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D’Marc Cantu – A New World review

D’Marc Cantu may have languished in the shadow of his more high-profile associates Traxx and James T. Cotton, but A New World, his second artist album in as many years shows that he should be viewed as being the master of his own destiny rather than an engaging sideshow.

Indeed, one of the most noticable aspects of A New World is the lack of Jakbeat, the primal interpretation of Chicago house that the Nation stable of artists have developed. When it does rear its grungy head, it does so in the most irresistibly creepy manner; “Green Bike Sea” starts with rolling snares and leads to a grainy bass and shaking percussion underpinning muffled vocals and bleeding acid lines. “Try Me” is meaner and yet more suggestive, with the scent of blood and sweat-caked bar counters rising over a red-lit, heaving bass. However, this is not an album about shebeens and one-night stands with random strangers, but rather a reflective, more introverted work.

“The Other Side of House” delivers exactly what its title promises, a stripped back, understated but still menacing flipside to the deluge of derivative tribute tracks, while “Genetic Script” sees gurgling 303s unfold over doubled up drums – and sounds like Cantu has immersed himself in Detroit’s proud electro past. But the real highlights on A New World occur when the producer completely indulges his esoteric whims. “Mobile Communication” sees heavy claps supporting bleeding, bleepy bass licks, but it’s merely a prelude for “The First Planet”. Inspired by Detroit techno, it’s Cantu’s piece de resistance: atmospheric synths arc slowly upwards, their acidic undercurrent like tail lights on a jumbo jet as they reach into the upper levels of the night sky, hopefully guiding Cantu towards greater recognition.

Richard Brophy


Tracklisting:

1. Good
2. Spirit Form
3. Mobile Communication
4. The First Planet
5. Genetic Script
6. Autumn Accents
7. Try Me (The Beat)
8. Green Bike Seat
9. The Other Side Of House