Instra:mental, Let’s Talk/Vicodin

Image by Jason Tozer

[Naked Lunch]

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Instra:mental may nominally make drum and bass music, but don’t tell them that. Since starting their Autonomic podcast series with D-Bridge and launching their NonPlus+ label, Instra:mental have made it clear their vision of drum and bass has little to do with the ADD-addled tunes which define the genre for many. Tracks like the anthemic “No Future” and “Watching You” used the templates and sounds of drum and bass but had a deepness that belied their 170 BPM tempo. Last year’s “Leave It All Behind” on Apple Pips even explored shimmering Drexciya-styled electro to exceptional effect, introducing them to a new crop of listeners who probably wouldn’t have given them a second look. Let’s Talk/Vicodin, their latest for Irish label [Naked Lunch], further expands their sound and is quite possibly their best single yet.

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“Let’s Talk” is a slow house roller, with murky bass tones and a pitched down narrator listing all of the things he would like to talk about. While broken beats have characterized their output thus far, “Let’s Talk” shows that Instra:mental’s vision works just as well, if not better, slowed down and with a steady 4/4. On the flip, “Vicodin” is a reduced, melodic track whose plodding bass jabs and delayed, simple melody push all the right buttons. Stepping into the corner of dubstep mined by Scuba and the like, “Vicodin’s” strength lies in its restraint, refusing the urge to open up into a big, obvious climax. As a whole, Let’s Talk/Vicodin is like so many Instra:mental records in that it’s so difficult to pick a favorite side. Instra:mental have earned cross-genre appeal not by combining obvious signifiers of each genre but by delving into their depths and finding where they connect.

Sg  on June 5, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Let’s Talk is pretty good but Vicodin is just a beautiful, beautiful tune.


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