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Customer Reviews

My Diagnosis:

This is Mark Caro’s (better known in the drum & bass scene as Technical Itch or Tech Itch) only full length thus far. But it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. Diagnostics furthers Mark’s aptitude for creating extremely detailed, dark and finally crafted break beats. Throughout the album, fluid analogue bass throbs over skittering snares and several well-chosen samples, while odd digital bleeps and blurbs add to the precision. Diagnostics also showcases a master-class of sound-scapes; ‘Dark Half’ provides an eerie grandfather clock-esque piano riff as a building block for the meticulous drum programming and pulsating liquid bass. The sample “I wrote these words, and have no recollection of doing so” completes the sinister experience. Opener ‘Focused’ creates a sonic painting of what could be described as a futuristic Japan, with distant Asian pipes and bells, a spooky string score and the stuttering processed words “- in sector 3”. Each track could be described as IDM as much as it is drum & bass; the tracks rarely adhere to the standard structure of intro/drop/breakdown/drop, but rather build upon the already established. The down tempo ‘1310’ thuds along with a pulsing distorted baseline, stalling in unusual moments before regaining its momentum with a smattering of snare drums, while ‘L.E.D’s complex drum pattern changes every few bars. Diagnostics, like it’s title hints, tends to be a little cold, at the best of times sounding as though it were created purely by machines with little or no melody. The lack of human angle save for the odd voiced sample makes for a creepy experience, and it tends to be a difficult listen if heard from start to finish the first time around. However, this is ‘armchair drum & bass’ at its best, improving with every listen the same way a movie with a twist is more enjoyable the second time around; you’ll begin to notice details you missed the first time around, giving a stronger appreciation of the album’s complexity.

Superbly twisted amalgamation of shadowy oscillations.

I bought this album around 2000. I was not a fan of jungle or the jazzy D&B stuff which was all popular around at that time so I remember sticking this CD in and being blown away by the soundscapes on this superb album. The quality of production on Diagnostics really has stood the test of time, over a decade later it still sounds great. It works well as an album in it's entirety because each track compliments the other like a sequence of scenes from a movie rather than a collection of random tunes. There are great sack-fulls of sub-bass and disjointed beats, loads of superb samples and instruments which work together with clinical efficiency to deliver a twisted collection of dark soundscapes. I always think if some rusted robotic equipment came to life, in an abandoned factory surrounded by desolate wasteland, and developed a mind of it's own - this is the music it would like to create. It really is worth having a copy of this album in your collection, I still enjoy listening to it and will continue to do so for years to come.


sweet tunes...


Formed: 1995 in Bristol, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

Bristol-based duo Technical Itch make leading-edge progressive drum'n'bass, incorporating the moodier elements of jump-up and techstep with a nod toward drum-twisting junglists such as Dom & Roland and the Penny Black label. Although Technical Itch's Darren Beale and Mark Caro (the latter originally of Birmingham) have deepest roots in the late-'80s hardcore breakbeat scene, their material both apart and together has tended toward the darkside, combining dense, unsetting atmospherics with complex,...
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Diagnostics, Technical Itch
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