Compilations / Mixes
Though Quentin Hiatus's Facebook page lists the genres associated with the artist as drum'n'bass and dubstep, It's Only hardly qualifies as a straight-up drum'n'bass or dubstep collection—which isn't to suggest that the set is any the less satisfying for being otherwise. Issued on his own Free Love Digi label (founded in the fall of 2011), the nine-track recording includes a couple of tracks that sound like escapees from Aphex Twin's hard drive, hardly the kind of thing one would call drum'n'bass or dubstep.
A classic, Aphex-styled jackrabbit groove powers the chopped-up soul vocals in the opening cut, “Give Me All of You,” for example, plus there's enough bleepy synth swizzle in play, too, to warrant a Warp reference or two. It also would be disingenuous for either the listener or Hiatus to deny how close in sonic spirit the synth-heavy whirr'n'click of “Behaviorism” (its voiceover aside) is to the 1996 Warp outing Richard D. James Album. Dubstep details do, however, surface within “Jovial,” specifically in the sub-bass that Hiatus smears across the cut's slo-mo groove and the general mood of dread-filled foreboding that colours the material. And drum'n'bass likewise emerges within “Def Poet,” even if it's easy to miss when Hiatus deftly camouflages the move by threading in as many bass music and dub details as those characteristic of drum'n'bass. Genre labels aside, the tune amounts to six minutes of heady and vital music-making.
Throughout the forty-one-minute recording, Hiatus's material never stays in one place for any longer than a moment, and that this bedroom producer's got skills aplenty is something convincingly demonstrated throughout, though never gratuitously so. Probably the best thing to do is set genre considerations aside altogether and simply take each of his productions on its own terms.Anyone seeking out more info on Hiatus, by the way, will find little more than a quasi-mythological portrait that while interesting isn't all that helpful (sample lines: “Ancient and unborn sparks, hear me now as I relate the tale of the firstborn son of Quintonius, the sage you know as Quentin Hiatus. He grew in the womb as a thought in the mind, springing forth like Athena from the skull of Zeus…”). While it doesn't provide much in the way of biographical detail, another bit of text included at this forward thinker's Facebook page, on the other hand, bears repeating: “Always do whatever's next.”