Since 2007 the Black Acre label has sought to do something different. As a result we’ve had run ins with a whole bunch of their artists with the resulting output constantly surprising and enthralling us, and us profiling people like Blue Daisy, Fantastic Mr Fox and Hyetal in return. They’ve recently worked with SR favourites 1000Names and Loops Haunt, but their latest EP comes from the relatively unknown Alby Daniels, a North London based producer who’s approach DAZED likened to someone who’s “more than a bedroom producer”.
What Daniels does particularly well over the course of the four tracks on This Dawn EP is merge things. There’s sine wave bass on ‘Her About Something’ that sounds like distant, outside-of-the-club, pure tone rumble, he’s got those little steppy moments of clean kick drums like Jackal Youth had on ‘Let Me Be’ and he’s got this serene singing voice that doesn’t at all sound frail, or troubled, or fragile. It’s understatedly confident and he has the range required to create that syrupy kind of r&b dimension – an aspect he backs up on ‘Her About Something’ with funk licks, but one he juxtaposes when he sandwiches that boogie style sound between aerated bass and hard stepping drums so deftly. When you hear it, it doesn’t seem like such an odd pairing and once again, what could never work in contemporary music spheres on paper, seems to come together effortlessly.
Ahead of the EP’s release in February we’ve been commissioned here to premiere ‘Voodoo Holiday,’ the track that closes out the EP. It’s a foggy composition that’s driven in the first part by the jagged tail of Daniels’ hi hat. It’s often swamped by the mid range frequency of his bassline and it’s frequently patterned with little melodic phrases from varying instruments. Its super complex, almost overfilled with snatches of grander ideas, but when the instruments drop out after three and a half minutes and the reverb on the finger snap increases over that warbling bass and the simplistic drum line, you get the feeling that the pre-empting mêlée was created expressly for that moment of clarity.
Alby Daniels’ This Dawn EP is out on 12th February 2012 through Black Acre.