Just as Stingray was Drexciya's DJ, Di'jital, AKA Lamont Norwood, was the go-to spinner for fellow Detroit electro luminaries Aux 88. And like Stingray, Norwood has flown under the radar for years. But, as the appetite for electro grows, that's starting to change. His early Direct Beat releases are an increasing fixture in DJ sets, and he's released through Libertine and, with this EP, Rawax. The sound is closer to techno bass than the sci-fi aesthetics of Drexciya. It's stripped back, pumping and raw, but has a sensibility that's just odd enough to give it an edge. In other words, it's perfect for the dance floor.
The scratching and chopped vocal samples on "Alien Abduction" indicate we're in classic electro territory, so think boombox-on-a-street-corner over space travel. "Mutant Creations Compute" ups the tempo with a donking bassline that demands pop-locking moves while its snare and hats are ghosted by subtly alien accents. The title track sounds like a damaged Stingray production, all ominous vocoded voices and bit-crushed snares that stamp like pump-action machinery.
"Injection Star" is the highlight on the B-side. The beat stays largely static but a stream of different elements enter and exit, each adding different flavours of groove and texture. Hints of bongo and brittle robot-dystopia stabs weave around a clap that sounds like it's turning inside out. Snippets of Kraftwerk-style vocals flutter as acid squelches punch and slurp and Norwood intones "injection" in an impossibly deep voice. Final Frontier Of Electro has an effortlessness that suggest this producer has much more to give.
TracklistA1 Alien Abduction feat. DJ Len Swann
A2 Mutant Creations Compute
A3 Final Frontier Of Electro
B1 Armada Bass
B2 Injection Star
B3 Really Inception