Another stellar release from the Instra:mental camp, Damon Kirkham drops his second 12” as Jon Convex, and the two tracks on offer here demonstrate why these boys are turning British bass music on its head. Released on Nonplus Records rather than Martyn’s 3024 imprint which housed his only previous release, Radar and Vacuum States are crammed with enough mutant electro futurism to power a small country.
Radar is the darker of the two, robotic 808 kicks and 23rd century industrial synths bolted together then enveloped in a squelching almost-melody that seeps into every scrap of space. Vacuum States in contrast verges on relaxed, the dystopia dialed down as soothing synth washes allow space for Kirkham’s inquisitive rhythms to gently roll and swell. Instra:mental releases are increasingly tied together by common themes rather than genre. Their style of sparse, metallic, difficult to dance to bass music is a template they seem to be applying to the whole spectrum of the UK underground scene. For the last few years they have been one of the most exciting collectives in drum and bass. Now they are seriously making a case for being one of the most exciting collectives in EDM, period.