Hot on the heels of Mind Safari comes another EP of gloopy electronic beats ‘n’ bass from the Brussels collective known as Herrmutt Lobby.Haters Gonna Hate is brief but it carries substantial weight and should find favour amongst fans of experimental collagists like Flying Lotus, Lapalux and even J Dilla. It sits comfortably within Dutch label Eat Concrete’s own expanding roster of out-there beatmakers, which now includes Baconhead, Aardvarck and Spinachprince, all of whom represent a veritable avant garde of expert knob twiddlers.
Herrmutt Lobby improvise their beats in real time using their own hardware and software invented for the purpose of “doing more with less”. There’s a straight edge-like statement on their website which professes “no loops, no sequences, no backing tracks, no groove machines” and various sites across the web show them fiddling with reappropriated games console joysticks, iPads and other home made beat machines. Their blend of jazz, funk, hip hop and dub flows organically nevertheless, albeit over some seriously screwed times signatures.
The stand out tracks on Haters Gonna Hate, which never quite matches Mind Safari for variety, are the two that bookend the EP. Both of these stretch past five minutes but they sandwich two pieces that don’t get given the same chance to make their marks. ‘Alt Of Ctrl’ opens proceedings and mines deep, reaching through the ears to rattle the brain inside its case and leading into the heavy dub bump of ‘Computer Club’, complete with excited ‘brrap!’ shout-outs. The short boom-bap track ‘Major Grubert’ sounds almost as though it’s being beat-boxed until it breaks down halfway through and slinks into a low-down funk groove, but it pales next to ‘Camel Toe Hoes & Other No-Nos’. With an underlying burble of pigeon noise mutating into a whirligig zip and a spanner-on-pipe clang of a beat there’s a pleasingly tinpot feel to the track’s percussion that encapsulates the collective’s ethos well. Having laid this rickety base down they’re free to build over the top, bringing in spacey organ stabs, zany bursts of bossa nova squiggle and myriad further thuds and pulses. A satisfying end to the EP then, but is a full length too much to ask for? Experimentation like this deserves the time and space in which to develop, so I’m hoping there might be something a little more substantial around the corner.