Carl Craig is all over the place on Last Decade, the first release under his Carls Davis moniker; the third track, "Sketches Pt. 3," has a freaking guitar solo in it. (It's probably a synthesizer rather than a guitar, but the point stands: it's basically a guitar solo, and a particularly wanky one at that.) The sequential scheme of the track titles reinforces the, well, sketch-like nature of the project, which reportedly draws "from a recently rediscovered collection in [its] conceptual stage."
It's not exactly lo-fi, but it's definitely no-frills; "Sketches Pt. 1" has Craig's trademark syncopated chords and a nimble little triangle pattern, but there's a curious dryness to the mix, and it often feels like there's an element missing, as though the track had been recorded with the snares accidentally muted. (In fact, half of the track doesn't even have a kick drum.)
The loping electro of "Sketches Pt. 2" feels even more like a demo, and "Sketches Pt. 5" is just two minutes of rudimentary 808. Not that there's anything wrong with that; DJs need tools, and, paired with a something like Kowton's "Des Bisous," the beat gets the job done, punching through like one of General Motors' riveting machines. Parts four and six come the closest to Craig's usual standards. The former is threaded with the tensile ostinato of his most epic tracks, while the latter plays augmented chords off a chest-caressing bassline.
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Tracklist: Carls Davis - Last Decade 01. Sketches Pt.1
02. Sketches Pt.2
03. Sketches Pt.3
04. Sketches Pt.4
05. Sketches Pt.5
06. Sketches Pt.6