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Customer Review

on 12 March 2012
At the time of the release of Nedry`s excellent debut LP Condors the post-dubstep classification didn't exist as a handy catchall. Then reviewers were floundering around coining awkward trip-gaze niche genres for the London band. In truth, Condor`s distorted dub probably wouldn't have fit the pigeonhole anyway, but, in parts, its very worthy successor In A Dim Light might just.

Either way, as much a product of vocalist Ayu Okakita`s native Japan as it is multi-instrumentalists Matt Parker and Chris Amblin`s hometowns of London and Bristol, In A Dim Light draws from a greater palette than its predecessor combining Okakita's couldn't-be-more-oriental-yet-elfin lungs with the claustrophobic beats of Burial and an never-more-evident schooling in the trippy atmospherics of Massive Attack and go-to influence Portishead.

It's a wise evolution too because the bass scene has perceptibly changed of late and squelchy hybrid bangers like their early "Squid Cat Battle" are now less revelatory that the sound of the underground has gone overground (womblin' free optional). A largely contemplative mix then, In A Dim Light still knows when to break the bank as the skewed rhythm and muscular undertow of "TMA" shows - its drifting guitar shards letting Okakita rip into a ferocious vocal amid surging bass interjections.

More representative, there's an intriguing nasal emphasis to Okakita's turn amongst the crisp computerised snares of "Dusk Til Dawn" and the mature and subtle bass of opener "I Would Rather Explode" gives substance to its otherwise Warp-inspired glitch of latter-day Radiohead.

Also low on intensity, "Viocelae" prowls the divide between dream and nightmare as distant dub growls intermittently. Building to a beats-led crescendo, clicking, chattering electronics provide the track's eerie plodding with an anchor just as the crumpled lurch, fractured beat and simmering wub-wub of the ever-building "Post Six" bring to mind the close-knit geekery of 65daysofstatic-type arrangements.

The late-night comedown of closing cut "Home" has its reverie punctured by a surprise dose of jungle mayhem that suggests at a more mute version of the climax in Björk`s recent "Crystalline", and, earlier, the industrial dub of "Havana Nights" resonates like one of her Tesla coils pulsing its last in an abandoned warehouse before the track rounds out into a driving, steel-jawed beauty that puts the "I" in nascent/resurgent genre IBM (Intelligent Bass Music).

Reminiscent of many things but still unique to itself, In A Dim Light, perhaps unsurprisingly given its retiring title, eschews the beck and call of the limelight in favour of deft forward motion. It's not all killer, but now, as then, when Nedry hit they do so with Ninja Tune precision.

Advised downloads: "Havana Nights" and "TMA".
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