30/06/2016 – Darko Riddims-ATGS (2016)

Darko Riddims releases Hip-Hop that doesn’t mess about getting to the point, but at the same time it’s abstract as hell!



Hip-Hop has come a long way since Kool Herc and co. started finding jazz breaks and looping them at block parties. Part of me wonders if they would have known what was to come whether they would have got lawyers and copyrighted the shit outta their legacies? Probably not, but it whiles away some moments at work. Anyway, as I was saying, Hip-Hop it a varied and diverse beast now. If you can conceive it you can find it. Gangsta Trap, Goth Boom-Bap and straight up Grime. It’s all there, just a fingertip away.



On producer what manages to subvert all of these genres, while keeping in line with the original ethos of the genre is Darko Riddims. On his most recent album ATGS, Darko showcases his deft touch at production and composition. After a brief intro, the title track kicks things off in fine form. Disjointed basslines surge from speaker to speaker while a tight beat powers everything along. Good start. What’s up next? The Ministry takes a classical piano sample and chops its up, slows it down, then shoves a massive choir over it while a claustrophobic beats makes it far more edgy than it should have been. Over all great stuff!



As the title suggests The Scene sounds like a Mark Snow/Brad Fiedel mash up. Worryingly it works perfectly! After three flawless tracks The Arsenal takes a weird turn by starting with an Arsenal FC football chant intro that then goes into quite a hard and serious beat. The chant doesn’t appear again, making its inclusion confusing and disorienting. Did Darko think “This track needs something, I know a football chant!” or was the whole thing an accident? Either way we’ll never know, but it’s inclusion is jarring and bizarre. The Solution tries to get things back on track, but due to the intro of the last track, it doesn’t really work as we’re waiting for a moment of madness to derail a solid beat, bassline and synth melodies. The Technique is basically The Ministry Part II. Glenn Gould sounding pianos are backed by stark and menacing beats. All of a sudden a maelstrom of synths whips everything up, before calming down again. The Result closes the album. It’s like a trap Ennio Morricone remix. While it pops in the right places and has a nice bounce to it, it doesn’t feel as cohesive as ATGS’ earlier tracks.



Basically Darko Riddims makes the kind of Hip-Hop that doesn’t mess about getting to the point, but at the same time it’s abstract as hell! There are a lot of ideas going on and most of them work, but sadly when they don’t everything suffers. The overall point is good and the fact that nothing here is that conventional is a tour de force, but some of the samples and concepts don’t flow as well as they should. Saying that adding some of these tracks to playlists would be advantageous as would boost your reputation as being someone who knows about new forward thinking music.



Darko Riddims is a producer that needs to be monitored closely as it’s only a matter of time before he gets everything right and produces something that isn’t just abstract, but contagious too!















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