In an era of promo campaigns and press shots, it’s incredibly refreshing when a new artist emerges with little to no info publicly available. All we know about San is that it’s an alias for a Bristol-based techno producer. Shrouded in mystery, this is clearly an artist who is well-versed in breakbeat culture and extremely proficient on the controls.
The “Subject 9 EP” contains four tracks of unadulterated breakbeat science, drums are dismantled with the precision of a surgeons scalpel then reassembled into complex aural assaults. “Half In” sounds like a collaborative work of 70s Lalo Schifrin and 90s Source Direct, the whole release raises the bar significantly for odes to the golden era of drum and bass.
It’s hard to know whether the EP is a love letter to the 90s or a series of diss tracks aimed at second-rate, formulaic drum and bass releases designed to cash in on the jungle resurgence. Either way, it serves as a warning from the shadows that producers and labels need to up their game.