Dylan Forbes – Evolution [Echocentric Records]


Irish DJ, Dylan Forbes’ debut vinyl release, Kingston EP, recalls the heyday of 90’s hardcore UK jungle and drum’n’bass. Dylan seems to relish in the intensity of these sub-genres. Across four bristling tracks, he displays a robust, extremely deft touch for creating propulsive rhythm that is in equal measure melodic as it is hard-hitting.

The opening track, “Evolution”, isn’t so much an introduction as a show of force; it bares its teeth like a wild hyena being encroached upon. This is drum’n’bass at its most unremitting, as the opening stop-start drum machine and hi-hats operate at a whiplash-inducing BPM, before the sub-bass and echoed vocal samples, chopped to the point of pure abstraction, show up for support. The track gradually builds in intensity, eventually giving way to a moment of clear-eyed serenity. This is marked by synths in crescendo while the vocal sample is stretched to its ethereal peak, right before the drums and bass return even heavier and more visceral than before. This dynamic, so expertly maintained throughout with the subtlest tweaks upon each break, lends the almost 7-minute track its relentless momentum. Even as the instrumental is pitched down toward the final minutes, the tempo never veers off course as it morphs into a jostling breakbeat. 

His first release through Helsinki-based label, Echocentric Records, Kingston EP is fast-paced and frenetic, but with a healthy dose of craftsmanship to ease the landing. Dylan’s keen ear for detail and composition make him a standout in the crowded field of UK jungle and drum’n’bass revivalists.