The wait is finally over – DLR’s debut solo LP Seeing Sounds has arrived, and it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be! Having deliberately avoided listening to the preview clips I sat down with the full LP for a start-to-finish listen, and I wasn’t even remotely disappointed.
Understandably enough, this record feels like a spiritual successor to Octane & DLR’s 2012 LP Method In The Madness. The same cinematic sampling and atmosphere is present, as is the sonic detail and creativity. DLR’s sound has been refined further over the past three years, and the album seems less bent on complexity for complexity’s sake; the emphasis seems to have shifted slightly towards groove and weight over technicality, and the compositions really shine for that emphasis.
Above all else this is a record that firmly injects the funk back into the techstep sound, from the playful basslines of Charlie Brown and Break collab Human Error through the chunky lower tempo breakbeat workout of I Found Out and plenty more besides. There’s room for some surprises too, such as the melancholy liquid of Hydro collaboration Empyreal and the jazzed up tech of Minds Eye. There are also two fantastic MC-led steppers, with Gusto repping the mic on The Author and Fokus providing vocals on the politically minded Ask The Question.
Many of the LPs best tracks have been pressed loud and proud onto four slabs of that black crack we love so much, and having given them a thorough mix on the decks I’m happy to attest they all sound as tight and punchy as you’d expect from the Dispatch family. The vinyl releases are already sold out via the Dispatch Store, though the digital version is still available and the vinyl plates can all be picked up via Redeye.
The first couple of listens give me the distinct impression that this is an album which will grow and grow over the coming months while we wait with anticipation for DLR’s collaborative LP with Mako. Check out the clips below and go grab yourself a copy of what is undoubtedly one of the best D&B albums we’ll hear this year.
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