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  • Filed under: Review
  • 09/20/2012

Trevino "Indulge" b/w "Under Surveillance"

"One of the main reasons I did Trevino was to put myself back into situations where I was uncomfortable. Getting pre-gigs nerves, thinking and worrying about gigs—I haven't done that in years," admits Marcus Kaye in a recent interview with Roost. While he might feel uncomfortable, one would have a hard time hearing it in his music; though Kaye has spent the better part of the last 18 years producing drum & bass as Marcus Intalex, his recently unveiled Trevino moniker feels entirely comfortable working within the boundaries of straightforward techno and house. However, that's not to say he's abandoned all aspects of his older alter ego. Instead, Trevino's short discography has been characterized by its willingness to tastefully merge aspects of his drum & bass background with four-to-the-floor club appeal. "Indulge" b/w "Under Surveillance," his latest single on Appleblim's Apple Pips label, sees the producer expanding his new personality in seemingly contradictory directions.

A-side cut "Indulge" opens things on an ominous and aquatic note, with an homage to the sounds of Metroplex and Drexciya. The song takes its time, gathering itself over a beatless minute-and-a-half stretch colored by the tidal pull of digital chords set to drone. The bassline hits first, cutting through the pressure with grit and muscle before giving way to a crunchy, old-school electro rhythm. The track soars like those old sci-fi soundscapes, with subtly evolving pads lending it an almost vertigo-induced sense of movement. It's a near-perfect emulation, but it might be too perfect. While it's a deadstock revisitation of older material, it doesn't manage to bring anything new to the table to distinguish it from being just another retro-minded exercise, albeit one that's well done.

By contrast, "Under Surveillance" sounds totally unique, with top-heavy smears of paranoia generated by waves of shrill keyboard noise. Its title more than just a casual name, the track invokes a feeling of intense alien scrutiny in a wide-open space. Dub influences creep out with sub-heavy Jamaican bass, infinite echo, and kicks replaced by shakers. An elastic electro bass occasionally cuts through the arrangement, shooting off terrifying mechanical tones at random intervals. It's a long way from the kind of driving techno that has defined the Trevino alias so far, reaching instead towards a fresh blending of that aesthetic with the darker ambient moments of the genre where he cut his teeth in the first place.

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