It’s been a mere 4 years since D’Marc Cantu dropped his first solo outing in the form of “No Control”, the second release on Creme Organization‘s offshoot Creme Jak, and it still remains one of the labels most experimental cuts. Cantu focused the dark and psychedelic aspects of classic Chicago Acid through his warped looking glass, stripping everything back to the bone to expose nothing but deranged, skeletal drumwork and nightmarish vocals that would leave both dancefloors and brains buckled in the aftermath. Now in 2011, after 6 solo releases and various work with X2 and 2AM/FM, Cantu is set to rain down Jakbeat dread once again with “Fallen”, a Faustian opus that conjures up scenes of diabolic dealings between Man and Demon from a time long past.
In typical Cantu style, “Fallen” floats between the minimal and the maximal, the restained and the unbounded to create a tense atmosphere that gives the impression that the dark energy contained within could break loose in a split second, with proceedings quickly going in a southerly direction. As Cantu‘s circles of mania unfold, blunt jacking rhythms club the mind and lacerating synthlines leave their indelible mark on the wayward souls who make their way down this backward path. Tracks like “Transmogrification”, “Stand Up” andĀ “Shoot The Fish” show the intent to induce paranioa with their demented, cyclic melodies and reverb-soaked vocals whispered in an unknown tongue, while the relentless hammering of “Oh My”, with it’s decaying bass entering like a rogue element on the brink of breaking away from the rest of the track altogether is about as stark as this album gets. Even a lighter track such as “Say It and It’s Time” still has a forbidding aspect lying underneath it’s polished, drivingĀ arpeggiations. The only hope of salvation during “Fallen” comes right at the end with “Fractal”, a welcome relief of delicate pads and bouyant bass that suggests there could maybe be light at the end of this maleficent tunnel we’ve just spent the best part of an hour or so in.
As an album proper, “Fallen” is fully realised thematically and sonically, but while Cantu gives a hard nod to the template of the classic Chicago sound in terms of rhythmical approach, the album never falls into the habit of rehashing old ideas in the slightest. It solidly represents the new direction Cantu and his peers have moved this particular strain of underground sonics in, and not only shows that he is well capable of transcending the 12″ format and delivering a solid and unified work, but is the perfect choice to represent Creme Jak‘s first long player.
D’Marc Cantu – Transmogrification
D’Marc Cantu – Oh My
D’Marc Cantu – Fractal