“DXE” brings the moody grime lyrics of Dæmon alongside the equally moody subbass-rich Hyperdub-style slow beats and atmospherics of Endgame. It’s a confident, easy fitting match that feels natural and assured, and it’s surprising to learn it’s a first link-up.
The whole affair is heavily reverb and effect-laden, to the extent that you need to really focus in on the lyrics to even pick them up, otherwise they will roll over you thanks both to the treatment and to the rather droll, casual delivery. As far as I can tell, then, “Let Me Breathe” has a topical and political leaning, as well as the EP’s catchiest hook with its “passive” mantra, and “Caged” is born of deep frustrations, but mainly it does fall back into the over-familiar grime themes of lechery and thug attitude.
“Queue” has shades of dancehall swagger about it, which contrasts against the urgent and somewhat leery “Eye Teeth”.
It’s a consistent dark EP with an exquisite amount of polish, though it does maybe feel a little too washy and toothless in parts.