Like the Krease EP, essentially slowed down drum & bass. It has all the trappings of ‘dark’, has all the right ingredients and is certainly tech crafted, but ultimately it feels so self-conscious and self-regulated it almost sounds tired and by the book. Just makes me want to go and listen to the Moving Fusion, Ram Recs et al. back catalogue again. One for the bag no doubt, but a prisoner of its own devices.
I’ve always been a big fan/follower of Steve “Digital” Carr’s output (him being from my hometown of Ipswich an’ all) and admired his successful fusion of rave and dub aesthetics within the accepted d&b format. Not an easy or necessarily inspiring shackle to have to live under but he still seems to be tirelessly chipping away at that coal face.
I remember reading an old interview with him back in the day in Knowledge (the old d&b mag, “There was a mag just for d&b!?” Hard to imagine now I know…) where he cited his Father’s Reggae Soundsytem as a major early musical influence. I suppose it would be, wouldn’t it? but I always thought he had that dreamy, primitive experimentalist hiss, crackle and thud of dub just spot on. Ras’78 has to be one of my all time favourites from his early days.
Back in early 2014 he dropped an almost Tricky-esque downtempo collaboration with Strikez on Jakes’s H.E.N.C.H label (although strictly speaking the Starkey Remix was the true banger) but we’ve had to wait until ‘Bruk Down‘ for more in the same vein. Taking it down to 140bpm he keeps it sparse, minimal and sound system weighty with ultra fat, bouncing, distorted kicks, stuttering claps and shimmering (almost Orb-esque) LSD vibes.