Concord Dawn - The Enemy Within
For those unfamiliar, lets talk a bit about drum n bass: heavy on repetition, groove, and timbre, melodic lines tend to be short and rhythmically derived, and harmonic progression tends to be limited. Dynamics are achieved through the process of breaking down a piece by removing of instrument lines, and then adding them back in again, either gradually or at once. Its origins lie in dance, and its current intent remains the same.
Hopefully this explanation will help illustrate the genre that, in this their fifth album, Concord dawn have total command of. It is this command that is both a strength and a weakness, though.
The wide range of guest vocalists through this CD, from a reasonably eclectic selection of styles, makes for the standout tracks. Opening track 'Forever' is a powerhouse and features one Rikki Morris who gives a slight ultravox/visage/numan hint in his vocal, to great effect. Likewise 'Move' has some scattershot rapid-fire rap from dubs, which helps propel the song along.
Perhaps the concession towards a 'traditional' vocal approach dilutes a "pure" drum n bass sound - but it is this compromise whish consistently produces music with more character, and towards the end of the CD, there is a worrying drift towards uniformity, with beats in particular becoming overly familiar and less interesting- which makes the title of track 10 'This Is All There Is' somewhat telling.
Experienced music makers make the most of the considerable abilities of their guests, then, to counterbalance a slightly worrying tendency towards ever diminishing musical returns.
Review by trevf
Concord Dawn began life as Evan Short & Matt Harvey, bursting onto the New Zealand music scene back in mid 1999 with their unique high octane Drum and Bass sound. They were the darlings of the local bNet/Student Radio stations up and down New Zealand, getting hefty primetime airplay, featuring at the top of the weekly Top Ten's and breaking chart records across the bNet. After a year or so of underground success they were courted by local electronic music label Kog Transmissions and released their first album 'Concord Dawn' in July 2000.
After touring the album throughout New Zealand they released their second album 'Disturbance' in April 2001 and received Best Electronic Album and Best Independent Release at the 2001 bNet Music Awards. Both 'Concord Dawn' and 'Disturbance' sold far better than expected and the boys received strong reviews in all forms of media not only for their releases but also for their energetic live performances. For the next year they went into hiatus to refine the Concord Dawn sound further with Evan heading to London for 5 months to immerse himself in the culture of the Drum and Bass homeland. Upon his return to New Zealand work was started on their 3rd album Uprising with tracks like 'Morning Light' and 'Don't Tell Me' finding international acclaim well before the album's release. 'Uprising' was released in New Zealand in September 2003 and reached gold sales status in an amazing 3 months.
With Concord Dawn now well established internationally and their catalogue now being distributed worldwide Evan and Matt embarked on a seemingly never ending world tour, travelling all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. At the 2003 bNet music awards 'Morning Light' won Best Song and Most Radio Play and at the 2004 bNet music awards 'Uprising' received Best Album and Best Electronic Release. Concord Dawn were also nominated for Best Electronic Act at the 2004 New Zealand music awards but narrowly missed out to Salmonella Dub.