Nubian Mindz Ghost Dreams
In the late '90s and early '00s, England's Colin Lindo hit his stride as Nubian Mindz, releasing a seminal string of records that merged drum & bass and the then-burgeoning broken-beat sound with techno structures and some Detroit-inspired oomph. His records still find favor today with cross-pollinating DJs like Ben UFO and Kode9, but his production rate has fallen off somewhat—until earlier this year, Lindo hadn't released a record since 2008. His recent Hacker Wacker and TV Watches You EPs proved that his chops haven't decayed (particularly on the percussive end of things), and while also formidable, Ghost Dreams cuts a less imposing figure.
On "New Me," Lindo presents a patchwork of languid organ and yelpy synthesizer atop an energetically shuffling house grid. It seems a bit like the producer is changing elements at will, as parts drop in and out of the mix without warning. At one point, a good portion of the track is submerged, via filter, and then brought back up, which, as cliché as it is, seems like kind of a rare trick these days. Aardvarck is a perfect choice to remix the track, or Lindo in general. The Dutchman has always employed a similarly rambunctious approach to programming, and while this is still subtly true, his remix is better calculated than Lindo's original, as it deftly builds from a dubbed-out, vaguely tropical opening section into some frantic breaks toward the end. "Ghost Dreams," on the flip, is a more sluggish piece. Apart from its dominant, bleeping melody, each part seems hesitant in a way, as the kicks constantly modulate and the clap patterns are in constant flux. It never totally takes off, but it's engaging enough just focusing on its restless undercurrent. The digital-only "Capricorn One" goes for a more purpose-built dub-techno rush, led by ominous stabs and a bouncing clave pattern. It caps off a solid, if not entirely striking EP. Lindo's comeback is more than welcome, but one hopes he has more leftfield maneuvers lying in wait.
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