- Even before its fledgling scene was decimated by mounting police pressure, bassline never got much attention from electronic music media. Maybe it was the sound itself—all dance music is functional, but it's hard to imagine anything more so than this specific blend of swung 4/4 beats and garagey bass wobbles. DJ Q is one producer who always stuck true to form—with 2008's "You Wot!" he had one of the scene's few bona fide anthems. After a brief hiatus he returned with a number of great singles on labels like Unknown To The Unknown and Local Action. The latter outfit has just released DJ Q's debut album, Ineffable.
It seems strange that this torch-bearer for a sorely under-represented scene should make an album so unashamedly pop. There will be a large contingent of fans that will hear Ineffable and immediately accuse DJ Q of selling out, just as there is any time an artist starts making music with mass appeal. This would be an unfair reaction. Ineffable isn't the sound of someone sticking to a formula for a quick buck. If anything, it's the most daring record DJ Q has ever put out. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's any good.
Ineffable shows Q playing around with multiple genres and sounds, and the end result is simply missing the raw grittiness that his fans loved. There are a few tracks where it's nearly there—"Get Over You" at points feels like trademark Q, but it's peppered with a trancey euphoria that just feels cheesy. "Two-Faced" is less bassline than it is trappy dubstep. A strong vocal performance from Louise Williams can't save "Let The Music Play" from feeling like a weak Todd Edwards track. And "Through The Night" has to be among the most saccharine drum & bass tracks ever produced—watered down breaks for peak moments in festival sets.
That's not to say there are no high points. The dubstep swagger and foreboding bass of "Caught Up" manages to cut through the sickly sweet synths in the background, and "Every Time" is pure rolling UKG, DJ Q at his finest. "Lassie" is another strong dubsteppy number, this time with bizarre vocals from Jayjayborntosing and Discarda. It might be a London sounding lad ranting with little attempt at reaching any pitch or melody, but it works, and it would comfortably be the album's highlight if it wasn't for the casual misogyny pouring out of every line. Ineffable sees DJ Q take a swing at something new. This approach should be applauded, and could even win him some new fans, but it's safe to say I won't be one of them.
01. Get Over You
02. Two Faced
03. Let The Music Play feat. Louise Williams
04. Every Time feat. Kassandra
05. Through the Night feat. Louise Williams
06. Closer feat. Kassandra
07. Caught Up
08. Trust Again feat. Louise Williams
09. Lassie feat. Discarda & Jayjayborn2sing
10. Notice Me
11. Be Mine feat. Kai Ryder