Marcus Kaye was one of the earliest champions of Martyn, the former drum & bass head who'd go on to make some of the best music of dubstep's late '00s reinvention. So when the producer best known as Marcus Intalex was in the process of reinventing himself as the 4/4-friendly Trevino, his old pupil returned the favor by offering him a side on 3024. After a busy year spent building Trevino on labels like Apple Pips, [NakedLunch] and The Nothing Special, Kaye returns to 3024 for a full EP. Kaye may not be the first drum & bass producer to go techno of late, and his spin on 4/4 may lack some of the immediate appeal of a guy like Boddika, but the Tactical Maneuver EP shows Kaye continuing to hustle.
Painstakingly detailed and complexly layered, Tactical Manoeuvre doesn't exactly sound effortless, but you can't fault Trevino's work ethic: he's apparently not planning to sleep until he gets techno right. "Shank" is all about contrast, with pitch-black bass fighting a sunrise of wispy chords. Slightly crazed but utterly infectious, "Spin Away" owes a debt to more recent Martyn material. "Tactical Manoeuvre" is a showcase for Kaye's skillful sound design, but with a melody that never quite lifts off and hints of a big moment that never arrives, it comes off as incomplete. Included as a digital exclusive, the straightforward Detroit electro of "Makes Sense" is both the EP's least distinctive moment and simplest pleasure. Taken as a whole, Tactical Manoeuvre is the sound of Trevino closing in on his destination; it'll be quite a moment when he lands.
Buy Trevino - Tactical Manoeuvre EP at
Tracklist: Trevino - Tactical Manoeuvre EP A Shank
B1 Spin Away
B2 Tactical Manoeuvre
Digital: Makes Sense