Review: J Gabriel & Chuffing Buffy – Transform EP [CONVENT01]

Mosaic Records boss and all round dub techno legend Steve O’Sullivan and close ally Frazer Campbell have been a very good duo in recent years. Steve brings his undisputed years of genre defining experience and Frazer adds a tougher slant to the dub sound. So, it was inevitable that the two would soon be reunited on a release and that comes by way of Onysia Records’ new sister label Convent and their maiden release.

The ‘Transform’ EP from J Gabriel & Chuffing Buffy is a more twilight dancefloor focused cut and sets the tone nicely for future releases on the imprint. Label head J Gabriel’s version treads a slight different path to the remainder of the EP with the bobbing bassline bumping throughout the track soothing pads slink in the shadows that the bassline casts. Steve’s version is, well, Steve O’Sullivan. The effortless swing and swagger that he has managed to distil into his productions is insane. Ever the open book Steve explains a bit about his thought process of his remix, I loved it on first listen and knew I could take the whole thing to a more punchy and dynamic zone (which I hope I achieved haha). Also, the whole process was pretty collaborative with Joseph too which made this a really satisfying project to work on.”

Flipping over to the B side and Frazer extracts the deeper dub influence from the J Gabriel version and feeds them a serious amount of hardware vitamins. His version is a much more muscular cut dedicated to the more peak time hours and with the kit studio he has at his disposal being so very impressive Frazer has the production knowhow to tie it all together. Totally unrelated to Frazer’s epic studio, Steve gives his two cents on creativity over gear, Well, ideas, clearly, are the most important thing. Some of the best trax of the last 30 years have been created on minimal set ups. that doesn’t mean that production isn’t important but a good idea, recorded roughly will always connect more than a poor idea polished to perfection. For me, when I look back at my early music I love the ideas but just wish the production was better haha but for the time they were released I’m still happy with the results. In the more dubby/deep techno realm production really does help bring the ideas centre forward.”

Completing the package of remixes is Arkajo and his classic dub take on ‘Transform Dub’. Convolution reverb abound Arkajo expertly fills out his roomy, brooding version perfectly as if caught in a downpour of dub. It is clear the influence that SOS has had on younger artists but he continues to push the boundaries of his sound, “…after two plus years in the making my first album is being released on Sushitech in September. 20 tracks across 6 slabs of vinyl including collaborations with 17 different artists such as Ricardo Villalobos, Dana Ruh, Thomas Melchior, Christopher Ledger, SIT and Mark Broom.”

He continues, “I’m immensely proud of the release and looking forward to seeing what the response will be two more dub techno releases under my Bluetrain alias are also due out soon- one on Kontakt Records from Copenhagen (a label I’ve loved for a long time) as well as an ep on a new label called Lempuyang which has a lovely mix of deep and dance floor edged dub cuts. As well as that (I’ve had a busy lockdown) I have several remixes on their way and an EP on Bienamier’s new offshoot ‘Variant’ which I recorded with label boss Maco due for release in November.”

The ‘Transform’ EP from J Gabriel & Chuffing Buffy is now available via decks.de.

More info on J Gabriel
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More info on Steve O’Sullivan
Trommel.066 | Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Discogs

More info on Frazer Campbell
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More info on Arkajo
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More info on Convent
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