I've been following Donky Pitch a release from Niño back in July 2011 yet they have only just got around to releasing their first long-player. It comes from The Range, whose Seneca EP I praised earlier this year.
It's a fitting debut release for the label - The Range has provided some of their best material to date and he ploughs a middle ground through the varied sound Donky Pitch deliver, combining disparate electronic and urban styles such as jungle, grime and R&B.
Nonfiction expands on the ideas of The Range's earlier EPs and uses the extra time to blow things out a little bit further. The resulting album is wider in scope and has a little more emotional depth. From opener "Loftmane" there is a cool distance and an urbane aloofness to the music that makes the album feel like a night drive through gritty alleyways perceived through a veneer of expensive automobile glass windshield.
"Jamie" is a fusion of delicate piano melodies and distorted drum beats with a distant rap aggressively pushing an agenda of isolation that reinforces the sense that this is an album about emotional distance within crowded spaces. "FM Myth" builds from a relatively gentle drum beat that stumbles forward whilst a high-pitched synth melody rides above to a full-on jungle grime assault, complete with serious low-end bass.
The Range's key achievement is that he managed to make the tracks feel distinct yet part of a whole. "Hamiltonian" starts with a fragile and exposed piano and string couplet that is layered over time with a series of additional electronic elements - bass, drum patterns, samples, even an air raid siren - yet it doesn't sound ridiculous in the way this description suggests, instead a sad, urgent rhythm emerges. In it's constrained length Nonfiction feels like a densely packed short story - all ideas and no padding.
Nonfiction is brought to close on "Metal Swing", a kinetic piece with rhythms that scurry along the floor as another distant vocal is cut and looped and sliced into its own percussive movement. An couple of electronic pads, one delivering bass and the other more melodic, provide a warmth as the album loops itself out of existence.
Ultimately Nonfiction is short and sweet and a welcome debut from Donky Pitch.
Nonfiction is released through Donky Pitch on 14 October, pre-order from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 [affiliate link]. Check out the trailer below: