Traits – Traits

People possess many Traits. Sometimes, those traits manifest as oversized skulls sitting atop the torso sans neck vertebrae. Seems to be very common among television salespeople.

People possess many Traits. Sometimes, those traits manifest as oversized skulls sitting atop the torso sans neck vertebrae. Seems to be very common among television salespeople.

Artist: Traits
Title: Traits
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0205
Keywords: Breakcore, Jungle, Ragga
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Hey, remember me? I’m that kid who had a report due on raggacore jungle breakbeats. In space. All those Encyclopaedias weren’t much help, so I’m gonna have to write this thing using original sources.

The artist known as Traits had a winning formula for blowing my mind when I was sent this album so many years ago. There’s plenty of noise here, harsh at times. The rhythms are pushed hard into the red, chopped, screwed, with a smattering of Elephant Man samples mixed throughout for additional flavor. It’s like ragga noisecore. I love it.

‘Trigga Happy Natty’ starts us off with some wildly oscillating high pitched tones, then screams into the ear with a blast of white-hot noise. Drums drop at lightning speed, and the sampled sounds are on a rampage. It’s like the sound of multiple jungle tropes being smashed together in a blender, and it’s total chaos. The idea of dancing to something like this seems improbable; one can only sit back in awe.

‘Murder Tune’ was one of my instant faves, a barrage of amen snares in no discernible time signature, sampled vox… then we come to a breakaway breakbeat section to end.

‘Kiki Man’ throws us into a familiar soundscape of ragga samples and breaks, then drops us off in a playground of heavy grooves and distorted guitar for a bit. More wacky wild amen chaos toward the end.

After that is ‘Blaze The Fire’, another one I liked, for it’s semblance of a groove, the vocals… it feels like something you could almost dance to, except when it doesn’t. I mean, you could play this really loud and incite drunken displays of aggression.

‘Cockringbling’ starts with a voice sample, then beats us over the head with a giant stick made from distorted bass drums, a pounding migraine of rhythms rises up like a knot. I like the brief sample of bells at the end.

Then, on ‘Darkness Surrounds Us’, we’re treated to some chill sounds, really nice, and some beat reconstruction, parts of the groove that emerges flange out a bit. It’s nice to hear that kind of manual flange effect on a snare drum after so long. Then, the sampled ragga vocals get chopped and thrown in! This is, arguably, one of the best pieces on here, as you can get lost in the rhythm, it’s coherent on this track.

There was something else… oh, right, another few tracks! ‘Fight The Pope’ is a bit more downtempo, funky, and sample-heavy, a bit broken. Loving the loud noisy elements, hoovers, a clap track, machine gun breaks, drums run through distortion, gabba beats, all get folded in.

‘Execution Style’ feels twisted up, contorted breaknoise, harsh wall of breaks, totally glitched to shit! Gotta love it!

‘Lion’s Den’ is quiet at first, then adds some techno wind zaps. The rhythm that enters the mix is slower, but it picks up with the addition of micro drum cuts filling out the 16ths. It’s dark, with only faint traces of ragga ambiance, which is mostly replaced with machine-like techstep elements, some acidbass bouncing around.

Next is ‘Mi Gun Makes Dem Run’, a twisted vocal, heavy break grooves! Really good one, the head spins while the mix plays with that line between “are these samples out of sync, or is this just a really obscure and broken time sig?” It’s hard to tell. They’re the right proportion of “on” and “off” to fuck with you.

Last one is ‘Killjoy’. Love the sound at the beginning, distorted chill pads. The drums are frenetic and jerky, convulsing all over the place, spitting. Here, the rhythms are completely mutable, and everything in the mix sounds like it’s being torn down and destroyed.

Awesome!

So, my research concludes that it is theoretically possible to listen to this album by clicking on the link below, but I currently lack sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this hypothesis is correct, therefore the experiment will need to be carried out by our readers at home or in the lab.

https://archive.org/details/Traits-Traitsnjmp3-0205

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