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demo cd-r
self-released   2000

album rating: 2

submitted by ben on 13-Jun-2001
I don't think I fully understood the term 'dark hop' before hearing this debut demo from Indiana's Nebulus. The solo project of Matt Jennings, a number of these tracks are actually incomplete, awaiting the final touches from a pair of MC/vocalists. Now depending on the skills of said vocalists, the outcome could be incredibly cool -- actual hip-hop stylings on a base of dark beats.

These seven tracks adhere to a fairly basic outline: deep, down tempo electronic percussion with a dark groove, fused with eerie programming that's imbued with minimal melody and a great sense of space and atmosphere. A striking resemblance to older Scorn material, overall.

A standout track is "Sunken," with a full-bodied sound that I can tell is one of the completed pieces. The percussion sounds like slow motion breaks, deepened and withdrawn. The murky keys on "Agrippa" are really simple and catchy melodic loops that draw you into the slowly grinding atmospheres and 'depressed funk' beats.

As Matt is the first to admit the sound quality of this material leaves a little to be desired, but with this being a demo room for improvement is to be expected. The music works well as a collection of instrumental pieces -- easy to sit back and relax, read or doze off to -- but the incoming vocals should add an interesting dynamic.

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