Wellington-born Julien Dyne impressed as drummer for Opensouls and is still working in that role as part of the Ladi 6 band but his journey extends far beyond the jazz and punk influences of his early days.
Since attending the Red Bull Music Academy in Rome in 2004 Dyne has become known, outside and away from the trap-set, as a beat-maker, producer, DJ and visual artist. Those skills were recognised with 2009’s Pins And Digits, released via the BBE Records imprint, raved about by Gilles Peterson and loved here at home and abroad.
Floating between glitch and twitch-infused hip-hop, glacial pop and icy electronica, Dyne takes a template from obvious sources (J Dilla, Flying Lotus) but puts a world of bedroom wannabes to shame. The tunes on Glimpse, an extension of Pins And Digits, show an ever-expanding sound-world.
And for the global scope of this it’s nice to hear some talented Kiwi vocalists called in to collaborate. Mara TK’s guest spot on So Far feels like Curtis Mayfield fitting into dubstep, or a Fat Freddy’s Drop piece that actually manages to get to the point. There’s a lot of heart in these pieces – but also a chance for meandering. Koln3 feels like Questlove or J Dilla tweaking Jean Michel Jarre’s Equinox; Rubberneck could be Giorgio Moroder remodelled by Madlib under his DJ Rels alias.
Shorter tracks bridge vocal contributions from Claire Duncan (Dear Time’s Waste), Mara TK, She’s So Rad, Ladi 6 and Parks and the instrumental passages never get lost, never seem drowsy or too dopey.
If you like the broken-beat soul and instrumental hip-hop sub-genres then you’ll want to check out Glimpse. It offers more than a teaser, it’s the correct follow-up to Pins And Digits (the palette has broadened) and it will leave you wanting more.
Dyne’s sound collages are pretty without ever feeling vacuous, they’re deep without ever being too intense. He has found the balance for this type of laconic beat-driven music. He’s found (and offers) plenty of soul within it too.