Shapeshifter: Real Time
By Daddy Dainjah
'Real Time' is the debut album from this Christchurch drum'n'bass outfit, out through Kog imprint Low Profile. While most local d'n'b is from the harder side of the fence, here Shapeshifter mix mellow, jazzier touches with those harder, scientific 'raw' styles making for an album that flows deceptively well. Opener Atmospheres begins with a touch of jazz and ambience, slowly gliding towards the inevitable beat - the sound of the sun rising. Move with Me (featuring Lady6) takes a trip to downbeat lane, with smooth keyboard and vocals that would easily be at home on LTJ Bukem's 'Earth' compilations - so smooth. Bubble and Crisp begins with an excellent distilled guitar riff and a beat you can't resist. Raw Styles is part of the hard centre of this album, songs that no doubt go off live. Madness is a sonic attack designed to freak that just keeps hitting you. The only thing better than this track will be the live version. The assault holds up only briefly as 2001 takes a while to kick it, but once again takes us to the far reaches of the digital galaxy. Creation takes things down a notch with its retro-electro type beats and delicate layers, quite a nice head nodder. Inertia is about as beautiful as spacious, jazzy breaks come. I'm sorry, did I say Inertia was beautiful? Well it's positively plain Jane compared to the album's closer Tapestry. A mix of the ambiently beautiful but with the hard beat loud enough in the mix to keep you interested. Overall this album is a bloody beaut, a great vision fulfilled and another step in the every excellent development of NZ drum'n'bass.