DMX Krew / ‘Wave Funk’
Rephlex / Released 18th October 2010
DMX Krew is a producer that belongs on Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label. As hard to pigeonhole as anything on the roster, his latest is a work of epic acid and dubby electro proportions. What’s more, there are 35 tracks on this bumper release and accompanying bonus disc of previously vinyl-only tracks, meaning by the time it’s finished you should be well and truly hooked.
There’s something wholly London about this sound- though not in the regular, UK Bass (in your face) way most people mean these days. Had this album been released six years ago it would have no doubt contributed to the tripped out selections Craig Richards made for the Tyrant Fabric CD, such is the hallucinatory, shuffling through syrup flavour of tracks like opener Parking Orbit. And while Otis tells us tales of pure science fiction, and you check iTunes to make sure it’s not skipped to a John Carpenter soundtrack when Gravity Boots plods in, the vibe that starts the album is very much what carries it. By no means a bad thing; examples of ‘proper electro’, in the way the original masters intended it to be made, are few and far between.
With so much diligent attention to detail it’s difficult to pinpoint where the best basses bounce, the sharpest strings fall and snappiest snares roll. I’m Back sounds like a haunting journey through some basement cosmos, such is the evocative nature of the synths at work. And the plucked, fret melodies that ascend and dive into Jupiter Mission‘s brooding ocean of minimalism are astoundingly unnerving. So when the wide load bassline drops you realise this kind of eerie atmosphere is destined to inspire someone’s 4am freak-out.
There’s no shortage of less threatening moments, though. ConFuzion smacks of a brightly coloured mid-90s platform game, and Gorf Man is closer to Matthew Herbert’s oddball electronic jazz than the heads-down, somewhat druggy style that typifies this impressive long-player. Throw in the well-conceived, moderately dubstep influenced title track, along with the second disc’s numerous treasures- from Meridian 1212‘s funk-infused groove to the instrumental garage classic, Space– and you’ve got yourself a tidy, not to mention tasty little package. Fans of anything from mature 2-step to deep house take note.