Where Call To Mind effortlessly worked in all sorts of influences for a vibrant, multifarious whole, Dusted—despite its odds-and-sods nature—actually feels a little more unified around a single vibe. It's a jazzy, muted one, with tracks that shine with a sepia-toned, nostalgic hue appropriate for a collection that's essentially a bittersweet farewell. Things start off typically with "Time Has Come," as piano samples twirl around a crisp drum break like a woozy spinning top. Soulful vocal soundbites, heart-swelling basslines and mournful horns echoing in the distance, this is Commix at their most identifiable—and that describes quite a few of the songs here. "Change" twists saxophone samples and choked vocals around steel-plated beats, while so many other tracks spread shimmering samples, tinkling glass keys and icy strings to create sublime arctic soundscapes.
An undeniably pretty album, Dusted's formula of brittle metal and lush, rushing synths starts to wear after a while, especially since it lacks the percussive diversity or structural unpredictability of Call To Mind. It sounds more like a collection of Commix singles, one that doesn't hold enough variety to hold up over the course of almost eighty minutes. Towards the end of the album they start to show some wandering eyes: "Audience" emerges from gravelly washes of synth into a dissolute, shaking skip that sounds like Burial if he used jungle as his template rather than El-B, while "EXP" sounds like Wormhole-era neurofunk slathered in Hollywood polish. The album closes with the wistful "Autumn Rides," mixing cobbled-together breaks with sprightly pianos: it's pretty much acid jazz, and that it doesn't float away on its own disinterested lightheartedness says a lot about this duo's distinct talent for keeping the physical edge in even their prettiest audio daydreams.
As if almost defensive of the album's perceived quality as a leftovers collection, the duo single out "Golden" as a track deserving of inclusion on Call To Mind in a press release. While it's certainly not the most impressive track on the release, it's an appropriate microcosm for Dusted as a whole, as jazzy synths murmur quietly underneath drums and pads so crisp and refreshing they sound like they could quench thirst. "Golden" bubbles and rises but never quite gives in to climax, and that's kind of how I feel about Dusted. It's a collection of tracks from some of the most brilliant minds to ever produce at 170 beats per minute, but it's nothing you haven't heard before from them. Diehard fans will fawn over tracks like “Audience,” and I suppose that's who this compilation is aimed at. Newcomers are better off going to Call To Mind, and when they're sufficiently in love and clamoring for more, Dusted will do nicely.