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Album Review

If you were wondering what the quiet industrialist-cum-IDM mastermind Mike Cadoo did when not working in his main project Gridlock with Mike Wells, Cell will reveal all. This debut for Cadoo's side project Dryft is a document to a musical talent that ably strides between genres and clearly does not sleep.

Cell is a tour of the glitchy darkness of Gridlock's Further, suffused with a noisy drum-and-badass energy. The opening tone is set when breaks find an unlikely home among darkly atmospheric synth washes and an underlying industrial sensibility in "Slalom" and "Frantic." Cadoo does not let Cell rest in a simple tweaked drum'n'bass mode, however. "End of the In" syphons the drums through the distorted darkness, and the bass drops to a maudlin and measured depth, reminiscent of the darkest moments of Gridlock. "Untitled" is a work of dark dub that parallels masters such as Scorn — right up until the snares march in to wipe it clean. "FMW" and "Cell Weight" use the similar methods, but the analog sound designs and gentler treatment point toward the IDM pole. Nothing sits still, and elements of several electronic genres are bound together in an unlikely whole. The contradiction of sedate synth and aggressive percussion may not sit well with fans of either the darker tones of industrial or drum'n'bass acts alike. But it is because the dust never really settles and that it is all done well that stops Cell from being the kind of release that could fade into obscurity. Cadoo's unique fence-sitting talent binds together a diverse range of themes in electronic music and makes it all work together. One can only wonder what heights Dryft will reach as the project matures.

Cell, Dryft
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