I’ve been a fan and a follower of Dusky since I heard their irresistibly groovy “Flo Jam” dropped at a boat party however many years ago that was. Their balance between darker, relentless rhythms coupled with a more party focused house outlook struck a chord for myself, which at the time was exactly the type of music the scene needed to get some serious trigger fingers in the dance.
Now it’s 2014 and Dusky have started a label, 17 Steps. This is an important part of the review that I’ll come back to shortly. In the meantime Dusky have had an explosive career to understate the matter. This EP comes slipstreaming in behind that success, with recent Dusky interest piqued from an incredible Resident Advisor podcast (RA. 423), which was an inspirational blend of slightly off kilter house and bouncing techno.
Now to the music. The A Side of this EP, and the title of the EP respectively, is the deep pushing bassline focused “Love Taking Over”. The track has some fantastic airy pads that give the track an incredible sense of space and width, coupled with that dark rumbling bass this creates quite a melancholic feel until the track opens up after the 2nd drop. When that 2nd drop does roll around the track becomes the dancefloor focused production you’d come to expect from a Dusky A side. Unfortunately I think the vocal sample is almost redundant, and is adding little to the track at all points.
The 2nd track – “Inta” – is more like what I want to hear from Dusky at this stage in their career. This is a bundle of energy that is going to be spilling Red Stripe all over the scene. The classic jungle vocal sample fits in perfectly with the more techno vibe of the groove. The transient design of certain percussion elements is perhaps a bit too similar to that of “Numerical” and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. I guess there is a formula that clearly works either way, as this is my favorite of the release.
The 3rd and final track, “Expectations”, unfortunately is a track that isn’t for me. That’s not to say it’s bad by a long shot – it still comes with Dusky’s impeccable production value and knowledge of groove and sound design. You’ve got a predictable of the moment deep house bassline with crystal clear percussion and some haunting pads.
The main reason I’m not a massive fan of the 3rd track is because it’s an echo of the EP as a whole – slightly predictable, with little surprise. It’s safe – that’s what it is.
Which I feel is a massive shame for the opening release on Dusky’s own 17steps – this should have been an opportunity to really push it on a creativity level rather than put out some deep-house-by-numbers rollers. Even with the face bending “Inta” providing a solid grounding in the middle, I feel the experience is marred by the title “Love Taking Over” and the final “Expectations”. Which is a shame as I played “Inta” at a party this weekend and it was wild – more of that please.
Despite that negativity, the production skills on show are – as always – top tier. Dusky’s knowledge of sound design and rhythmic groove shines through as ever and no doubt this EP will do very well, and receive plays up and down the country. For that reason, and mainly because “Inta” caused me to loose my shit slightly on the weekend, I give the “Love Taking Over” EP by Dusky a solid 7 out of 10 on the Red Stripe Spill-O-Meter.
A rave inspired hammer sandwiched between well produced but slightly bland house.
Love Taking Over