Seba – Identity (Secret Operations)
Seba is one of those artists thats been around longer than I can comprehend, it seems he’s always been part of the drum & bass scene and has always put out quality music!
After 16 years of releases, Seba has spent some time making his first ever LP for his own label; Secret Operations.
Its a guided affair with consideration for the listener, Seba has obviously taken time to digest the way his audience will hear this album and tailored the tracklisting accordingly.
the recent album sampler was a little confusing for me, it felt like a progression from the traditional sound and style I’m used to hearing from Seba. As such, I was expecting the LP to be a bit of a foray into the unknown; experimental beats with a view to coming out the other end re-imagined.
But fear not, it’s full to the brim with his classic and much loved techno influenced liquid drum and bass sounds. Soaring sound-scapes and tribal breaks will have you winding away the hours picking out the nuances in each track.
That being said, there are a few tracks that push Seba’s sound, a couple of slower tracks made it in there, I’m not going to pretend I know what genre it should be pigeon holed in. Safe to say it’s about 125 bpm and it makes a nice change of pace to the breakbeat speed of the rest of the album.
There is one track I’d specifically like to explore a little; Identity, the album titled track. A pulsing, hypnotic, off-key sound that never seems to transcend. Coupled with the processed speech of who I can only assume to be Seba himself, this is an odd sounding track that only makes sense in the context of the album as a whole.
This track feels like self justification on Seba’s part, maybe trying to educate a new audience, maybe trying to affiliate with the old. Either way, it strikes as a quite ego-centric track. A quote from the song: “There are those who create a sound and there are those who imitate that sound”
Now I’m not saying I don’t agree or understand the points the song communicates, Seba’s been round long enough to qualify himself as a creator of much of the techno inspired liquid dnb sound we hear today. I just don’t think he needed to say it. It can be misconstrued by the listener quite easily as artists ego and can taint the rest of the album with a sour taste.
However, looking past this and describing the album as a whole; it’s one of the best liquid albums I’ve heard in a long time and one I’ve been waiting for, for an even longer time.
It hasn’t quite moved me as much as some of Seba’s earlier works, but I’m a jaded cynic these days 😉