Over the past year-and-a-bit Daniel Avery has coursed through a number of EPs that have yet to leave our record box, a stellar contribution to the fabriclive series, and has found himself firmly imprinted on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label. If you’re at all familiar with last year’s releases “Need Electric” or “Water Jump”, you’ll already half know what to expect from this album – and this can only be a good thing.
Avery has zeroed in on his sound – the best way to describe this would be a sort of “British” take on Gui Boratto/John Tejada, with a little Chemical Brothers thrown in for good measure; the productions are melodic, evolving, often overwhelming, and crafted with thought and care. However, each track here contrasts to the one before it, so although Avery has a unique and definite voice, it’s one that’s never homogenous.
The “dance album” itself as a concept is often a tough project. All too often we end up with 3 EPs worth of material packaged together in an order that lacks cohesion. Drone Logic, despite including a handful of tracks that were originally released a year ago, manages to sidestep this and has a definite plot. It’s not just a case of putting a more emotional track next to a tougher one to break up the pace, each step through the hour and a bit relates to the previous 4 before it, and the album as a whole. Accordingly, it’s actually quite difficult to pick a definitive high point of the album. Distorted waves come in with “These Nights Never End”, “New Energy” and “Knowing We’ll Be Here” that are offset against the clinical synth work in “Platform Zero”, “All I Need” and “Simulrec”. In spite of that, the stand out track (and by a very small margin) is “Naive Response”, sounding like cross between Claude VonStroke’s “Vocal Chords” and Paul Woolford’s “Erotic Discourse” but then again nothing like either of them, it’s prime dance floor material and a fine example of Avery’s style.
This is a very good album. It’s just different enough that it begs you to replay it over and over again, but familiar enough that you can enjoy it the first time round. We don’t know what’s around the corner for Avery, but if his output is consistently as good as this, there’s no chance of him going away anytime soon.
Daniel Avery – Drone Logic LP (Phantasy Music) Released 7th October