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Lawgiverz

Data Treat EP

(Addictech; US: 13 Mar 2008; UK: 13 Mar 2008)

Food of the Gawds

As Hunter S. Thompson was to journalism, so the Lawgiverz are to club standard breakbeat. Combining the awesome talent and interplanetary vision of Paul R-Kidz and Nick Noize, the UK-based Lawgiverz redefine the role of the DJ as the conduit of spiritual awakening with their intense live shows and imposing glowing third eye white masks. Unfortunately, their mission to raise expectations as to what a true dance floor experience should be ends up leaving them relatively little time to produce. Data Treat is their longest original release yet, since they have only mustered a few, albeit spectacular, 12-inch singles since 2001. As such, I cannot stress the importance of this five track EP enough.


In line with the far more prolific work of Tipper, the three original tracks here rank among the most intelligent breaks ever programmed and reprogrammed. “Squirmage” is a nine-minute epic with sweeping subbase, liquid stabs, bleeps, reversing effects, light scratching, and all manner of electronic manipulation as stolen from the brain of Terence McKenna and fed through a laptop. They never stop tweaking from start to finish. Lawgiverz despise presets and fight industry standards wherever they find them. In an interview with DVNT, they’re quoted as saying “music acts as a catalyst for our evolutionary progress. It is a way of observing ourselves far beyond the limits of spoken language. It offers you a brief moment to connect to the overmind. Jungians would call it the collective unconscious, others may call it God.” When I say “Squirmage” takes you on a journey through alien realms and the deepest inner mind while still servicing your boogie shoes, I mean it literally.


Just as deep, “Tunnel Bump” is a more upbeat number. This peak time floor killer uses a UFO subbase, bubbly warbles, forceful leads, a throat singing mantra, and a punchy “uhn” hip-hop sample to open the door to another dimension. The Lawgiverz remix of Matinee Club’s “Sometimes” is another sure pleaser, taking the original’s slightly tacky electro pop sounds to face the true nature of the soul. That’s as close to pop as R Kids and Noize are likely to get.


Data Treat is music perfection, regardless of genre. Lawgiverz are the present and future, reconstituted as the snappiest yet most intricately arranged nu breaks in existence. It won’t change the world instantly, but momentarily, like Avril Lavigne. It’ll change it slowly and meaningfully like Nick Drake, even if the ramifications aren’t apparent to us all at this moment in subjective time. Though, as fulfilling as Data Treat is, all of us followers are dying for a full-length. On that day, a new religion will be marked sanctified.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


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