ASC ASCPhobos / Oort Cloud / Matter Of Time
NONPLUS (#006, 12”)
This type of album could make artists like Photek quite annoyed, as it borrows from his most characteristic sound. The album “Modus Operandi”, the cornerstone of the current drum'n'bass scene which is still projecting its influence almost fifteen years on, is given a current and fresh twist that the original just could never have. In fact, where is Photek? The latest news talks about him moving to Los Angeles, making music for film, and converting himself into a producer of hip hop: that is, missing in action. On the other hand, James Clements has been progressing with patience over this decade, delivering effective drum'n'bass (but lacking great releases) on more diverse labels, from Nu-Directions to Offshore, stopping in Covert Operations, until he finally appeared on Nonplus, friends of INSTRA:Mental. Here he could begin to work on a type of sound that was free from the pressures of being club bait. Without having heard it yet, I dare to predict that “Nothing Is Certain” (the album put out by ASC in a few days time) will deserve only the best reviews. For the moment, these three tracks ( “Oort Cloud” is short and ambient, yet as amazing as the others), are some of the best drum’n’bass of the moment, claimed by INSTRA:Mental and dBridge to be the new wave with its cadences of soft breaks, lots of space between sounds, the sensation of floating on heavy air, mercurial, the darkness surrounding your body but with a warm glow in the distance (the always noticeable Detroit techno influence). This is what Photek should be doing, but that’s okay - ASC does it better.
Claude T. Hill