Electronic music is filled with men of mystery from Zomby to Burial and like his XL Label mate Jai Paul, MssingNO fits nicely into this category having released a highly acclaimed EP on Goon Allstars the producer then disappeared, to do what? Travel the world? Work a 9 to 5? Observe the gritty world around him? Who knows, but whatever MssingNO got up to whilst missing in action it sure as hell lit a fire up under his arse. Because Fones is exceptional.
As an EP Fones fits into the ever so popular and growing grime 2.0 genre with icicle beats enveloping street level aggression. Layered on top of each track are sped up female vocals which could have come straight from the PC music back catalogue.
Each track is incredibly textured with perhaps Scope standing out as the strongest track. Annie Mac has been dropping Scope regularly on her week night show giving it as much acclaim as I am here. Sparkly synths kickoff the track before they give way to a vocal which stands somewhere between J-Pop and UK Garage, after which the bass kicks in with a vibe that could be best described as influenced by two-step but is in fact from a world of its own.
The track Inta was released last year on XL Recordings fantastic Chapter VI album, a mission statement to the future of dance music from the UK’s best and most important indie label. A similar statement of intent is also laid down by MssingNo on Fones, as the producer uses the release to provide an insight into what grime and the future of UK bass music should, if sense allows, sound like.
Certainly this release won’t be for every grime and UK basshead out there. But those who are more adventurous will only gain from getting hold of a copy of Fones. If this is, as MssingNO envisions, the future of grime and bass music then that future is shaping up to be an experimental and exciting adventure.