First up is a Blackdown rework of Dusk's "Focus," the theatrical closer to the duo's debut album Margins Music a few years ago. In Clark's hands it becomes an anxious garage roller, the roiling Reese bassline underlining the dramatic strings and supple percussive textures with a certain manic panic the original lacked. The duo collaborate on "Ex-Swing," which sounds like their take on the modern breed of 2-step garage. Featherweight and aluminum, it gets by on melodic phrases that float by like puffs of air and a rhythmic framework that seems to consistently fall out of place and stumble into succeeding bars.
The third track is the one most likely to attract some outside attention. Credited "Dusk + Blackdown +," the mystery guest is evident almost immediately once the distinctly wounded, lopsided drums hit. Any new appearance from Burial is bound to get everyone salivating, but "High Road" sounds like it could be based on an old lost dub. Though the track has the same mischievously descending bassline as "Ex-Swing" (surely the duo's work) Burial's on autopilot, with lacklustre drums and little of the usual vocal re-engineering mastery he displays on his own work. So while the Burial collaboration isn't anything close to a revelation, the fact that it's overshadowed by the duo's own work should say something about its calibre.