- In the world of electronic music, Daniel Avery is what we might call a rockist. He grew up on guitar music in his hometown of Bournemouth, and came to dance music relatively late. He releases on Erol Alkan's indie-friendly Phantasy Sound, his tracks make melody their chief concern, and they aren't the least bit fashionable. All of this makes him quite refreshing. His debut LP, Drone Logic, puts a neat little bow on his sudden rise to fame over the past year, and adds shades of depth to his already well-established sound. More importantly, it's a relentlessly stormy record that's too dynamic to get stale.
Acid runs through Avery's veins, but he's no nostalgia peddler. Drone Logic sounds nothing like the classic Chicago or UK takes on the sound, nor does it have much in common with the contemplative version coming from the Acid Test axis. Instead, Avery fixes the squelch as a purely textural element; it adds a certain grain and edge to his ravey melodies, which repeat endlessly through filters and effects. They're simple—tracks like "Water Jump" and "Naive Response" wring out their chord progressions until you're almost sick of hearing them—but just weird enough to stay engaging. In an interview with RA, Avery expressed admiration for Paul Woolford's classic "Erotic Discourse," and much of Drone Logic has that tune's mix of the off-kilter and the easily accessible.
A good few of the album's tracks were released on Avery's past EPs, but they haven't lost any of their impact a year later, and the new ones have him in better form than ever. "All I Need," buried deep in the album's latter half, hits like an ecstasy cluster bomb; those big drowning-in-reverb chords are just made for an audience completely off its face. "These Nights Never End" takes things into the darker dimension of that druggy sound, all menacing belches and spasming basslines.
An album of throbbing club tunes could easily get tedious, but Avery's productions are lithe enough that it flies by in a flurry of twangy synths and pounding drums. And just when it begins to feel like you've spent too long in his sweaty basement (somewhere around track nine), Avery throws us a bone. The closing three tunes are luminescent anthems that take a page out of The Field's playbook. He closes with "Knowing We’ll Be Here," which is chock full of shoegaze textures and guitar. It's an emotive finale you might not have predicted from his past releases or even the first half of the LP, leaving Drone Logic as a nicely well-rounded debut album from an artist who's only been releasing music for a couple of years.
01. Water Jump
02. Free Floating
03. Drone Logic
04. These Nights Never End
05. Naive Response
06. Platform Zero
07. Need Electric
08. All I Need
09. Spring 27
11. New Energy (Live Through It)
12. Knowing We'll Be Here