Alongside fellow Gang Fatale members Neana, Georgia Girls and Ra’s Al, Trap Door (born Connor Shepherd) has rocketed into the popular consciousness over the past several months. Whereas Neana cuts deep with razor-sharp percussive tools and Georgia Girls throws an array of frenzied samples and sonic manipulations into the mix, Manchester-resident Trap Door prefers a clean, stripped back approach to dance music. While an exact release date has not been announced quite yet, Shepherd will release the Emerald Dove EP on B.YRSLF DIVISION at some point in the next several months. Emerald Dove will feature remixes from Mike G, Dreams and Grandivaa.
As one of the key stones in Manchester’s growing grime foundation, Madam X has proven more than capable on major outlets like BBC 1Xtra, but her efforts have always filtered into her label Big People Music and the Murkage collective she takes part in. Her latest efforts were announced over the weekend and take the form of Big People’s first compilation, the finger-on-the-pulse heavy Kaizen Movements Vol. 1. Rumbling soca from Murlo, orchestral patois from Samrai and metallurgic electro from Sudanim take center stage on Kaizen Movements, but the rest of the 10-tracker (Trap Door, Timbah, Dark0 and more) is far from a slack-jawed effort. Download the full comp or individual tracks below and be sure to throw the Madam some praise on her Facebook or Twitter.
Trap Door doesn’t make trap — which is, well, a good thing. Instead, Manchester-based Connor Shepherd constructs exquisite club compositions while applying a stripped down, retro aesthetic to contemporary dance music. As part of the Gang Fatale collective alongside the likes of past Astral Plane mixer Neana, Ra’s Al and Georgia Girls, Trap Door is at the forefront of the percussive, linear club music that draws from both sides of the Atlantic. At times, Sheperd sounds like he’s channeling the spirit of Arabian Prince, infusing euphoric synth melodies into a melange of abrasive kicks and snares. Other times, he’s clearly looking to the Atlantic seaboard, utilizing vocal cuts, “ha” samples and kick patterns from Baltimore, Philladelphia, Jersey and New York. The Trap Door sound is decidedly fresh and new, but always emits a cool, calm and collected attitude that transcends the ephemeral qualities of the club trax format.
For his Astral Plane Mix contribution, Shepherd condensed the essence of Trap Door into a single, easily digestible document. The mix exists in a world where Drake spends most of his time driving up and down I-95 in a wretched, hydraulic-laden abomination and gun fingers are the common currency. If the think breaks don’t rile you up, the “ha” samples surely will and the calls for bad mind and worst behaviour will finish off the job. Hit the jump for a look at the track list (you might just discover a few gems) and stream/download below.