After breaking through in 2011 with releases for Keysound and Local Action, Damu has had a relatively quiet 12 months, focusing on collaborating with vocalists and refocusing his production efforts on a sterner, tougher, darker sound. As part of this, he has started a new eponymous imprint on which to release his productions, the first of which are presented here. "If You've Got Nothing To Hide" keeps the iridescent sheen of his earlier material, but constructs something altogether darker out of it, creating a thick bass style that is reminiscent of Boddika's electro excursions with an added helping of Eski grime, while "You've Got Nothing To Fear" throws ghetto vocals into its gelatinous mix of acid and brittle arpeggios.
Blazing a promising trail with his neon-lit funky styles, Damu delivers this four track selection to Keysound with an undeniable effervescence in his demeanour. The synths are surely the key players in these tracks, not least on the upbeat clarion call of "Ridin". Anyone who caught the sunkissed charms of the Oriol album on Planet Mu will find plenty of melodic satisfaction to enjoy here, albeit in a more steppy setting. As the EP progresses the weirdness creeps in, culminating to a brilliant end with the unhinged pitch-bending of "Karolina's Magic J", which will definitely appeal to your inner freak.
With two EPs on Local Action and Keysound already under his belt, Damu here delivers his debut long player for the latter imprint. As you would expect from a label as on point as Keysound, Damu brings something unique to the table with his brand of UK funky, combining expertly sampled R&B vocals and neon synths. But it's the after-hours vibe and organic rhythms that permeate his productions which really stands out, particularly in the complex and shimmering melodies of "Breathless" and piercing melancholy of "Don't Cry In My Bed". Most impressively however, is the range of genres and tempos which Damu turns his hand to; "Maths Is Fine for Some" evokes the swampy techno of Andy Stott, whilst "Waterfall of Light" and "Plasm" call to mind the freeform juke template of Machinedrum. Essential stuff.
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