Solidifying a productive year with dozens of releases, the Droid aka Ben Evans, marks his Woodwork debut with a power packed EP of intriguing electro tracks, delivering monstrous remixes alongside.
Opening with 'paranoia', the Droid's style immediately becomes apparent in its minimalist sonic landscape. Framed in classic 808 rhythms, Evans hits a quirky, abstract nerve with aggressive bass hits and resonant LFO synth tweakery. A solid mix layer, serving as a constant energetic ride.
The title cut, 'rewire the system' offers up the same punchy beat foundation and gets a little deeper, with breaks trading off against four-to-the-floor. The retro flavour of the pads and cosmic flow of various swells, miniature funky bass lines and anguished robo-vocalizations perhaps portray a machine striving toward a more human experience.
Mr. Gentle steps up for the first altered version and gets straight into dramatic sci-fi territory while maintaining the original spaciousness of the Droid approach. He succeeds in taking the beats to an alternate energy level while implementing some ominous breakdowns and infectious acid work to further the plot line of the track.
We are in for a noticeably trippy excursion as Francois Dillinger takes the helm. The 808 feel is drastically withdrawn and chill, with a rolling, funky resolve that perfectly sets up the smoky tapestry of psychedelia over top. The bass and atmospherics are drawn out to an expansive harmonic rhythm somewhere between deeply groovy and completely zoned-out.
The Droid meets Pablo Splice for 'beat the machine'. The two combine opposing aesthetics to craft a unique hybrid contraption from spare parts. The Droid's cycling repetition and minimalist sound design are on lock over his familiar 808 stylings. Pablo Splice counters this with a characteristic, snaky, atonal stab melody underpinned by a complimentary mid-range bass line, with both elements achieving a brash, down-sampled, digital edge.
Lloyd Stellar crafts an impressive thematic rework of 'beat the machine' that features a relentless upbeat swagger - a proper battle workout for the floor. Expanded sonic movement in the bass, twisted harmonic pad variations, tough and punchy blips, urgent vocoder verses, and a massive anthemic section of rave hits, keep this catchy remix moving through exciting revelations from start to finish.
The Droid saves a profound statement for the end with his 'amen experiment'. This unique track recalls a laid back 808 feel, similar to the previous Francois Dilinger workout, but then treats this to subtle ambient chord shifts behind some carefully layered breakbeats. These elements clash and combine wonderfully, ending this EP in an absorbed but lucid mood.
The Droid: thedroidwoodwork.bandcamp.com
Mr. Gentle: soundcloud.com/mr-gentle
Francois Dillinger: soundcloud.com/fdbeardd
Pablo Splice: www.facebook.com/PabloSplice
Lloyd Stellar: soundcloud.com/lloydstellar
released October 19, 2020
cover photo by Figital