Hyped primarily as a British export, drum ‘n’ bass is flourishing in the U.S., as evidenced by the new release by New York producer Hahn Rowe, a.k.a. Somatic, a veteran of 80s pop experimentalists Hugo Largo. Hahn has an extensive background as an electric violinist, guitarist, and programmer and has performed as an instrumentalist with Foetus, Firewater, That Petrol Emotion, Michael Stipe, and Moby. Featuring a vibrant form of drum ‘n’ bass that draws from techno, Somatic’s music is less of the standard chill-out sound and more of a frenetic dance experience. Some of this stuff even reminds me of Underworld, especially tracks built around vocal samples like “Venusian Jazz.” There’s a bit of big beat in “Raw Dog,” less in actual sound than in feel. The New Body is an exciting release that never lapses into the repetitiveness that occasional plagues drum ‘n’ bass.
// Notes from the Road
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