Best known for his work as drum-and-bass don dBridge, decade-spanning producer Darren White has made his long-awaited debut on Dusky and Christian Piers’ label 17 Steps with the dark and soulful three-track EP Be So Cruel, donning his house and techno moniker Velvit for the release. The EP’s title track retains the technical heavy-hitting elements of White’s early productions, but translates them beautifully into a soulful four-to-the-floor hummer, even featuring vocals from White himself.
The track builds a dark groove with thumping kicks and a reverberating bass-line before quickly relenting shortly, returning with light rolling percussion and White's crooning: “You used to say you wanted me, that I was the only one for you.” There’s poignancy in White’s voice as he continues and repeats the chorus of the track, “How could you be so cruel?” with synths swirling above as the track dives ahead. Rounding out the release are tracks "No Excuses," featuring vocals from White's brother Steve Spacek, and "South of Your Soul," with dark electro vibes.
Since being prominently featured in Dusky’s Resident Advisor mix last year, “Be So Cruel” has garnered much buzz and anticipation for the veteran producer, as well as for the young imprint. White justifies the hype and maintains the momentum of prior releases from label bosses Dusky and Piers, offering a fresh contrast to current club sounds with a dark and groove-laden track that is no doubt earning spins on dancefloors across the world.