- Al Bleek and Damon Drama have done a considerable deed reinvigorating and re-establishing drum & bass by bringing in outside influences and opening it up to a new audience. In light of this, it's both surprising but oh-so-typical that the first preview of their long-awaited debut album is about as far from drum & bass as you can get. "Sun Rec" and "Love Arp" are two bristling and single-minded tracks that walk over the same glowing electro coals as Al Bleek's debut as Boddika on nakedlunch. Like Boddika's tracks, it's hard to tell if they're techno or house or some new permutation of bass music. Judging from tempo alone, they're certainly not anywhere near drum & bass or even dubstep.
"Sun Rec" shakes with a full-bodied tremble, twitching madly as it subsists off of skewed and staggered drum programming. But it's the unpredictable and irregular arpeggio that really impresses, showing off the band's enviable studio setup and their documented love of hardware equipment. It's one of the Instra:mental tracks most removed from the group's previous, which often fell into the drum & bass line of horizontally tracked rhythms no matter their tempo. "Sun Rec" rather deals in a type of tensely anticipatory sputter where one note seems to fall unavoidably into the next. "Love Arp" is a little more familiar, emphasizing those ominous, echoed chords that spell out Autonomic, and in this case particularly recall the touchy drama of "Watching You." Released as a limited edition single on Semantica, it makes for a confounding sneak peek of an album that seems almost impossibly mysterious at this point: the only certain thing is that, judging from these tracks, it's probably going to be pretty good.
A Sun Rec
B Love Arp