- In the booth, DJ Bone favors wild combinations, an extra turntable or two and an all-hands-on-deck approach to the mixer. It's no surprise, then, that his productions tend to offer streamlined, straightforward musical ideas—spare parts for mixes rather than masterworks in their own right. That's not to say Eric Dulan hasn't released some deeply impressive tracks in the two decades or so he's been releasing music. "No Sleep (True To Da Roots)," a 2008 cut that began the prolific Sect imprint, exemplifies Bone at his best—with tightly wound samples and slamming drum loops combining in varying densities, it feels a bit like a DJ set in and of itself.
For his Don't Be Afraid debut, Dulan tries on his new DIFFER-Ent alias. Name aside, they're pretty standard DJ Bone tracks—not quite "No Sleep," perhaps, but unquestionably well-wrought tools. He packs a fair amount of melody into "Different(hrall)"—layers of arpeggiating synths with wooshes of Mellotron-style strings—but the gut-punching kick drum leads the way, pushing all the sounds along. A mighty kick powers the core of "Different(ity)," too, though this one churns more than it strikes, like the centrifuge at the heart of some heavy machinery. The track's scissor-like snares should send a shiver through the crowd as well, though their offbeat placement actually lightens the load by lending some house to the techno throb—a stylistic nod backed up by deep, warm pads. DIFFER-Ent (by DJ Bone) might sound wildly functional for Don't Be Afraid, what with oddballs like MGUN and Farah filling up the release schedule these days, but Bone's craft is undeniable.