Marco Bailey ‘Dragon Man’

Marco Bailey / ‘Dragon Man’

CD/ Digital / 12″ Sampler

Bedrock Records / Released 14th February 2011

Where do you begin with a new album from Marco Bailey? Do ponder over the potential differences between this, his first full length release on Digweed & Muir’s imprint, and the Belgian’s previous output? Or, do you forget about that, quaff some hard liquor and get on with partying to the soundtrack the disc holds?

Well we did both. And, while the opening title track might belong more to a sound typified by the kind of downtempo, dark, spacey moods once the mainstay of people like Sasha’s boxes, it’s not long before the decidedly more upbeat Bill The Trumpet Player literally steps in. A brass-filled track that stands in contrast to everything else on here, think sun kissed bars as oppose to sweaty basements.

Once that’s done the relentlessness ensues. From the peak time progressive groove of Run Through, to the gritty rock n roll ethic of Break the Rules, it’s difficult not to picture steam shooting over manic strobe-lit crowds, as if this were ever really going to represent anything else. Things rarely get close to gentile, what with the very Bailey sounding Rubber Band ready to set techno-heads off pogoing, and Boom Bang! leaving no questions as to how it got such a name, offering out main room energy comparable with Saints & Sinners’ classic Bedrock onslaught Pushing Too Hard.

Of the downbeat moments there’s as much about staggered respites within the LP, as there is about useful tools for adventurous DJs. There’s no denying that Red Cell could make an appealing intro to something much, much tougher, while Holding the Moment throws out nostalgic notions of chill out rooms, genre straddling mixes and trip hop meditations. What’s good to see though, is that really this is directed straight at the dancefloor, and as such stays true to its creator.