Londoner DEFT always impresses, but his most recent "Masquerade EP" is by far the one of most impressive releases I've heard all year. The whole thing utilizes a juke / trap / house aesthetic that fluidly blends his sonic textures to the fullest. The mixture of genres is refreshing, and desperately needed in these bleak times of genericness. Essentially, Masquerade is an off the wall experiment that is absolutely NOT for the faint of ears.
It starts out with "Crown Point", a hard hitting, vibrant track with an emphasis on 808s. Pulsating, lush synth sounds glue the sporadically frantic percussion together effortlessly. Although this track is quite hard hitting, it's one of the more subdued sounds on the wax.
"No Solace" picks up the pace ever so slightly, adding even more snares to the mix. Punchy, fluttering pad sounds and airhorn / siren textures (my favorite) keep this one moving along nicely.
"The Count" is definitely one of the louder endeavors on the record. Bizarre, nearly non-stop vocal sampling (aaaah, yeeeah, you don't understand, etc etc) keeps the energy level extremely high, and maintains the head nodding. Not to mention those dope rave-y synths keep you bouncing for days. This is definitely the highlight track for me, and is an excellent way to sum up Masquerade.
The title track "Masquerade" is by far the most off the wall of them all. I'm not even going to describe this one, you simply need to hear it.
The finishing track "Dionysus Park" is an extreme juxtaposition compared to the almost strict juke sound going on. It's a funky, faster paced techno-esque joint that somehow makes sense considering the pure wildness of extended play.
What I love most about Deft's material is the nearly perfect amount of variation found in each of the five tracks. The sounds are separate enough to keep you guessing, yet similar enough to flow with ease. I'm not just talking about sonic variation between the songs, the elements in each track are switched up at a furious pace, which makes every production a gem.
I dare you to sit through this without moving. Recommended for the jukers, ADD / ADHD people, and experimentalists out there.