Y2K-proof techno

Apr 21, 1999 at 12:00 am
Detroit techno third-waver Sean Deason has been one of the few purveyors of the 313 soundtrack-soul beatscapes to venture out of the usual 140 BPM formulas of the Detroit sound. On his new stellar (literally) full-length Allegory & Metaphor on his Matrix label, Deason makes the point in no uncertain terms. While some of the 12 tracks seem a little too propped-up on their panning-synth seriousness and glistening, electronic percussion meditations, the bulk of Allegory & Meditation bristles with a cool, crackling computer funk, from the William Orbitish, downtempo bump of "Ambience" to the patient, back-lit, controlled chaos of the drum ’n’ bass "My World." Like fellow sonic sophisticates Kenny Larkin and Carl Craig, Deason has his trademark palette of glowing synths and twinkling high-hat fetishes, heard in all their night-flight glory on the slow building opener "Creation." But staying true to the Detroit techno-trademark vacuum-tight soul, Deason finds an ambitious range of motion, cruising as he does between downtempo and drum ’n’ bass skittishness without blowing his carefully crafted roboti-funk cool. While A&G may sound anachronistic compared to the jazzy jungle and filter-disco of Detroit-inspired electronic contemporaries like LTJ Bukem or Spacetime Continuum, Deason gets similar results without compromising his deep Detroit roots or sound.