DFRNT – Fading
Alex 'DFRNT' Cowles has spent some time hopping around different genres and styles on his EP releases, but for the follow up to 2009's Metafiction, he has settled on a minimal, understated palette of synths and drums to explore soulful deep house and dub techno. It's an interesting choice – the subtlety and depth of tracks like That's Interesting, with its smooth production, distant trumpet riffs and chopped vocal echoes, only become apparent on close listening.
The dub influence comes to the fore in the second half of the album; Prism has the feel of a blissed-out Basic Channel, while the shuffling riddim and echo-chamber vocals of Incubus create a hypnotic effect. The sparse 2-step of In You Go is a particular highlight. Only the most discerning and mature of dancefloors will fully appreciate Fading, but as a headphone or home stereo listen, it is a complex, rewarding and sublimely chilled listen. [Bram E. Gieben]