Black Box—and its sublabels—has been a dependable outpost for post-DMZ dubstep in the past few years, with solid releases from producers like DJ Madd and Kryptic Minds. Its newest addition to the roster comes in the form of UK drum & bass producer Data, making an auspicious debut with four EPs in various styles, of which Intrusion is undoubtedly the strongest.
"Intrusion" sees the drum & bass producer—who makes 170BPM music more on the minimal side of things—applying his skills to a 140 template, but it's not quite the brooding, swampy style Black Box usually proliferates. Instead Data's dubstep hits with a sharp, insistent attack that feels a lot speedier—halftime this isn't—betraying not only his drum & bass roots but welding a refreshing new shell on a well-used template. Think the most tribal of Mala rhythmic experiments nailed down with ruthless industrial rigidity and drum & bass linearity. If that sounds a little too straight-laced for you, "Knives from Heaven" ought to set you straight, with a queasy, wobbling drum pattern and ascending chord progression that goes up and up and up, like the uncontrollable rush of a dodgy pill. It's not often that anything as traditionally "dubstep" as this excites these days, but something about Data's sits just right: it's hungry, it's razor sharp and it's utterly effective, proving both his own adaptability as a producer and Black Box's continued prowess in hunting out the best the overcrowded genre has to offer.
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Tracklist: Data - Intrusion A Intrusion
B Knives from Heaven