for those of you that were out of the scene for over a year, dryft is a side project of gridlock, a result of cadoo and mike's fascination by drum'n'bass scene. after what I heard on gridlock's "5.25" and on exoskeleton II, as well as being a big gridlock fan, I could hardly wait to get my hands on "cell".
dryft has been signed by [<unit>] (the subdivision of pbr that seems to focus on more technoid side of noisy music). this release is a strong statement for the label and will undoubtedly attract a lot of attention to pbr as well.
unlike drum'n'bass-inspired collages of architect, heavily distorted rhythmic escapades of somatic responses, or overloaded complexity of beefcake, the music formula employed by dryft is quite simple and closely follows patterns established by the genre. atmospheric synths combined with heavily processed abrasive percussion and bass elements; carefully arranged textures are based on the same conventional recurring drum'n'bass structure. somehow dryft manages to escape repetitiveness that plagues the genre, presenting fresh look on this style of music, at the same time not straying too far into experimental realms.
the gridlock origin of dryft is quite apparent, but a certain structure has been imposed on experimental chaos that duo has been known for.
first part of the disc is heavily processed, rough drum'n'bass with thick bass lines and powerful rhythms backed by atmospheric elements. the contrast is simple yet irresistible. speed and crushing heaviness of opening "slalom" is followed by more mysterious atmosphere of "beatz&vapour" that rips through the listener's ears at the same time retaining its subtle harmony. interesting and quite successful turn is vocals on "end of the in", clean and simple, they go along well with the abstract nature of the song.
already well-known "crash" is followed by "untitled" that seems to be an introspective pause, an intermission after heavy tracks that start the cd, until it suddenly breaks out into controlled mix of abrasive loops and dominant percussion.
this seems to be the turning point on the disc; from now on the remaining tracks are not as forceful, but employ more atmospheric elements and delicate careful percussion that swirls and pulses weaving careful melody together with soft keys and atmospheric synth lines.
remaining tracks move away from conventional drum'n'bass and present more of gridlock sound. from unusually soft "avatar" to minimal "cell weight", the music gradually becomes more and more abstract; sparse percussion on "cell weight" is even more striking compared with the tracks that started the album; clean keys and subtle pulses only accentuate the fluid nature of the song. ksp mix of "fmw" is yet another track that has more "gridlock" feel to it using thicker synthlines and more minimal gentle percussion.
"cell" is yet another excellent and fresh release - this time for wider audience than initial gridlock material. emotional, solid and powerful, dryft takes the best elements from the scene, redefining the style used by panacea and other intelligent drum'n'bass bands. dryft stays within the boundaries of drum'n'bass genre producing superb material that easily would appeal to noise addicts, as well as idm and industrial/electro followers.