Marcus Kaye has found so much success in the last 12 months with his Trevino project that it's easy to forget he's also a foundational voice in drum & bass. His recent missives as Intalex have been smooth Detroit techno-influenced rollers, flush with synth and reverb. It comes as a bit of a surprise just how raw his latest single, on consistently excellent underdog Ingredients, sounds in comparison. These two tracks aren't about to shatter anyone's perception of drum & bass, but they're fine workhorses from a master of the form.
It might just be connect-the-dots syndrome talking, but the two sides here seem to share an aesthetic with his new techno material. Far from the liquid synth of last year's 21 LP, "Cabal" feels like sandpaper, sawn-off and brutal. Foreboding pianos ring out from behind the dusty break before nosediving into a blitz of zig-zagging basslines; it's dark and it's nasty, but Kaye filters the percussion with his usual fastidious ear for detail so it's anything but primitive. Flipside "Mud" trades in the piano of "Cabal" for the gritty texture of brass, fashioning a jaunty horn workout that sounds halfway between classic Amon Tobin and Calibre.