Back in November Mike Skinner picked out Damu as one if his “new faces of UK dance music”. Now he’s arrived with a debut album on Keysound Recordings that follows hot on the heels of zap! bang! favourite and labelmate Sully’s Carrier, and it’s another offering of dub electronica, though this time with less finesse.
Early in the album Damu is caught in an R&B vocal bubble and two-step beats that at first gel exceptionally on “Breathless”, a lullaby that becomes a frenetic dance number, though he’s soon missing a trick as his electronic stabs and waves lack precision. On “After Indigo” and “L.O.V.E.” the 8-bit noises quickly become irritating and would have benefitted from more sculpting. After a brief 50 second pause, he goes bass heavy leading with “Maths Is Fine for Sum” with its off-beat percussion, and is soon Rustie-lite on “Ether”, never quite reverberating with the forward-thinking nature of Damu’s peers.
Damu tries hard on Unity, he’s been influenced by the future dubstep movements of 2011, though he’s not managed to stamp his authority firmly enough on this evidence to be considered as a pioneer like Rustie or Sully. A deep breath and a more developed sound palette would work wonders.