- Henrik Schwarz, Âme and Dixon have each been known to excel in the deeply measured and subtle side of house and techno, but their trajectory from playing deep jazzy sunrise sets in Berlin to smashing the main room at Fabric with driving, muscular house has inflicted tougher edges onto their sound. "D.P.O.M.B.," their latest effort as a production collective, is that sonic evolution in chrysalis; a burly, snarling main room beast designed to whip through drugged-up ears without mercy. It has the depth and charisma you'd expect from these Sonar Kollektiv giants, but falls slightly short of what this mighty crew should be capable of.
Just like "Where You At," there are two versions of "D.P.O.M.B." on offer here and both have different dance floors in mind. "Version 1" is the bigger and tougher "Fabric" cut; diva vocals moan through a river of reverb as congas and snares bounce deliriously in the shadows until a ripple of rumbling acid and tense strings drag you into a whirlpool of sinister, chord-polluted techno. It flushes out to a frenetic close; Schwarz, Âme and Dixon let all these sonic elements clamber deliriously over each other, but always retain the groove despite the maelstrom.
"Version 2" is a far more fascinating prospect. The same elements are rinsed with a dubbier sensibility that creeps into corners the immediate, banging "Version 1" could never reach. Haunting jazz flute lines and Latin-tinged percussion give a classic house feel, but the probing bass line and flurry of arpeggios point toward an almost vintage progressive sound that wouldn't sound alien on Junior Boys Own circa '93. (That's a good thing.) It's deep and emotive house music and a world away from the teeth-clenching bravado of "Version 1."
For all intents and purposes, this is a very good record. It's beautifully produced and "Version 1"'s singular peak time energy no doubt achieves the anthemic aspirations of its creators, but for what should be the undoubted collaborative effort of the year from the masters of a sound that has defined '08, "D.P.O.M.B." seems to be only 75% of the way to being something truly amazing.
A D.P.O.M.B. (Version 1)
B D.P.O.M.B. (Version 2)