I have a pretty basic list of criteria I look for in a good track. One of them is the mood. Does the song set a mood of its own, or can it be used to convey a mood? If the answer is yes, then it is already heading in the right direction! That is one of the reason one of my favorite people out there right now pushing their own unique sound is Pen. In any of his tracks, he sets his own mood, plays by his own rules and creates a soundscape of his very own.
With tracks like “The Gunslinger” and “The Dark Tower”, it is not hard to figure out his influence or motivation for the music, but the sounds are all Pen. ‘The Dark Tower’ starts of simple and clean with a steppy break, but from there it evolves with bass squelch notes drifting in and out, processed high hats, and reverbed effects filling in the spaces. Before you know it, the second layer of percussion is added and this one is rolling out proper. However just as quick as the groove is in motion the track slowly starts to peel back and strip back down to bare elements and atmospherics before building back with edits and fills to keep it fresh while building on the first half of the song. Solid work out and perfect exercise in track building and transitions.
“The Gunslinger” is another example of Pen’s ability to create moods and environment across the drum and bass spectrum. While mostly a halftime release, the edits and fills lend them self to wider breakbeat reality. His attention to detail and crafting a track is highlighted in this one in the ability to create such space and room with minimal beats juxtaposed by rapid fire breaks that move around within the structure of the sparse design. Serious one for the heads. This is just another solid feather in the cap of both Pen and Tesseract Recordings without question.