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Valance Drakes: A Fatherless Child (Detroit Underground)

Valance Drakes (aka MusSck) created this collection of tracks as a farewell to his deceased stepfather. He posted his own artist statement [sic] about the music on the Detroit Underground site:

On June 5th 2012 My Step Father Kenneth Knight died of a rare form of cancer known as Mesothelioma. He left Barbados and came to London to work for London Transport in the early sixty on the buses, he was a quite person and always smiling, He came into my life and took me as his son.

He was a very loving and caring father and I remember the times when he took me bike riding and he played the role of a dutiful father, I had a very loving fulfilling upbringing, he was a role model, he instil morals and standards which I hold in extreme even today, he left a void in my life that will be fulfil.

Ken was proud with my studies and my music, he always tell my mom secretly how amazing it is seeing his son travel around the world not just for a holiday but for his music which is not just my job it’s my life and he’s one of a very few that witness my ups and downs.

This Ep is my final send off as I didn’t get the chance to tell him goodbye, I want to thank all the sound designers and producers that hook me up with sounds when my laptop crashed at the time.

The music itself flows continuously, four movements of one whole idea. The sound design is meticulous, skittery and detailed, as one might expect from Detroit Underground. It recalls the fussy, springy step of Richard Devine and Kero in its bright, spry sounds and highly manipulated effects. It’s a healthy mix of downtempo grooves and tweaked-to-the-gills IDM, anchored in intensity a bit knowing that this music is Drakes’ eulogy to his father figure. The reversed choir on the final title cut lends a certain reverence without feeling over the top — it all seems to click together just right.

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