It’s rare for a producer to assume two aliases that are equally rewarding. Robert Hood and Floorplan spring to mind, or Call Super and Ondo Fudd, though recently the latter’s two guises are starting to blend together stylistically. Since his emergence in 2014, Dang Khoa Chau has been ploughing two very different furrows with equal skill and success.
His material as D.K. on Antinote is borne on bright, balearic melodies and relaxed vibes, while the 45 ACP moniker focuses on lofi club jams, mostly released on L.I.E.S. Whichever mask he assumes, Chau’s work always boasts an exquisite attention to detail and mood, coming at each genre with a unique slant which just gets better with time – his latest D.K. release, the jewel-like Island of Dreams LP, was one of this year’s best releases so far.
Chau now returns to the grittier sounds of 45 ACP, but with a global touch that makes these tracks stand out – the melodic touchstones of balearic forged in the fires of knackered house. This fusion is most evident in Graveyard Shift’s more dance-focused numbers: Slick Response skips along a brisk clip, its tectonic bassline shifting uncertainly, but the dull gleam of its muted rave chords add a welcome splash of colour. Likewise Hang In There supplements its weary kick with blue-tinted jazz keys and eerie thumb-piano notes.
As immersive as these rhythmic cuts are, it’s when Chau dips into beatless material that he really excels. Smoked Out is the easy highlight of the package, a blunted trip through melancholy chords, rough dub effects and chimes that tumble like thrown marbles. Graveyard Shift is a similarly atmospheric piece, contrasting ominous growling with eastern strings and the soft jangle of prayer bells, gesturing at something dark and spiritual. Chau’s effortless range and attention to detail only continue to impress.