Review Summary: More refined and evolutionary drum & bass from one of the scene's latest contenders to the throne
It was never surprising that New Zealand born and bred drum & bass artist Consequence would end up gravitating towards dBridge’s Exit Music label; both artists’ tend to typically ignore the inflamed aggression one would normally associate with the genre. Consequence echoes that movement’s ferocity by turning the out-and-out violence into more unspoken tension, deliberately drawing out shadowy motifs to their inevitable breaking point. But instead of the more overt incendiary nature of your average dancefloor concession, Consequence fills his world with doubt and revolt, leaving questions and fears to dangle over great precipices of silence. More intelligent and subtle, we choose how to react to this strand of music instead of being told
how we should react. His music is deliberately mechanical, as if the very process is cathartic enough for the artist to approach his craft at a distance; as such, we receive his music in the same way. It comes in slow and deliberate like a fog, it echoes off of paint-striped walls, latching onto its environment in the process. And so it arrives to us with all these little complications, these bumps in the road that turn the mechanical into the personal. Its drum & bass, but more frigid and ill-defined; and it’s an approach that Consequence has since become a master at.
picks up right where the midnight ambiance of 2009’s Live For Never
left off; his music is still deliberately confusing and ambiguous with its intentions. Melodies appear constantly within the tumultuous backdrop, but they’re almost reluctant to emerge and eager to leave. Percussion is deep and sludgy, constantly straying out of lines and falling out of time. From a production point of view the album shows Consequence a little more comfortable behind the reins, and with this assuredness comes a desire to experiment even further behind the constricting environments he originally placed upon himself. His love for ambient is now more realized and, ultimately, more fulfilling. His beats are more fractured and disconnected than before, sometimes only tenuously connected by the slightest of reprises, bought back in for no other reason than to level the playing field.
He approaches his craft a touch more delicately second time around, losing none of the industrialized refinement he’s become known for, but now infused with a more curious sense of trepidation. Markers are deliberately strewn over the course of the album, indicators of the artist’s influences; Aphex Twin and Autehcre are both given deliberate nods on ‘Marlo’ and the slow burning closer ‘Before I Go’, and ‘Of Certainty’ trades places with Burial’s melancholic 2-step jaunts, fusing that desire for space and echo with a more snub-nosed abrasiveness. Brief sections of the album flirt with a sense of normality and steadiness – the forward-thinking clatter of ‘Oden’ and the rumbling discontent of ‘Soul Sees Spirit’ – but they’re stripped of their immediacy by finding themselves plagued by the ruthless sense of isolation that surrounds the artist.
is a drum & bass album in the loosest sense possible, one that takes the rudimentary foundations of the genre and twists them into a jangled collision of intricacy and emotion. It borrows heavily from the template of others, but at no point does it rattle with anything less than utmost honesty. It concerns itself deeply with a much more intelligent thought process, where the journey unfolds more over the course of the entire album rather than in the individual movements. It follows no clear direction or defined path, choosing instead to map out its own direction, and it walks that path with a determination sadly missing from the genre. It’s the perfect accompaniment to his ground-breaking debut, and manages to carve out even more new ground within a scene more content with expansion that expedition.