The New Default
Ever since 2011, Jason Drake, under the moniker of Dfalt, has been quietly building a strong portfolio of hip-hop and electronic-inspired productions. The Bay Area native is part of Daylight Curfew, an LA-based arts label and boutique. His early music succeeded by finding a happy medium between melodic uptempo and punchy beats. This allowed Dfalt to build a devoted fanbase as well as have his work featured on commercials. This versatility is not lost on his most recent project, Blackbook EP. Serving as a sampler before his upcoming album, this project is a taste of Dfalt’s current direction.
Unlike his first EP, Dfalt EP, Blackbook EP continues a trend of grimier and darker themes that began in his last project, Seventy-Nine. The bright sounds that dot Defalt EP are replaced by more sinister beats, mostly thanks to gritty samples and industrial instrumentals. “Radiotechnics” is one such example. It switches between claps and high-pitched sonics; the waves of sound is analogous to radio waves. It’s not quite haunting, but possesses a hint of other-worldliness. Thankfully, the change doesn’t affect the level of polish Dfalt is known for.
“Eighties Hacker” may be the best indication of the aura that makes Blackbook EP so mesmerizing. It’s a layered, intricate mix of sounds that are hypnotic, but varied. “Freshkicks” continues the trend. It starts with a simple baseline that slowly snowballs into a flurry of babbling samples and peculiar odds and ends. Dfalt effectively strikes the precarious balance between sufficiently complicated, but never too noisy.
Rounding out at five songs, Blackbook EP is a concise project with a consistent sound. It’s a great exhibition of Dfalt’s skills, his ability to mix various sounds while honing in on a common theme. If this is a taste of what’s to come, good things are in store for his album.