2014 has been a good year for melody in bass music. From purple music to neon to the hoard of Flume wannabes, producers are making waves with melodies usually reserved for the kandi-laden “trance family”. Riding the crest of this wave is the waviest producer around, Dark0. Dark0 has made a name for himself as a master of melody within London’s Boxed crew of grime fanatics. On both his Bandcamp release I Ain’t A Sweet Boy and his Sin EP on Lost Codes, grime’s characteristic machismo is matched with sentimental melodies straight out of your favorite old games. I could go on about how this conflict of overt masculinity with our nostalgia for childhood reflects the turmoil of growing up, but I’d rather get to how wavy these beats are.
Dark0 has upped his sweetboy pose here on the Fate EP (out today on Mr Mitch‘s Gobstopper Records). Starting with the interwoven, trance-y melodies of “Amethyst” then flowing into the nostalgic sucker punch of “Gaia”, the Fate EP opens with a vibrant batch of feels before getting into the serious grime. The popping and stuttering “Black Rose” and the battle hymn of “Mako March” are the most club-friendly, while “Evisu” and “2lips” bring the feels (which never left) back to their peak levels. To be honest I would be ecstatic to hear any track on here in the club, this is top-notch production, and I can only hope Dark0’s wavy sounds catch on here on the West coast as they have across the pond.