Kasra
Dream Metal


3.9
excellent

Review

by hug rap's painful goodbye STAFF
February 29th, 2024 | 27 replies


Release Date: 02/16/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The only metal album you need this year

One of drum and bass' most assiduous MVPs, Kasra is practically a one-man institution. Between his work as a DJ and his management of the underground label Critical Music, his contributions to the genre are already prolific enough, but once in a blue moon, he carves out enough time to tend to the fickle needs of his own creative process and add to his small but meticulously crafted solo discography. His excellent 2018 4-track EP Ski Mask was the perfect calling card to this end, flexing club-friendly basslines and mercilessly economic song structures that bopped, dipped and scrammed exactly as the moment demanded – all in all, exactly what you would hope and expect from an acclaimed drum and bass DJ whose knack for reading the room was evidently a key factor in the way he fostered his own style.

His latest and first (!?) full-length release Dream Metal, is by all accounts the most ambitious thing he's put out under his own name so far, boasting seven collaborations across eight tracks, each of which offers a fresh variation on his style while reasserting its core strengths. Moreover, the collaborators in question are a perfectly even ratio of grime MCs and fellow drum and bass producers, and since the MC features are interspersed with production-centric tracks, neither side risks upstaging the other. Among the MC features, Riko Dan makes for an early highlight with his propulsive performance on "Talk Up" – though perhaps a little insistent in its double-tracked vocals and one-word overdubs, this feature drips with adrenaline and suggests a more muscular side to Kasra's sound. He later outdoes it as such on "Running Red", which sees veteran MC Killa P take the mic over one of Kasra's most earth-shaking beats and throttling basslines. Kasra sees this off with jagged edges and off-kilter accentuations aplenty, making for one of his most volatile tracks to date and a bruising highlight. Though I'm unconvinced that Gardna's bar-heavy feature on the opener "Spaceman" was the most momentous way for the album to kick off, Kasra's judgement in MCs proves unsurprisingly on-point throughout the tracklist.

His producer collaborations are no less striking, pushing the boundaries of his style in a variety of satisfying directions. This is straightforward enough on the Visla collab "Azure VIP", the record's clubbiest cut, but perhaps the most disarming track of the whole collection is the Yaano collaboration "Shatter". This one teases an uplifting, melodically-saturated approach that openly contrasts with Kasra's spartan style – the two find themselves in open conflict throughout the track's latter minutes, but this never spins off into outright derailment: the extent to which Yaano distorts his spiralling arpeggiations to repatriate them alongside Kasra's airtight beats makes for an inspired match and a surprise highlight. However, it's a telling sign that "bb.oo", the sole track where Kasra receives exclusive credit, counts among Dream Metal's most confident and dynamic material – the rest of the album might make a great case for how open his sound is to fresh possibilities, but the foundations Kasra himself has laid are rock solid.




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user ratings (17)
3.3
great
related reviews

Ski Mask


Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2024


60154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

something something nice track-by-track

(thank u Kompys)

drum and bass lives, etc

Orb
February 29th 2024


9339 Comments


Oh hell yeah new Kasra is always a good thing!

Ryus
February 29th 2024


36535 Comments


m/m/m/

SpeachImpediment
February 29th 2024


128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

innit

splinter
February 29th 2024


688 Comments


not metal 1/5

Hawks
February 29th 2024


86681 Comments


Sounds intetesting!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2024


5423 Comments


you did the thing!!!
this goes p hard

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2024


26013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

"The only metal album you need this year"

bet

Jash
March 1st 2024


4907 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

His prowess behind the decks and label signings continue to show more diversity than his productions, which sound pretty standard to most everything coming out these days in the minimal roller styled DnB. Would mostly all go off on the dance floor, but lack depth anywhere else

Purpl3Spartan
March 1st 2024


8440 Comments


you wont fool me this time

DePlazz
March 1st 2024


4478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Checking this out and digging the man's solid/economic approach so far.

On another note, people tend to forget or ignore how metal dnb really is :-]

Trifolium
March 1st 2024


38823 Comments


Looks interesting, will check.

PumpBoffBag
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2024


1508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Album’s straight gas, Kasra rarely disappoints. Great review

Spec
March 2nd 2024


39340 Comments


The summary is a little misleading.

Kompys2000
Emeritus
March 2nd 2024


9409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This shits so hype I'm bouto go pig wild

Orb
March 3rd 2024


9339 Comments


Would mostly all go off on the dance floor, but lack depth anywhere else

Setting your expectations regarding anything related to Critical Music to be more than club heaters and top notch blenders is just setting yourself up for disappointment tbh


neekafat
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2024


26013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

very cool music 😎

DePlazz
March 3rd 2024


4478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great stuff, yeah.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2024


18256 Comments


“ The only metal album you need this year”

Bruh?

Purpl3Spartan
March 4th 2024


8440 Comments


Why is there rap in my dnb



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