Crypticz: Between Dust & Time (Western Lore, 2020)

February 18, 2021 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Crypticz: Between Dust & Time

Like Krust’s albums, the first full-length by Crypticz elevates drum’n’bass to near-symphonic ambitions. Opener “Broadcast Feeling” lasts for a very tense, patient 12 minutes, only dropping breakbeats when necessary and featuring passages bathed in crackling static. Amy Kisnorbo contributes free-floating vocals on “Ocean Blue”, a fitting track title for a producer who creates these vast pieces that you can just soak in rather than dance to. “Lakutala (Version)” sits still and cave-like until a haunting flute and dub bassline emerge, then a hard “Funky Drummer” breakbeat plunks in and everything slowly rotates. “The Guided” is a chalice-bearing dub meditation, and “Journey Through the Rings of Saturn” propels through the milky way — its surging bass and galloping bongos seem to be building up to a locked-in d’n’b rhythm, but its sights are set far beyond that. “Nightshifter’s Groove” does drop some breakbeats in eventually, but it’s mostly carried by bongos and chasmic dub effects. “Lakutala” proper lands at the diced breakbeats that much of the album only hinted at, and it goes off, while still taking necessary time to pause and reflect. Some of the deepest, most ambitious drum’n’bass I’ve heard in a while.

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