VERSION 009 Yak - Mido/Darunia
"Anthem alert," reads Hard Wax's description of Version's latest 12-inch. "Pure rhythm cuts (an ultimate DJ weapon too)." Mido / Darunia, by the Sheffield-based artist Yak, AKA John Randall, lives up to these claims. "Mido"'s constant hand drum builds—the first round lasts two minutes—generate irresistible dance floor tension, which is then released, as though from a slingshot, through a stomping 4/4 beat. That the free-flowing 126-BPM A-side is ideal for house and techno sets is a pleasant surprise from a label that, since 2009, has steadfastly championed dubstep. But this swerve is not as radical as it might seem. The hand drum frenzy throughout "Mido" is present in old Version gear like Orson's "Madness" or "Dread Drumz" by Orson and Hops. On those tracks, though, the hand drums were cinched to halting dubstep rhythms. Here, they're set loose.
The bass ruptures under "Mido"'s abundant percussion and ambient rainforest effects echo the German label's UK foundations. So does the steppier rhythm of the B-side, "Darunia," whose percussion advances in cagier steps. It pivots to several rhythmic patterns, criss-crossing like laser tripwires as the emphasis alternates between fast hand drum rallies and cavernous booms. "Darunia"'s moreish timbres and decays convey three-dimensional depth with a rudeness that gels nicely with the Version catalogue.
Ray Philp / Resident Advisor