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Dynamis Tectonic

From producer Greg Sanders under his moniker Distance comes a new album, soaked with atmosphere and tinged with dubstep influences. This comes as no surprise from an artist notable for being involved in the inculcation of the genre, having produced with such stalwarts as Benga and Skream. He is also noted for pushing the style far past its starting point of wobbling bass and fat drops, releasing tracks on Planet Mu and his own label, Chestplate.

The continuing evolution of his sound is evident throughout the album’s brooding soundscapes. It sounds liltingly crunk-like on ‘Kingdoms Fall’, filled with enormously atmospheric distortion, and with squelchy nods to his roots on ‘Unite’. Raw, inner city sounds come in the vocal collaborations with Killa P on ‘Badman’ and Breezy on ‘Betrayal’. These are rare vocal tracks for Distance and they are carried off reasonably well, though the biblical references to “the valley of the shadow of the dancehall” and dark lyrics of ‘Badman’ seem to work better with his growling rhythms.

‘Instructions to Survive’, ‘Kingdoms Fall’ and ‘Sink or Swim’ all call to mind some kind of artistic Darwinism, a feeling that if mutations stop the style might peter out. The album lives up to its title, doing creative things with a multitude of electronic influences but tending toward darkness throughout. It closes with ‘Talk to Me’, still very distorted but with a positive, building quality. His inventiveness is clearly represented in this well produced and exciting, if not quite groundbreaking, album.