Taken on its own, ‘Faceless’ is more than capable of leaving an impression. Both Commix and Intalex are rare among drum n bass producer/DJs in that they can strike a near-perfect balance of heavy and light elements on a track or between them. As a producer, Commix manage this by intertwining soulful vocals with a crushing bassline (‘Be True’ being a good example), and as a DJ Intalex makes silky smooth transitions despite surface disparities, such as between the dreamy ‘Faceless’ and Jonny L’s screw-faced stormer ‘Come Here’ on FabricLive.
The harmony among airy synths, sharp claps, rich bass and a tough-as-nails beat makes ‘Faceless’ a perfect lynchpin for open-minded dnb DJs segueing out of soulful dnb into ruffer stuff, as Intalex did, or vice-versa. The track’s only iffy addition is an oft-repeating stab that sounds too much like a computer alert, kicking in around the two-minute mark and sticking around for the rest of the time. This might only get irritating for some listeners, however, and others might not even notice it at all.
On the flip, Commix’s ‘Solvent’ is strictly for the jocks that like to keep a uniformly dark and techy vibe through the night. ‘Solvent’ pairs up well with recent Hospital offerings like Cyantific’s ‘Disconnected’ or Logistics’ ‘Glitch’, not only because they all have meaningless techno-industrial names but also because they keep the lights low without ever really getting down ‘n dirty. But aside from retaining Commix’s flair for dense, layered bass, ‘Solvent’ has little in common with the consistent greatness of their Call to Mind artist album from last fall. This one’s strictly B-side material, in one ear and out the other.