- dBridge's second album in seven months was produced to accompany a photobook.
- "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.
02. Hidden Intention
03. Tear Me Open
04. Volitile Level
07. Echo Chamber