- dBridge has used his Velvit alias as a testing ground for his experiments in club music away from drum & bass, whether grubby electro or, most recently, techno. On Be So Cruel, Darren White's first Velvit release since that 2013 EP and his debut on Dusky's 17 Steps label, he turns towards house music.
The title track is one of the finest Velvit tunes yet, primarily because it keeps the best elements of the dBridge sound—melancholy synths, White's succinct and soulful vocal phrasing—but houses them in a different framework. It starts out barbed and feisty with an agressive bassline, but slides into a funky main section that wouldn't sound out of place in a Dusky set. White executes it all to a T.
In all the parts where "Be So Cruel" is tight, "No Excuses" is loose, floating by on some organ chords and jazzy melodies. But the elements never quite lock into one groove, and the vocal hook sounds like it was drafted in from another song. Thankfully, "South Of Your Soul" brings things back up to scratch, this time with a bounding kick drum that holds down a skeletal frame. The starkness highlights the fragility of White's vocals, and the emotion rings true with the kind of dance floor melancholy he used to reserve for his Autonomic material. Even if it's not a home run of a 12-inch, at its best Be So Cruel showcases White's versatility.
A1 Be So Cruel
B1 No Excuses feat. Steve Spacek
B2 South Of Your Soul