Music Reviews

Artist: Seba
Title: Identity
Format: CD
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Inside the alchemical symbol of fire, the comic portrait of Sebastian Ahrenberg aka Seba depicts himself in a whirlpool of tentacles, diamonds, a cute girl biting apple and everyhting which could summarize a story, including feelings, passions, temptations, pains, fears, thoughts, victories, defeats and whatever seems to be the fuel whose combustive agent cannot be but drum'n'bass. Such a "humanization" of the genre is one of the most relevant aspect of the second labum by this appreciated Swedish producer, which shuffle his best cards for the highest stakes of dnb folowers by conjugating a wide arrays of styles and some hints from past champions: for instance, some of you could recall some intersections between dnb and alternative rock by Pendulum while listening the engaging "Too much too soon", where Jinder seems to sing about the emotive consequences of an impulsive passion, some "romanticized" tunes from Hospital while listening the masterpiece of liquid dnb "Nothing can replace", whose skilled singer could recall the style by Kirsty Hawkshaw (or maybe she is Kirsty Hawkshaw...!?!?!) with vocal nuances which could remember LTJ Bukem's Logical Progressions, some grimly computational pre-apocalyptic atmospheres and the devilish voice-over by Ed Rush & Optical's "Travel The Galaxy" on title-track "Identity", some pad-driven soft skidding by Omni Trio on the initial "Can't Describe" or even some elastic Detroit techno by Basic Channel or Bochum Welt on the unique stunning and somehow unexpected techno track of the album "Midas". In spite of possible remembrances, you cannot but notice the elegant touch by Seba and appreciate his astonishing versatility. There are really many master strokes. My personal favs are the above-mentioned "Nothing can replace", the majestic epic synaesthetical hooks of "Balance of Power" (not so different from some tunes by Upbeats), the perfect crossbreed between progressive techno and breakbeat of "Could this be love" and the heart-melting emotional intensity of the soulful song "Madness". This release by the owner of Secret Operations, which could be considered one of the proper dnb highlights of 2013, cannot but deserve 5 stars.

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