To have this release on R&S feels like the most natural thing in the world. This is the label that put out Lemon D and Jacob’s Optical Stairway (aka 4 Hero) in the 1990s, placing drum’n’bass firmly within the continuum of international electronic music – and there is nobody better placed to draw the links between the current d’n’b scene and the wider world of techno, electronica and bass music than dBridge.
The record opens with a sample of simultaneously hilarious and deadly serious Jamaican dread wisdom, that leads into the Skeptical collaboration ‘Move Way’. This is track is a perfect example of the half-tempo rhythms that dBridge helped pioneer, a kind of d’n’b parallel to the deepest dubstep yet which still maintains the momentum of 170bpm parent genre through subliminal flickers of percussion. ‘Death of a Drum Machine’ is a more standard d’n’b roller rhythmically but is embellished by filmic piano chords and absolutely exquisite production. Finally ‘Plain to See’ steps outside genre completely. Again with the half-step/double time thing going on, it’s simply a piece of awesome electronica: a love letter to vintage electronic drum sounds yet utterly modern, rich in slowly unfolding layers of synth melody and harmony, and the perfect counterpart to the other two tracks on this perfectly structured EP.