Brighton based Bobby Champs made waves earlier this year with his Moonlight EP, a collection of demos he never expected to be signed. Well they were, and they were pretty damn impressive. His latest offering 'Drag Queen' on Pictures Music is set for release on the 20th of August and has been described as a toe curling exploration into the 'nightlife of London at 3am and Berlin at midnight'. Whilst this sounds abstract, when you listen to the release you understand said description, there's an abstract after hours wandering going on, a peak time flutter, an anticipation of what lies ahead of the night. A drag queen by definition, is someone dressed up, purveying as something glamourous, a mask of what is really underneath. Whilst this release is glamourous as far as techno is concerned it is anything but superficial, there is real depth here and a clear indication of how Champs has progressed as an artist.



It starts off with the title track 'Drag Queen', which has got an immediately appealing left sounding wonk aspect to it. Scratching synths and on point wandering chords are interwoven into unusual patterns, creating a kind of textured audible experience. It drops down into a nice little flutter, an immediate dance twitcher, you can't help but shrug your shoulders into time with it, it's a bit eerie, there's a dark overtone to it, but it's undeniably attractive as a track. Next up 'Latte' which relates to its sister 'Drag Queen' but is more of a club track, there's a little hint of piano house with the synths, there's that nice alarming subtle cymbal sound and deep kicks. 'Charlie' lures you in with some twitchy percussive clicks, then that 2am bass line comes rolling in, with an appropriate menacing techno vocal sample, this track packs a serious punch with a heavy weight collective use of clever drum patterns. Againb Chamos succeeds in not ramming it down your throat, it builds smoothly despite the aggressive elements. The final offering 'Mint400' is related to its brothers and sisters on the EP and has a reverberating bass line, again it's subtle, though does slightly wind the jugular when it all kicks off, a hands in the air, heads down, techno affair.


Overall, Drag Queen as a release is a beautifully sculpted creation, it's aggressive but not unpleasant, Champs has demonstrated his ability to manipulate his sound into something that is both clever and idiosyncratic, but still a recipe that fits into clubs and late night sets. The most commendable thing about this release, other than the flawless production, is Champs' ability to make four tracks that definitely relate to one another, without being too similar or repetitive. A perfect 3am champion exploration from Bobby, he's definitely one to watch.

Listen to Bobby Champs on Pulse Radio.