I was listening to tunes with some crew last weekend and rediscovered this album from 2016, Artificial Selections by Christchurch duo Fuk th3 4or Mat.

A collaboration project album between Pylonz (James Meharry) and Kaps (Michael Petrie), who between 2011 to 2015 started to create their own mutation of heavy Jungle and hardcore breakbeat-orientated, mid-tempo bass music they would call 3 Beat. As we are currently in New Zealand Music month it feels like the perfect selection.

During this time sound system orientated music had grown substantially in New Zealand, since the mid 2000’s. A slew of quality international Drum and Bass and Dubstep artists were still coming through New Zealand, headlining festivals and regular club events. Meanwhile things were changing in the underground bass music scene as local producers were switching up rhythms, vibes and tempos.

Kaps and Pylonz, both original Junglists from Christchurch had individually been producing their own dubplates outside this collaboration for a while. Weaving together classic cut up breaks with tough Techno 909 drums into intricate 3/4 and sometimes 4/4 timed soundscapes of lush rave vibes, all underpinned by a deep consistent sub bass groove.

The track on this album that got my attention was the opening track, ‘Transformed’. It’s a big, bold and beautiful Junglist roller which opens with a deep note over scattering break beats, almost reminiscent to me of music by the iconic band Shapeshifter. Interestingly Kaps and Pylonz both worked on engineering the first Shapeshifter album ‘Real time’ and the gritty production style of that first album can be felt a bit here.

‘Transformed’ quickly changes vibe to a melancholic mood prior to the drop, like the melody is driven by some kind of feeling of loss. The enormous warehouse rave space filling breakbeats jump up front and centre as the bass line lands like a tonne of bricks, just like the feeling of classic mid-90’s Jungle.

The album ‘Artificial Selections’ explores further ravey vibes with elements and gritty analogue production influences of raw techno, although this album feels very much on a Jungle tip.

I recommend checking out the album on Bandcamp. While the pair have not made anything together under this name for a long time now it is worth following them on Bandcamp in case something new comes about.

More info:
Fuk th3 4or Mat Bandcamp