Thanks to khal at dogsonacid.com for publishing this review, and allowing me to cross-post it. To leave feedback, see this article link.
When you have nothing to fear, you are truly free. So illustrates Lonekink's fire-laden bridge edging off to a distant land in the artwork to Fanu's new Homefree LP. Building on the brickwork of Daylightless, Fanu channels the hypnotic poignancy and quiet confidence of Calibre and D-Bridge towards heavier breakbeats and wholesome bass astringency.
It's hard to hide stolen pleasures irrespective of fulfillment. Fanu's bread and butter is Twin Peaks sampling and on Homefree he walks with this notion, raising the jawbone to taut bricolages of real and unreal, analysis and (beautiful) paranoia, seeing things that aren't there, muttered morass into broken chorus. "Amok", track one, sets shipwrecked vocals to string-led cinematics. Segued prior to "Cry 4 U" (feat. Swervez and BBA), where the ululating "I gave you all the love I've got / You took my love, you took my life" takes centre stage, the progression has chronological significance, as the musical connector to personal hardships. It can be difficult putting past scars behind you and the subsequent "Burning The Bridge", is the conduit, the sludgy bass and wispy aria an effusion of angst and passion. As are those on "You May Fall But Don't Hide Your Face", upping the pretentiousness stakes in the titles, only to cough up bigger rewards for those who push past the superficial.
In the days when "back to back" meant rubbing shoulders to test one's size, polite etiquette wasn't mandatory. Comparatively, Fanu's collaboration with The New Law on "Showdown" is a creative venture with respect of rhythm and restraint, whereas on "And I Find Her There", prominent shark-tailed rasps meld with urgent percussive showers and sit-at-the-back vox. They're a step forward from the downtempo excursions of Daylightless, concentrating on absorbtion (melodic continuity, brazen personality) rather than fascination (samurai influences, Twin Peaks). "End Of An Era" is a patchwork of down-pitched amens and angelic harmonic quandary, as if Source Direct drove past the Finn's window and passed the dark, uncompromising baton.
Sometimes the things we are searching for are right under our noses, but it may take an arms' width to access them. It's therefore suitable then that Homefree contains long veins of integrity, diversity and change. On his remix of Vector Burn's "1000 Thrones", Fanu demonstrates the rough-hewn grit that is a staple of his DJ sets. Trading roles, Vector Burn's take on "For Those Who Can Dream" mutates the original into a grizzly bear of inflated cheeks and consequential sudden, winding, sucker-punch low end. "Yesterday we were home, today we're homefree, so uh, lets make a nice time of it," says the title track, as a spider spinning a web of mandolin flourishes around an accelerated dubstep backdrop.
For a supermodel with no face, weighing up elegance and adorableness requires careful consideration. So at 14 tracks deep, patience is a virtue in uncovering the album's true worth. But you will have more than a nice time with Homefree. This is Drum & Bass with its head screwed on, and a label with plenty of multi genre goodies left in the offing.
Purchase: Vinyl / Digital
Fanu: Official website
Lightless Recordings: MySpace