Taut Drum’n’Bass MP3s from Cycom

The new four-track release by Cycom, titled Isotope, packs in a compressed set of drum’n’bass that despite some occasional asides for moody filigree tends to favor of spare, hard beats — and at a time when more florid d’n’b has long since become standard TV-advertising and cop-show background music, that’s a gesture worth applauding. Isotope doesn’t have the gristle and anger of more contemporary drill’n’bass or the fetid, subterranean pleasures of dubstep, but it distinguishes itself with single-minded intent and some delicate touches. “Isotope” (MP3) opens with a glitchy salvo but dives headlong into rapidfire switchback rhythms that are accented by electronic tones; kudos to Cycom (born Thomas Fleischer) for the unexpected breaks. It’s the strongest track on the set, followed closely by “Funky Giraffe” (MP3), which does its best to locate a common ground between d’n’b and fusion jazz, with warm modulations and natural drum sounds. None of the tracks are new. “Isotope,” for example, dates from 2001 and “Giraffe” from 2004, but are previously unreleased. The closing track, a “bonus” entry titled “Down the Drain,” was first was heard on an Alphacut Records release back in 2006. Get the full set and more details at the website of the releasing netlabel, plainaudio.com.

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