Detritus: Fractured
Ad Noiseam

Climb aboard the hell-bound Trans-Europe Express on David Dando-Moore's third Detritus outing. Anyone thinking the Detritus sound might be mellower this time around need only drop the needle onto Fractured's blistering opener “Desolate (5-htp mix).” The track kicks up a deathly dystopic storm before manic drum'n'bass beats drop and an ululating female voice (could that warble be a sped-up Edith Piaf?) claws its way to the surface. In like spirit, the subsequent track, the guitar-heavy steamroller “Collide,” writhes like a crazed colossus while the later cyclone “Diolch” takes no prisoners either.

The Detritus style may be heavy and uncompromising but it's far from unmusical. Dando-Moore softens the blow by taming the drum'n'bass fury with orchestral strings and piano motifs and even includes a melancholy detour into piano-and-strings trip-hop territory (“Detrimental”). “Lethe” also exposes Detritus's softer side with a slow and dreamy trip-hop setting dominated by acoustic bass, piano, and strings while, believe it or not, the otherwise epic rumble of “Inside Blue Ice” concludes with traces of harpsichord. Detritus—always the gentlemanly host—reserves a spot at the table for two guests: DJ Hidden's “Interrupted” remix teases the listeners with the threat of a drum'n'bass detonation that arrives halfway through while Keef Baker's “Weeping” mix of “Dancing on Moonbeans” is equally seething and boombastic.

March 2008