Every cloud has a silver lining. The cloud in this case is the breakup of one of the most unique drum’n’bass duos of the last decade, as Instra:mental finally announce what many with their ears to the ground had already surmised by their conspicuous absence over the last year. The silver lining? Not only are both Al Green and Damon Kirkham still releasing plenty of music as Boddika and Jon Convex respectively, but Convex’ debut LP Idoru is now only weeks away from release. To stoke the fire even further, an extremely limited run of taster EPs recently saw release on his Convex Industries imprint. If tracks like Fade and the propulsive New Model are a sign of things to come, then Idoru might just turn out to be very special indeed.
Fade has all the taut percussion we’ve come to expect from a Convex track, but marries that frosty neo-noir vibe with rich synthwork and despondent vocals, sounding almost like VNV Nation releasing an Autonomic record. New Model explores more familiar territory than the opener, corrupting a gentle chord progression with virulent bass swells and driving rhythms. Shadows sounds simply gorgeous, the level of production finesse on show blowing contemporaries out of the water. The drums are deep and clear, and the bassline has all the precision and penetrative power of a dentist’s drill. If there has been a more exquisitely produced track released this year, I haven’t heard it.