Gamble's previous releases for the likes of London label Entr'acte have tended to foreground their intensely synthetic qualities, but Diversions, released on the PAN imprint, sees the producer take a less involved approach, amplifying the hazy grain of his source materials but rarely obscuring their basic sonic properties. At points, something like a groove is hinted at—and there is a brief period of breakbeat propulsion, near the end of side B—but for the most part this is static music: a succession of starkly beautiful moments, each one suspended in space for a moment and then abruptly supplanted by the next. Diversions is perhaps best viewed as an impressionistic rendering of the experiences of jungle culture in its heyday: its bleak, post-industrial landscapes, the heady disorientation of its highs and the dead-eyed paranoia of its lows, stitched together into a surreal, dream-like narrative.
Reformed junglists may register certain moments as clarion calls from a halcyon past: Side A opens with a diva "ooh" stretched out into penumbral infinity and closes with a swatch of brooding sci-fi paranoia; elsewhere, clouds of airy, timorously beautiful pads float over brooding 808 thuds. Near the middle of side B, a brief glimmer of euphoria is expelled by a succession of throbbing, industrial pulses. Still, Gamble's approach to his source material is satisfyingly oblique. Search for a narrative logic in Diversions and you won't find it; but as an evocation of a time and place—or rather one man's memories of it—it is both sinister and poignant in equal measure.