- Samurai Horo flourishes in the no man's land between genres. As last year's Scope compilation proved, the result is usually something like ambient techno reinforced with the backbone of drum & bass. That idea has never been more literal than on the debut EP from Theme, which sounds like dub techno made at 170 BPM.
There's apparently an established Berlin producer behind Theme, and whoever it is, they sound like they're trying to make the drum & bass tempo sound anything but. "Theme 1" glides on a DeepChord-style heartbeat and carefully fogs up and then clears out the horizon over and over again. "Theme 2" is slightly more persistent, and sounds rough yet marvellously smooth in parts, textural complexity that you can get lost in.
"Theme 3" is like a dub version of its predecessor but more epic—this one has strings to light up the silence, and ups the ante on the theatricality with booming percussion. The EP winds down with an ambient fourth passage, a more relaxed trawl through the same landscape. Though the EP gets samey around track four, Theme turns drum & bass in on itself and comes up with something unusual but beautiful.
A1 Theme 1
A2 Theme 2
B1 Theme 3
B2 Theme 4