dBridge - Lineage

  • dBridge's second album in seven months was produced to accompany a photobook.
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  • "Its permanence appeals to me, there's no going back, no adding unnecessary filters and repeating until you get it right. It captures a moment; warts and all." This is Darren White talking about the instant photo format, or Polaroids to use the popular brand name. Alongside DJing and releasing music under his long-running dBridge alias, White now seems to have fallen hard for his new sideline, describing it as "the creative outlet I needed in my life." As he was travelling the world for DJ gigs and taking photos, White realised he'd wound up with a collection of shots that captured a community—the bass music scene—at a moment in time. Lineage, then, is the name of both the resulting photobook and an accompanying album. It arrives just seven months after A Love I Can't Explain, his first album in ten years, a sign perhaps of White's enthusiasm for his new passion. It's therefore a shame that the music, White's long-standing passion, lets down the project down a little. The large collection of photos in the book are fairly standard Polaroids. They show people posing in clubs and at festivals. There are cityscapes and architectural scenes. Travel is also a theme. The iconic instant photo style—raw, imperfect, nostalgic—is there in abundance. But the collection's power comes from the extensive number of faces from the bass music and drum & bass community. If you're interested in, or a part of, this scene, the photobook is the sort of thing it's easy to imagine fondly leafing through a few decades from now: "Ah, those were the days." White hasn't billed the album as a soundtrack to the photobook, but they are sold together and the music is described as "accompanying." However the link was thought of, though, it's difficult to recognise a bond between the unkempt, carefree and, well, happy images and the moody little album that comes with them. For sure, an LP awash with sepia-tinted chords and atmospheric crackle would have been too on the nose—it's just difficult to draw parallels between a sci-fi ambient piece like "Mauve" and a photo of Goldie grinning on a beach. There is something to be said, though, for White's continuing willingness to follow his musical instincts wherever they lead him, a quality that was clear on the strong A Love I Can't Explain. Tracks like "Hidden Intention," "Tear Me Open" and "Volitile Level" explore a sort of post-halftime style that White likes bending into differing moods and shapes. "Comments," a highlight, could be a Deep Medi B-side, while the warm, crawling "Unburied" also stands out. If you're invested enough to pick up the book, it's quite likely you'll get a kick out of some of these tracks. For others, though, this may be viewed as an inessential dBridge project.
  • Tracklist
      01. Mauve 02. Hidden Intention 03. Tear Me Open 04. Volitile Level 05. Unburied 06. Comments 07. Echo Chamber