6 July 2011

Deadbeat - Drawn and Quartered (BLKRTZ)

Deadbeat - Drawn and Quartered (BLKRTZ)

Scott Monteith's Deadbeat project finally returns with a full length album, launching his much anticipated new BLKRTZ label. Considering Deadbeat's constant reevaluation of his sound - his career has taken in glitchy dub-scapes, driving techno and some slightly dissapointing hip-hop/dancehall hybrids - there was every possibility that launching his own label could see Monteith indulging in vanity projects and dissapearing swiftly up his own arse. Drawn and Quartered is one of his finest works to date; a sprawling, lush album of deep, textured dub that smothers lurching steppas riddims in the hard-edged white noise of Demdike Stare or Muslimgauze. Divided into five "quarters" (is this right?), the album takes the form of one long-running piece, each movement sequeing seamlessly into the next, forming from a storm of white noise, rising up through rootsy tribal numbers, before peaking in a storm of crunchy dub techno and slowly dissolving into the ether again. With each of the track over eleven minutes long, there's little of the obvious drop/breakdown dynamic, and more of a focus on evolving a wall of sound, allowing delays to build up and synth lines to evolve. The sudden drop from metallic noise into a blaring saxophone in Third Quarter (The Vampire of Mumbai) hits to the bone because of this, and Deadbeat launches into a half-timed loping dub monster full of scatters of vocals, nyabingi-tinged pecurcussion and hefty amounts of delay.

Whilst Drawn and Quartered is far more of a rootsy, dub-based peice than other Monteith works, Second Quarter and Fourth Quarter, both pass through dub-techno territory, the former toying with the 4/4 grove and smothering it in reverb a la early ~scape releases, whilst the latter slowly grows from a mass of white noise into a solid dancefloor monster. It's the gem of the album, with shimmery guitar lines, rattling darbuka and an earth-trembling sub-bass crawling along in the lower frequencies.

An auspicious start for BLKRTZ.

No comments:

Post a Comment