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Explorimenting Beats

Witchman

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Album Review

After only a pair of EPs for Rising High and Leaf Recordings, Witchman's John Roome became one of the hotter properties of the experimental drum'n'bass set. Quickly cobbled onto a handful of jungle comps and sped into the disappointing double-pack Nightmare Alley, however, the impression was given that perhaps Roome had spent his chips. Not so, it would appear, since his first full-length is the sort of album those early EPs suggested Roome was capable of. A gloomy, foreboding collection of tracks alternating between roiling, mutant breakbeat and sludgy downtempo, this ain't no dancefloor jungle, but rather music for headphone meditation best explored with the lights low and the senses, er, distracted. Warped, dense, and varied.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

Oft compared with gloomy breakbeat industrialists Scorn and Techno Animal, the dubbed up drum'n'bass of Witchman has as much in common with jungle paranoids Nico and Ed Rush and the gothic techno of Disjecta and Meat Beat Manifesto. Combining heavy, space-filling drum sequences — alternately split- and double-time — with piles and piles of effects units and daubs of ominous synth patches, Witchman lies somewhere near the intersection of Jamaican dub, early hip-hop, ambient, and the darker...
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Explorimenting Beats, Witchman
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