While DJ Daniel Avery may not be strictly withguitars he definitely has the appeal for a broader audience, much in the way that ex-punk still-dilettante Andrew Weatherall still possesses in aces of spades, a man to whom Avery is very much the spiritual successor. Beloved of The Horrors, and a cohort and protégée to another celebrated indie disco head, the irrepressible Erol Alkan who has put out Drone Logic on his own label Phantasy Sound, Avery has all the ingredients to stay the course, and he’s already crossed over with this reassuringly analogue dance classic. OK, he doesn’t push the envelope of techno like Holden, or dabble in the peripheries of minimalism like Jon Hopkins, both of whom have produced equally noteworthy electronic records this year, but he takes the original Warp-like acid house bleep and then adds a floor-filling no nonsense block rocking attitude to it, not heard since Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole or Underworld’s “Rez” of which he’s a self-affirmed fan.
Daniel Avery may look the part of a superstar DJ: part Saturday matinee idol, part Police sunglasses ad Beckham, but he doesn’t go all Guetta on your ass. He’s been slowly building his own name as resident at super club Fabric, unassuming in his countenance and overwhelmed by the plaudits he’s been receiving. All of which can only make the indie crowd take him to their darkened hearts. And there is a darkened mournful soul underlying the tale of a night out in town that Drone Logic aims to narrate. As a concept this has been done before step forward Flowered Up Weekender Metronomy on Nights Out, The Streets A Grand Don’t Come For Free and eve Franz Ferdinand’s Alkan influenced Tonight but Avery manages to add the shadowplay of Joy Division’s 24 Hours onto the expansive atmospheric soundscapes of John Talabot. Except here for the most part, the sounds of nature have been replaced by plenty of urban squelch and scrape, a kind of London sturm und drang.
It’s a club record, sure, but unlike most contemporary club bangers there’s no 90s revivalist diva caterwauling over the top. There is the occasional use of vocals such as the deadpan “noise flies high” refrain on the brilliant title track “Drone Logic”, but much like this year’s Factory Floor record, the voice is used as another strata, the means to a hypnotic end. With touches of New Order and Kraftwerk, Orbital and aforementioned Underworld in tracks like “Need Electric”, there’s also a nod to Neu, a can-do to Can, plus loops that Loop would be proud of. It all adds to the driving rhythm of an album that is a force of nature. No digital perfection here, there’s room for the odd happy accident and this adds to the soul and elevates this above contemporaries like the cool as ice Blondes. All Daniel Avery needs now is his Screamadelica, a union with a too cool for school band that will elevate both to the hall of infamy. Until that logical conclusion, enjoy A very addictive (sic) drone by Daniel, which narrowly beats the album by his acid godfather Weatherall The Asphodell’s Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust as the best album without guitars this year. 8/10
Daniel Avery – All I Need [Official Video]