Paleman – Halfout/ Etch/ Chapel SCHOOL002


Paleman has been bringing some of the most interesting house and techno to clubs across the country since early 2012, with his first productions being supported by the likes of Loefah, Jackmaster and Redlight from conception. He also co-produced what is probably one of the stand out tunes of 2012 with Zed Bias, Furrball, something many top Djs have been playing recently. I caught Paleman in Birmingham recently and his sets lived up the expectations his own music has set, a blend of house, garage and general bass music with heavy influence on the bass.

It was fairly clear that Paleman was going to be making an appearance on School records, with Klose One and Loefah heavily involved in the promoting of his tunes, it was inevitable. School kept us waiting for number two, but this time was made all the more worth it, with a 3 track Paleman release last Monday (one tune exclusive to vinyl, and another on digital, just to keep things nice and simple).

The tune featuring on both versions of the release, Halfout, makes it very clear from the first note that this one is a ‘fists in the air’ kind of song, with a pounding 4×4 kick pattern featuring nearly start to finish. Paleman’s manipulation of classic 808 drums has always fascinated me, and this song is a perfect example. The hi hats are muted and stunted, giving them a very techno feel and keeping the pace with the song, while the off-beat 808 rimshot has a more echoing hollow feel, which gives great contrast to the percussion in the piece. The strange, heavily altered vocal sample further adds to the general atmosphere of the tune, and keeps it fresh and original as it moves through the relatively repetitive patterns.

The next tune, a digital exclusive this time, is ‘Etch’, another unique techno piece, but this time with less focus on the rhythmic pounding of a drum, and more on the ways in which distant noises and echoing tin drums can be used to create an atmosphere. The whole song has a constant build up, echoing clashes and clangs come fast and furiously; meaning no two seconds of Etch sounds the same. It almost seems as if the piece progresses with every 4 beats that pass, and there is barely any chance to notice a repetitive pattern. The use of additional noises outside of the usual pallet of musical samples really makes  Etch what it is; showing Paleman has real talent in the techno department.

The vinyl only exclusive tune is ‘Chapel’. My heart sank slightly when I saw I wouldn’t be able to get a high quality digital of this song, as it has been a personal favourite for months now. Nevertheless, it is great this tune’s fantastic percussion has properly seen the light of day. The rolling drums in this song build up and up to create a multi-dimensional percussion masterpiece, with a low deep synth keeping the whole piece flowing.   There are more interesting vocal samples here too, using very specific splices of a sample to create a whole new clip. This is something a lot of artists have been trying to do recently, and not all successfully; when you hear a piece where the sample has been chopped up perfectly, such as in Chapel, it is highly effective.

Paleman is set to smash it all year round now, with some amazing releases from him already and no doubt there will be more and more to come. Check out his mix on School Record’s Rinse Fm show from the May 26th, there are some seriously brilliant pieces of music in there.  Keep your eyes on Paleman if you’re a fan of really techy house, there’s some great things to come.

Written By Michael Thomas

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