"A carrier, as in a carrier wave, is how I saw myself fitting into the scheme of things: taking different sources, presenting my take on them, mutating them, hopefully passing them on," reflects Sully, AKA Jack Stevens. These sources have, to date, splayed right across the 'nuum. Starting out as the "aggy" dubstep duo Innasekt, solo Stevens backtracked through 2-step, garage and jungle with a series of discreet yet much respected singles. As expected, the Norwich-based producer's first full-length culls together another mass of genres, this time with the fresh additions of footwork and UK funky flavours.
Carrier is an album of two halves, and while not exactly chronological, it feels distinctly divided into old and new. Opening track "It's Your Love" is a fine example of the dark, swinging 2-step that initially brought Sully to the attention of the bass community, with "2Hearts" being more rooted in its sibling garage sound—an A/B formula that has appeared on a number of his later singles. The purple-jungle hybrid "In Some Pattern" that backed Sully's first Keysound release closes Carrier's retrospective portion, redolent of his early experiments with hardcore-informed breakstep.
"Encona" acts as the album's funky bridge before launching into a series of slick footwork numbers that Sully devotees could easily misconstrue as an—albeit well executed—pander to bass fashion: another UK take on the Chicago sound, duly sapped of its characteristic crudeness. Indeed its traditionally coarse edges have been polished smooth, creating an undulating rather than staccato effect. Instead of being socked by the drum programming, you're merely aware of it. Lulled almost. Wait—lulled? By footwork? That can't be right, and yet, it is. Somehow Sully's poignant melodies leave us wounded, late night footwork rather than dance floor tear-outs of the Addison Groove variety.
The key is as much in Stevens' use of vocals, which are more garage than juke—soft, feminine (if not always female) and plaintive—distinctly so with "Trust" and closer "Exit". It's with these two tracks where Sully's penchant for crossbreeding proves most fruitful in procuring something that is genuinely unique on Carrier, showing that there are still plenty more mutants to emerge from the radioactive bass pool.
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Tracklist: Sully - Carrier 01. It's Your Love
02. 2 Hearts
03. In Some Pattern
05. Let You
07. I Know
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