‘Drop the Vowels’ is the debut album from Millie & Andrea, better known as Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker who is one half of Demdike Stare. They’d collaborated on a few 12″s as Millie & Andrea for Modern Love’s sublabel Daphne over the past few years.
The opening ‘Gif Riff’ starts proceedings with some unexpected indian chanting and gamelan music. Things get heavy with ‘Stay Ugly’, a heavily compressed bass track which starts with a scuffing noise, metallic beats and heaving distorted bass. Its an awkward but exhilarating listen, continually dismantling itself into incoherent rhythms but manages to be remain tight. There is a distinct jungle theme running throughout this album, with ‘Temper Tantrum’ a clear bassweight floor filler. ‘Spectral Source’ is of a similar ilk, using a more unusual puncuated rhythm.
Stott and Whittaker really turn on the style with an absolute bastard of a track with the aptly named ‘Corrosive’. Darkcore electro permeates the spaces until some grubby dungeon bass and analogue bleeps click into gear. It strips down to silence before an enormous scuzzed up, messed up, off-the scale bass stab pounding mercilessly, flooring you with enough ammo to flatten Godzilla! All the music that preceded it is brought back, mixed into an electrifying frenzy of noise and primitive bass.
‘Drop the Vowels’ is a bare drum and bass track slowly gathering momentum, before some darkcore menace and incessant drum breaks pile on the pressure. ‘Back Down’ is a chilling slice of dub, a slow roller thats full of percussive atmosphere and friction. ‘Quay’ ends the album, a mournful ambient track full of grace and mystery. Its a perfect end to a quite stunning album.
There is not one duff track on Millie & Andrea’s jaw-dropping debut album, DJ’s all over will have a field day with many of these tracks. ‘Drop the Vowels’ is a bruising, visceral wonder that sticks two fingers up at everything else. Pure hardcore magnificence.