Diving Bird 1

A 3 track dub single (16m 3s) — released February 24th 2017 on Idle Hands

It's no secret that Idle Hands is a label built on a foundation of dub. From the earliest releases by Pev, Kowton and Szare through to more recent output from O$VMV$M and Christian Jay, the influence of Bristol's soundsystem heritage looms large in the myriad electronic music threads the label encompasses. Sometimes this influence is explicit, other times implied, but the principles of sub heavy, spacious music for both body and mind guide the stylistic arc of the label as a direct result of the label's long time immersion in roots and dub culture.

Andy Mac is an artist who echoes this spirit more acutely than most. His innate understanding of dub comes from a life spent collecting and playing the music, both as part of the Falling Up collective and as a DJ on his own terms. This influence has been felt in his previous productions, not least on theRegular & Irregulardoublepack he released on Idle Hands back in 2013.

Now Andy makes a welcome return to Idle to kick off a new series under the banner ofDiving Bird. So named after the avian population off the coast of his native Cornwall, these new productions are the result of a fertile creative period since taking some time out from the low end thrum of Bristol life. With sound sources including field recordings from multiple trips to West Africa, the series is the most pronounced distillation of his pure-hearted passion for dub, making a natural progression from the more mechanical angles of his previous work to fall into an pulse that refigures the pioneering work of Tubby, Perry et al in a modern context.

The meditative lilt of "Longships" sports whispers of Basic Channel in its strafing chord stabs, but there's a more organic, roots-minded finish to the percussion that stands distinct from contemporary dub techno. "HorseFlyDub" places steppers energy alongside haunting atmospherics, coming on both sprightly and introspective in the same beat. "10" pushes out into more experimental realms, weaving fragments of weather systems and folk musicians into a dreamlike beatless reverie that aligns with the recent forays into ambient music that Idle Hands has undertaken.

Striking a balance between distinct personality and deeply rooted authenticity, the first volume ofDiving Bird marks another bold step forward for Andy Mac, an artist who shifts his stance with each release and makes it sound completely natural.

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