This long anticipated first LP from the elusive Sully reveals a lo-fi body of work capable of breaking out the UK underground onto more commercial dancefloors. This dark album is a cross-genre feast, adding to the basic foundations of grime and dubstep with touches of house and UK funky. ‘Pattern’ twitches from 2step breaks to synth flourishes, whilst ‘Let You’ expertly mixes sassy vocals with driving industrial rhythms. The influence of jungle first appears on ‘Encona’, and subtly prevails throughout the rest of the album.
Although these numbers are amongst the most experimental on the album, they lack the emotion of the rest of the LP, proving that sometimes brilliant production techniques aren’t enough. Sully makes this right with standout track ‘Two Hearts’ – the Norwich based producer smoothly blending all the aspects of the Hyperdub scene together into a 2step anthem with the feel of a garage classic. Other special moments crop up in ‘Bonafide’ where the piano hook expertly encapsulates the sadness of the LP in just a couple of bars.
Despite these moments of brilliance Sully prefers to hug conformity for the rest of the album, sticking to what he knows instead of probing his artistic limits. Tracks such as ‘Exit’ are indicative of this approach, it’s tragic lo-fi soundscape very much akin to Burial’s ‘Homeless’. The same goes for ‘Bonafide’, ‘Trust’ and ‘It’s Your Love’ which are enjoyable yet generic.
On the whole, Carrier is a successful debut from a still relatively unknown artist who promises surpass his dubstep peers. His production abilities are on par with those at the top of their game and in time he could develop into a highly successful artist. Look out for this respected debutante in the coming year.