Displayaz: Control the Event

Formerly involved in techno production, UK-based Damon Vallero (aka Displayaz) makes a thoroughly convincing foray into drum & bass and dubstep on Control The Event's dozen cuts. Though the hour-long collection is flawlessly executed, some of the drum & bass tracks don't radically stray from convention; “No Play For Free” certainly slams with authority and the jazzy groove of “Validation Of Sound” is impassioned, too, even if its blazing bass lines and doomsday vibe are by now a bit too familiar. Vallero wisely mixes it up by adding experimental and soulful elements to “Three Sixual” and “So Being Together,” respectively.

The dubstep cuts, on the other hand, impress more, to some degree perhaps because the genre's still fresh enough that its explorative potential hasn't yet been reigned in by convention. Atmospheric grime coats “Dead And Buried” but the tune sounds anything but lifeless; in fact, a rather uplifting mood pervades the piece as a wooden flute and string surges add warmth to the pulsating skip broiling below. Elsewhere, Burial fans will cotton to “Sunk With A Trace,” especially when its descending synth melody aligns Displayaz so closely to the Hyperdub artist's style, and “Both Your Hands Up” brings a light-footed funkiness to the proceedings. Listeners eager to introduce themselves to the genres could do a whole lot worse than Control The Event.

January 2007