Untold has definitely not been wasting his time, even though it might seem that way at times. He hasn't been as productive over the past few years as he was in 2008-2010, when he rolled onto the dubstep scene like a tidal wave, right when the genre was reconfiguring itself in the directions of funky, techno and house, to which our boy contributed with singles like “Yukon” and “Discipline”, and even more so with his delirious series of records for Hotflush, Hemlock, Hessle, and Brainmath. But his lower output in the last two years doesn't mean that his light has gone out. But with “Stereo Freeze” (R&S Records) and “Little Things Like That” (Clone), both from 2010, Jack Dunning's sound slowly moved towards a brand of techno with straight lines and clear textures, and to him, that change was like having to learn everything all over again, forcing him to take more time to record and release his music. Add to that his job in A&R and management for Hemlock, and his short-lived side project with Samuel Chase, Dreadnought, in which he tried to join dubstep and goth-pop, to complicate his life a little bit more, and it's obvious why he hasn't been as prolific as in his early days.
Either way, Untold is about to come back. This series of three records, now up to its second chapter, called “Change In A Dynamic Environment” (the first delivery was in April, the third will likely come out in September), sounds like the coming of age of his new techno sound, completing a process similar to that undergone by Scuba a few seasons back, when he went from the liquid dubstep of “A Mutual Antipathy” to the techno geometry of “Triangulation”. Untold's transition hasn't been that fast, or that ambitious (the maxis hold two tracks each), but he's striding firmly: he knows where he's going, and both “Caslon” and “Breathe” sound like first-rate techno, material that should be in the bag (or on the hard drive) of any DJ looking for trustworthy dance floor tunes. The main features of his sound are cleanliness and clarity: well-defined lines, a lot of space between the elements (the beat, the bass, the harmonies crowning the rhythms, like a post-dubstep version of Basic Channel material), and the absolute sterilisation of the noise, the echoes disseminating acoustic debris and digital pollution. The beats are clean and dry, the melodies sharp and clear, everything is in the right place, elegant, strong, and straight. It may sound a bit too polite at a time when we're used to rough labels like Frozen Border or Downwards, but from someone that skilled in the registers of funky house, and who has cultivated the density of dubstep, we could only expect an exercise in purity and precision like this one. If the first 12” was good, this one is even better. We'll find out soon what surprises the third part holds, and in the meantime, Untold has built himself a future as a producer far removed from the dubstep realm, delivering the most clearly-outlined techno of the moment.