genre’s refusal to keel over and die. Never mind the past, strap yourself into an old Chevy, blast some Tupac, and get ready to traverse the West Coast.

Well, this is atypically typical. Hallmarks of the past connote the future overall; half-time drums greet with a needling synth that has been obviously modeled after the OG (-funk) West Coast sound of the Minimoog (you know, like on ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang’). With the near typical “deep” bass and then a near banal Brownian “Woo!” sample carrying the song throughout its entirety, ‘West Coast (feat. Terror Danjah)’ burns up almost four minutes of time while emphasizing the additive process of editing, often switching up effects and drops as much as the bass. The end result is short enough to listen to on repeat and long enough to feel satiating given the amount of edits, breaks, and pitch downs there are. Despite this, where ‘West Coast’ and its partner, the more club-oriented skank-funk ‘West Coast VIP,’ fall short happens to be in the length department. Their bite-sized mindset does indeed work as a filling course, but oftentimes ideas feel half-baked at worst and painfully truncated at best. ‘VIP’ completely changes (and arguably improves) the lead synth melody and editing, but limited to one loop with only minor changes in breaks the entire lead melody feels anemic and dashed off. Similarly, the title track keeps things to a limited output but at least manages to change the notes as well as the placement of the sounds in a minor upgrade in terms of approach and end result. ‘East Coast’ comes off more as an early ‘90s acid house song (or if Autechre had composed ‘Didgeridoo’), and ends up being the single most enjoyable moment overall thanks to a decided lack of ear-bristling high end…albeit sadly at the cost of real trunk bumping bass.

Worth giving at least one spin, West Coast isn’t exactly a mind-blowing experience, but one that at least holds attention without being soporific or slipshod. Supposedly “dancefloor ready,” it wouldn’t be too far off to see these tracks worked cleverly into a larger mix or even germinating some very successful remixes. This isn’t half bad for the time being, though. Good job, Hyperdub – you still have the gift of quality control.

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