Lexis Branch of Knowledge

Rob Soloman, aka Lexis, gives me hope where drum & bass is concerned. Previously only available on vinyl, these pieces well represent a producer who is not afraid to experiment or stray from the dance floor. "Mind Games" is a gorgeous mid-tempo number, complete with jazzy bass, vocal samples, swingin' guitar and breaks galore. "Intermitant" is even more chill; sparse and pretty, this one could cross over to the abstract crowd. "Frantic" is more representative, its edgy beats sitting comfortably under jazzy keys. Lexis goes for it with the organ here, making clear why labels such as Good Looking, Creative Source and Moving Shadow have all released his music. Programming skills shine brightly during the Photek remix of "Groove Therapy," a nicely deep and delicate track that pumps it with an old meets new school drum & bass vibe. On the darker tip, "Illusion" reminds of the V camp, with thick, broken beats and smart vocal drops. Branch of Knowledge is definitely one to hunt down, marred only by the familiarity of a few too many beats and sequences here, a danger when one gathers together four years of work — a mighty long time where a young genre like drum & bass is concerned. (Certificate 18)