- Though Darren White is one of drum & bass's more fearless figures, I'd wager that people new to the genre would think that dBridge only made mournful, Autonomic-style stunners. But he can turn up the heat with the best of 'em. (Let's not forget he was part of the mythical Bad Company.) His debut for R&S isn't a turn toward techno or house—look to his Velvit alias for that—but instead a reminder of just how multi-faceted his 170 BPM work can be.
Using a speech sample rather than White's own vocals, the Skeptical collaboration "Move Way" is the most aggressive thing he's put his stamp on in some time. The toolbox might be familiar, but like the best drum & bass club tunes, it's the details that count. Behind the booming drums lies a ticking percussion track that gives "Move Way" a multi-dimensional atmosphere. It's intensified by suspenseful sounds in the foreground that echo like ricocheting shrapnel.
On the flipside, "Death Of A Drum Machine" looks back to an all-but-forgotten time. Taking in drumfunk, now a relatively obscure form of breaks, White wedges terse vocals between the joints of its old-school drum samples. But even this one bears his distinct touch, with eerie synths that roll back and forth. "Plain To See" is more like the dBridge we know these days—its stop-start '80s drum machines move stealthily forward alongside melancholic melodies rather than the techstep growls of "Move Way."
A dBridge & Skeptical - Move Way
B1 dBridge - Death Of A Drum Machine
B2 dBridge - Plain To See