Drum & bass, Detroit techno, and now…post-punk? It seems unlikely that many would have expected Untold to conclude his trilogy of EPs with two tracks that could have emerged out of the dancepunk boom of ten years ago, but those privy to his entry into the LuckyMe mixtape series – comprised entirely of post-punk and hardcore – will know that he is something of an aficionado on the subject, and if anything these tracks just prove that the DNA of early 80s British guitar music runs deep enough to show its dominant traits once every few musical generations.
Of course it’s not a total departure for the producer, otherwise known as Jack Dunning. Although “Kane” is characterised by its Gang Of Four style bassline, aesthetically it’s a fitting companion to the first EP’s “Motion The Dance”. Dark, throbbing, and filled with malicious intent, it’s offered an air of grandiose spectacle with its symphonic violin, peaking at its mid-point when an event horizon of waspish drones open up beneath the bassline and pulls everything in. “Overdrive” meanwhile takes a more explicitly industrial tack, as heavily distorted bass guitar licks are thrown into a cascading jumble of crunchy, organic beats. The reference point here is still post-punk, but more the kind of scratched out Downwards variety.
Now this trilogy of releases has concluded, what is there to make of the project? In a recent column for Spin, Philip Sherburne suggested that “Motion The Dance” was one of a few tracks from dubstep’s recent evolution that were characterised by “the anti-drop”, and this is certainly something that’s present on the third EP as well as the first and second, with the menace presented in his early bottom heavy dubstep-garage hybrids becoming an inky black malevolence – the difference between the movie monster that stays in the shadows and the one that doesn’t. This project has not just been a rebirth for Dunning, but a successful effort to completely remove himself from the problematic “bass” equation – one that will ensure his legacy for years to come.