Talented Manchester-based producer Damu was first brought to our attention back in 2010 when his productions were championed by Dusk & Blackdown on their revered Rinse FM show. Initial records on Local Action, Silverback Recordings and Swing and Skip Records soon followed but – such was the support Damu received from these two luminaries in the formative stage of his career – it was no shock to learn that he would be releasing on the duo’s Keysound Recordings imprint.
Signing to a label with a history of music from the likes of Kowton, LV and Skream inevitably brings with it a sense of expectation yet this didn’t seem to faze Damu, who proved more than capable of rising to the pressure bestowed upon him. His “Ridin” EP (LDN024) harked back to the days of UK Garage yet it was with the release of his debut LP “Unity” that we really began to take notice. A flawless blend of R&B and house, “Unity” was a euphoric record bursting with energy and colour – one that marked Damu out as one of the preeminent emerging talents in UK electronic music.
Stream: Damu – If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide (Damu)
2012 was comparatively quiet on the production front; Damu instead choosing to establish Fulcrum Records, now home to the likes of Thefft and fellow Manchester-native Paleman. “If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide / You’ve Got Nothing To Fear” is Damu’s new eponymously titled label’s first release and marks his return to production duties. Upon first listen, it is immediately apparent that Damu’s sound has evolved along a trajectory that is both surprising and refreshing. “If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide” is a hard, bumping techno cut awash with twisted bass sounds and an unrelenting sense of urgency. This is still characteristically Damu: the colour is still here, as is the busyness, but it is altogether darker and edgier. The flip, “You’ve Got Nothing To Fear”, is arguably even better. Vocals are present but they’re certainly not in the candied, emotive forms we’ve become accustomed to from Damu. This is a grime-flavoured industrial electro stomp tailor-made for a huge soundsystem.
“If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide / You’ve Got Nothing To Fear” clocks in at a little over thirteen minutes. These thirteen minutes however not only display a broad and diverse musical palette, but also prove enough to reaffirm Damu’s burgeoning reputation and underline just why this producer caused so much excitement when he first emerged.
Stream: Damu – You’ve Got Nothing To Fear (Damu)
Damu’s “If You’ve Got Nothing To Hide / You’ve Got Nothing To Fear” is available now.