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deadbeat - Drawn And Quartered
Though we've enjoyed some of his recent more club-oriented fare, for us Scott Monteith is at his most vital when exploring more broken and desolate dub-techno sounds - and that's exactly what his new album is about. Released on his own BLKRTZ label, Drawn & Quartered feels almost like the definitive Deadbeat statement, comprised of five 10 minute+ tracks designed for deep immersion. Expansive scene-setter 'First Quarter' is proper dub, a rolling lovers' riddim haunted by echoing chords, panning effects and strange audio involutions; 'Second Quarter' is propelled by a steady 4/4 rhythm, funked up with just-below-surface guitar licks and brittle synth arpeggios; 'Third Quarter (The Vampire of Mumbai)' (great title, eh?) dispenses with kickdrums entirely, making for a humid ambient excursion that teems with insect life, its unhurried but sure-footed gait summoning old Chain Reaction classics from Fluxion and Vladislav Delay. For 'Fourth Quarter (Cala's House)' and 'Plateau Quarter (Hope In Numbers)' we return to sleek, smoke-wreathed reggae minimalism, with drum hits that sound like they're tumbling through the void, forcing the inevitable Rhythm & Sound comparison; the latter tune in particular makes clear its debt to JA with a papring horn section that'd make Studio One proud. Yep, Drawn And Quartered is a modern dub experience to savour.