- It's funny what a few dozen spins round the DJ circuit can do to you. When he first turned heads, shortly before 2013's Drone Logic, Daniel Avery was a disciple of Erol Alkan and Andrew Weatherall, offering a '10s spin on sultry indie-dance. In the years since he seems to have developed a very different conception of club music. Talking on The Hour about his 2016 DJ-Kicks mix, he described a fascination with "the idea of music working in a hypnotic way," citing a group of labels and artists with whom he felt he was "part of something": Semantica, Northern Electronics, Iori, Rrose. Avery's forthcoming second album, Song For Alpha, is his first major statement as a producer in years, and will likely crystallise his latterday vision—at least if this taster 12-inch is anything to go by.
Slow Fade doesn't entrance in quite the way you'd expect. You'll need to wait until the record's back-end for a slice of the hypno-techno sound that now defines Avery's sets. The swirling, delirious "Fever Dream" is a solid attempt, its menacing mood turning suddenly euphoric in the final minute. Avery also explores hypnosis by different means. "Slow Fade" and "Radius" are high-definition updates of classic comedown downtempo, pairing booming drums with ambrosial pads that tug at frayed heartstrings. "Slow Fade" starts paranoid before chords lift us up at the midpoint, while "Radius" is more ambiguous, stretching to a moody eight minutes. The ambient track, "After Dark," glowers and crackles without ever quite coming into focus. Avery's new album will be good if it follows Slow Fade's teasing lead.
A1 Slow Fade
A2 After Dark
B2 Fever Dream