Following on from the release of his May album, DOKTA runs through his arsenal inventory, selecting ten of his most powerful explosives for the latest edition of Secret Weapons. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight presents.
Producing electronic music that is as thoughtful as it is exciting is no mean feat. However, London artist DOKTA has produced an album – his debut long player, Metronomic – that exceeds the efforts of his peers by presenting as both erudite and thought-provoking. The result of DOKTA‘s elbow grease, in the studio, is a collection of compositions that transcend much of the formulaic releases we are seeing churned out of the bulging music machine.
The album starts with a short interlude named An English Cottage, the ghostly vocal snippets interspersed throughout with piano melodies that give the track a reminiscent quality, curiously redolent of a mysterious ‘numbers station’ recording. This takes us into the almost nightmarish soundscape bestowed unto us by Baby Powder. Echoing, phased vocals are accompanied by jazzy, house influenced instrumentation. The track is a 15-minute magnum opus that sucks the listener deep into its vortex.
2nd Nature takes a breakbeat that explores the top end of percussion and weaves it in among the skittering notes of a wildly arpeggiated synth. A Bodzin-esque, oscillating bass-swell completes the track. The breaks continue in Clockwerkz, which has a mechanized, electro feel to it, before title-track, Metronomic, sweeps us away and takes us soaring across pixelated plains, robotic frogs chattering below.
Moving past the midpoint, the album continues to draw the audience in. Devils in the Detail takes a classic broken electro beat and marries it up with sumptuous choral pads. Straight Lines opens with a high-pitched sine-wave that adds a touch of unsettling consternation to the track. Never a bad thing in musical terms. Penultimate track Mr. Pink is an excursion into the future that features sci-fi plucks and a miscellany of additional nuances that gives us a glimpse into a not-to-distant future.
Metronomic closes on London Nights, which heavily features glitched-out spoken word refrains, squelching percussion carrying the theme of disquiet through to the end of the record. This is a truly accomplished work that makes for some intelligent listening, that at times forces the listener out of their comfort zone and challenges them with something that is genuinely curious and stimulating in equal measure.
Metronomic was released on the iconic 20/20 Vision imprint; a suitable home for such a captivating album. You can buy a copy of the record, here. In the meantime, take a listen to DOKTA‘s Secret Weapons playlist, below.
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Probably one of the best records ever written. I had this track on constant repeat.
Bjork – Venus as a Boy
It’s those Balinese strings that get me. Just pure magic and such a beautiful record. Later on I found out that Paul Waller was the programmer/engineer on that track and he explained to me how one day in the studio, the computer sent program changes to all the equipment and changed all of the sounds. It was this accident that prompted Nellie to to take the the session to Bali to record the strings. I remember at the time listening to this amazing piece of music thinking to myself how I will always return to this track again and again in the future (my present past).
Fela Kuti – I.T.T
Taken from the album The Bad President, this record essentially put Fela in jail for speaking up against corruption.
Fela Kuti – Expensive Shit
This record/album is jokes. Fela had a political party and stood for elections in Lagos. The government didn’t like that so they tried to accuse him of entrapment. They procured his waste from the toilet and sent it to the UK for testing. MI6 then allegedly intercepted the package and had it re-directed back to Fela. When he opened the box he found some poo and a toxicology report stating what they found and the invoice for a staggering £2million (which in today’s money is a crazy number). So, as a tribute, he wrote ‘Expensive Shit’.
Chocolate Milk – Action Speaks Louder Than Words
FUNK, FUNK and MORE FUNK. You can’t go wrong with FUNK. Plus this was released in the year I was born.
Jessica Lauren – White Mountain
Jess is an old friend and mentor to me. I learnt a lot from her. When I heard this track I begged her to send it to me before it got released. I opened with this track when I played at the Sancho Panza stage at the Notting Hill Carnival a few years back.
LFO – LFO
If you don’t know this record then go and listen to it. I don’t need to stay anything more than that.
Deep Blue – Helicopter Tune
Big tune from the 90’s.
Origin Unknown – Valley of shadows
Legendary jungle tune.
Michael Boothman ft. Charmaine Forde – What You Won’t do for Love
I heard this record in a Klipch set and instantly fell in love with it there and then. Cost me an arm and a leg to buy that record.
We’ve got plenty more were that come from. Take a peek at our other Secret Weapons artist playlists, here, and see for yourself just what makes our favourite producers and DJs tick.