All of this makes the Dark Days EP, Perez's proper follow-up to 1984, slightly confusing. Like much of his single output, these tracks seem concerned more with utility than artful expression. On the album, Perez collaborated with hip-hop group Foreign Beggars for the evil Wu-Tang-evoking "The Cut Deepens," a partnership he reprises here for "Dark Days." The militancy of the halting beat is impressive in itself, but Foreign Beggars are on autopilot their braggadocio ringing hollow. There's another collaboration in the form of "Loose Ends;" Noisia, arguably the biggest names in d&b outside of Pendulum, don't do much to bring out the adventurer in Perez, instead sticking to their own mostly uninteresting blend of obnoxious basslines and monochrome percussion.
The one remnant of the restless spirit of 1984 is "Behind Time," which adorns the tough beats with delicate synth trills and obscured vocal moans. 1984 seemed like a leap forward for Perez. So I can't help but be disappointed that Perez seems to be moving in such an overly masculine, aggressive direction. Hopefully Dark Days is merely a stopgap on the road to further progression.