Oh man. I think Decoder just knocked a flowerpot off of my windowsill. Jeez.
Decoder is a mainstay of the tech-step halls, frequented by the No-U-Turn crew, Dom & Roland, Optical, and Johnny L. Essentially, tech-step strips all vestiges of soul left in drum n’ bass, giving it a menacing, sterile feel. Stomach-churning basslines, occasional squleches, samples and brittle drums make Decoder and his mates some of the tougher kids on the block. Tech-step takes drum n’ bass from its rickety, shambling foundations, and occasional utopian impulses into a bleak and bitter futuristic zone. But while stiffening the joints, we lose some of the loose-limbed freakiness of DJ Soulsinger and Casey Rice. It’s an urban jungle now.
There’s not a moment on here you wouldn’t expect to hear on a Decoder album, but when repetition and consistency are the hallmarks of the field you work in, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.