Album Reviews

Dorian Concept – What We Do For Others

(Brainfeeder) UK release date: 28 October 2022

The mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mostly rings true in a collection that showcases a signature sound

Dorian Concept - What We Do For Others Because Dorian Concept has hit on a formula for his third major release What We Do For Others, the following adjectives apply broadly: warm, glitchy, rickety, rhythmic, crunchy, synth-based. The relatively short tracks on this album rattle around in their engaging way, often switching up for an energy boost in the second half, and the mantra ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mostly rings true.

After the bubbly ostinatos of Out provide a few false starts, Let It All Go kicks things off properly, featuring manipulated vocals over analog chords and a drum pattern that borders on bossanova. So far so easygoing, except for the syncopated bass hits that come barging through and the explosive sound effects that punctuate them. Survival Instinct adds a bloopy synth solo to the mix, while Fever turns down the intensity allowing dubby effects to glisten amongst the muffled percussion.

It’s not uncommon to hear a tune fighting to break through the spiky arrangements, and Not You Anymore is the catchiest song on here for its repeated vocal refrain and relatively consonant accompaniment (it also helps that the beat knocks like J Dilla armed with an array of household items). You’re Untouchable contains an elegant synth melody and distorted backbeat, another moment on What We Do For Others where a future in rap production seems possible if the elements were pared back a tad.

Weaker moments come with the more ambient and sparse interludes, particularly closing track In’s deeply indulgent filterplay – they may be an attempt at stylistic diversity but there’s just not enough of interest going on to make them worthwhile. However, with the rest of these songs Dorian Concept has found himself a signature sound, which just needs some fleshing out to really come alive.

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