This was my initial thought after finding out that Orlando resident, Bacon Grease, was releasing her official debut album. Of course this isn’t the first album Bacon Grease has released, far from it. Since 2014 she has released at least eight albums and twice as many EPs and singles, but her self-titled cassette on Popinhil feels different. This might be that it’s on an established and respected label.
One of the major differences here is that the cover features a picture of Bacon Grease performing live. This cover tells us everything we need to know. These recordings are robust, real and improvised using minimal gear – Bacon Grease isn’t messing around.
Given that these are live recordings, ‘November – 16 – 2018’ opens with what might be a sound check before rhythmic synths and hard breakbeats explode from the speakers.
As ‘November – 16 – 2018’ progresses it gets more abrasive and hard hitting. Bacon Grease delivers one of her trademark spoken word pieces, and a melodic synth riff builds and builds until it is an all-consuming beast, the bassline squelches and mutates as it ebbs and flows around horrifically dank breakbeats.
When everything gets up to speed, and we’re into the groove Bacon Grease is acting on instinct and it’s about as cerebral as it gets. Everything is working as one symbiotic unit. Then as quickly as it all came together, it all starts to wind down.
‘June – 8 –2018’ comes flying out of the traps and is more visceral and abrasive than ‘November – 16 – 2018’.
From the opening strains it is reminiscent of a Guilty Simpson track. Huge and static breakbeats give way to the star of the show. The bassline. As it undulates, and mutates, throughout its 14 minute duration ’June – 8 –2018’ has more of a feeling of movement and flux than its predecessor, and the song benefits from it. At times you get lost in the sheer magnitude of the music that Bacon Grease creates, but this is the sloppy charm.
Bacon Grease takes the sound from those early glorious Chicago techno tracks, adds some experimental motifs and delivers half an hour of rugged and enraged techno. This is her most focused and cohesive release to date. This isn’t to say that it couldn't be tighter in places, but its damn effective.
This is the kind of album that when it finishes makes you want to sit, in the quiet, for a bit and comprehend what you have heard. This is what techno should sound like in 2019. Aggressive, slightly wonky but full of emotion and passion.