Forest Drive West continues to keep us on our toes following d'n'b / techno releases for Livity, Dnuos and Hidden Hawaii. For Appian Sounds it's ultra deep, sub-aquatic and highly textured cuts, with deft rhythmic content and atmospheres thicker than a winter blanket. "Trieste" recalls some of the best bits from the late 90s minimal and glitch scenes. A fractured pad sound crackles into focus as a jarring but massaging electronic drum beat rumbles and tickles from the depths. Sonically detailed and inviting, the arrangement is nicely calm and static, adding to its meditative qualities. "Narrow" uses the same drum palette, but turns out a skippy, rolling rhythm which is more in tune with dancing than the mindful sway of the previous track. Low and subby, this isn't a million miles away from Holdie Gawn and Micawber's Sylphe label - a reduced warehouse excursion for the early hours; its cerebral nature emphasized by sparse arrangement and hypnotic repetition. "Dream State" switches sounds to a more metallic, percussive style, staccato rhythms pulsing away as suspended pads hover above the mix. Taught and poised, this is a magic number for creative DJs and adventurous dancers and should garner more than its fair share of plays at after parties and extended sessions throughout the global dance community. "Haze" completes the set and thankfully reinforces the idea even further as floating pads swirls guide what could be construed as random percussion artifacts into a cohesive form, giving life to another sonic lifeform just before the end of the trip. A brilliantly realized record here with a strong running theme throughout. Limited to 330 hand-numbered copies and with artwork by Philip Mitton - don't miss this!
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Just what you need for this cold snap, a sonic electric blanket of warm n cloaked textures. Mmmm