Discussing Anti.Negative's 'ROOTS EP'
We found Anti.Negative's SoundCloud maybe a year ago and have been blown away by every release he’s kicked out since then, his style is endlessly innovative and inspiring. Any budding producer is doing themselves a disservice sleeping on this guy!
Taylor’s latest offering is an EP on Renraku named; ‘ROOTS’. The pairing of Taylor and Renraku is perfect with his production really symbolising the intelligent design and experimentalism which the label is renowned for. The release takes us on a journey through the depth and emotion of beat music with its unlimited boundaries and styles. Taylor incorporates an mis-mash of genres with everything from ethnic percussion, to beautiful jazz progressions and heavily processed modular sound design. This release stands out for me so much (maybe even more so as I am a bit of a fanboy of Taylors’).
It would be very easy for me to just go on about how much I love each of these tracks all day. Taylor really is a big inspiration to me, I think every producer could take something away from this release, with Taylor making a cohesive piece of work which flows and grows from track to track, maybe the thinking behind the name roots was for this reason.
Roots, the title track of the EP is outstanding. From the offset I knew this would be something special – the pluck of the guitar with the heavy distorted 808 are perfect, with the percussion kicking in. developing on the mystic, ethnic style which Taylor has encapsulated so well. This song is a piece of music rather than being something you would necessarily drop into a set. However, at the same time it is a ‘starter’ to what is to become a full 5 course sitting of a release. Every element in this track works so well in relation to each other. This song is on my ‘beach’ playlist for sure. Something to listen to while reading, with the beautiful summer vibe that the vocals give off. The width of the percussion makes it feel as if they’re rolling round your head, a technique you find regularly in psychedelic jazz or stoner rock, this points to Taylor’s style of producing outside the constraints of a ‘genre’ with influences and adaptations being used from a wide range of sources in every track.
Knock that, this track throws the listener off on a different tangent and is hard to describe in words. The song is what I think some people would describe as an organised mess. The vocal keeps a regular rhythm in the track, with the drums and noises throwing you off every way. The breaks and splits in this track are filled with masterful granular sound design and add an element of wonder. This song doesn’t need to be ‘anything’, its fully hard, full of grit and enough to inspire anyone to just jam the fuck out on their daw, synth, euro-rack and make some mind-altering noise. The build of energy towards the end is sick and again nothing short of masterful, the noises get a bit harsher and everything gets a bit heavier, but this is pulled back and deconstructed before it becomes even slightly tiresome. Finally, we are thrown into some Disney glitter land for the end of this track, which sounds like something you would hear on a fantasy 1980’s sci fi film.
Mentasm, this song has heavy hip hop inspiration from the get-go. Before just chucking us into what I would describe as Taylors take on EDM style beat music. The pads are gorgeous on this which contrast so well with the squeaking plucks which are disgusting. This song is as jekyll and hyde as they come. But melded in such a perfect way. This one needs to be on a huge system, and I think it would send people spare. The constant evolution of the track is what I come to expect with Taylors work but nevertheless it is always amazing to hear being executed so well.
Metamorph, Wow what can I say about this track, it’s amazing, imagine Shades, but 10 times as raw. The intro is this amazing sound scape, which makes me think of a dystopian planet and would work fantastically in conjunction with a film. The lead which comes through the track and then drops is unreal. The little kind of plug pull sound is so tight and just makes the song an absolute weapon. The 2nd Drop’ of this track is again mental. It pulls away from the consensus of production and really creates something so unique and futuristic that I think it will be a solid favourite with the beat scene in general for years to come. The punchier growly bass makes one feel dirty after hearing it. This song makes me want to sprint home and write music.
Thinking Forward, as the name suggests this track is forward thinking, this is something you play to people who then ask what you have been smoking. Presumably super powered DMT from the future in Taylors case haha! The way the track stops on the snares creates the wonkiest fucked up rhythm I have heard for time. I love the incorporation and layering of the sounds in this song and it really ties the release off as a whole.
All in all, this release bangs, and something I would implore everyone looking for some inspiration to have a listen to. It fits so well within the realm of Renraku’s back catalogue and pushes the boundaries of what is being made in the scene now.