Review Summary: Urban warfare never sounded so goodI like the night
The scent of another world
Sometimes you come face to face with yourself
I like the night
Dubstep is a sound designed for the city; that always awake throbbing beast awash in blinking lights and murky streetlamps, filled with smoke washed streets and cluttered with a thousand stories down every side-street and back alley. Its music designed for the big city paranoid, the always alert and on edge claustrophobe caught in the rat race of the big smoke. Remove the concrete jungle from the equation and it just doesn’t work; Dubstep needs the street life to survive, it needs the fog tinged skyline and high rise buildings to echo off. Remove the graffiti stained walls and the steaming street grates and it falls apart, its lifeblood is the city. Its throbbing bass weaves through the congested lanes and roads, infecting the minds of anyone smart enough to have their ears firmly attached to the ground. They are one and the same, and both of them will always need Distance.
marks the full length debut of Distance, and the first output by him under his new tenure with the infamous Planet Mu label, after brief flourishes on the Hotflush, Tectonic and Boka imprints. Combining a handful of tracks from several of his 12” releases and a whole swag of new cuts, My Demons
marks an impressive debut that deserves its place in the upper echelons of required Dubstep listening material. Distance’s background is (allegedly) steeped in Metal, and it shines through on this LP as distorted sounds and huge drums rule the roost. The basslines themselves are arranged almost like a downtuned guitar, accenting the face slapping quality of the percussion.
Opener ‘Night Vision’ wastes no time in setting the scene, evoking a very “noir-ish” feel, with its smokey beats and dirt covered bass lines lumbering through the deep and gritty atmosphere laid out. It’s an almost unsettling feeling that carries on throughout the course of the album, almost like a kind of coldly beautiful soundtrack for the nocturnal, claustrophobic and insisting. Apocalyptic club anthem ‘Traffic’ makes a welcome return here, briefly alleviating the stifling nature of the previous cuts with its punchy lo fi and distorted guitar like lines competing for dominance over the crackling drums, all of it nailed down with a subterranean low end.
One interesting feature is Distance’s use of vocals as hooks, with ‘Weigh Down’ being a primary example. The wobbly bassline and off kilter percussion tend to gravitate around those two repeated words, magnetizing the listener to them as well in the process. ‘Ska’ is a gutwrencher of a track, a mind bending journey into the fractured psyche of a tortured and darkened city, addictive and hard hitting in equal quantities. But perhaps the track that best sums up the nighttime paranoia of My Demons
is its title track. A cut that draws out a true sense of tension, it begins serenely enough with an almost laconic percussion line before everything begins to fold in on itself and a crushing dub line assumes control.
is a darkened take on a city ensconced in moonlight and ill vibes, street life indulgence and underground nightclubs only reached by mazes of shadow and disturbance. Despite not offering a huge departure from the genre, Distance still manages to craft an outstanding album that stands up with the likes of Vex’d, Kode9 and Skream’s lauded efforts. Throw it on while the sun hangs high and be ready to be moved through a sonic assault of dirty bass and addictive beats. Throw it on at night and be prepared to be transported to another world.