Although My Demons is the debut album from Distance, he's been a busy musician over the course of the past couple years, releasing a whole slew of 12" records and DJing on Rinse 100.3 FM. Combining a couple cuts from his most recent 12" on Planet Mu along with a batch of new songs, this growling 12 track release has enough unique sounds to keep it getting lost amongst the burgeoning dubstep scene.
Apparently his background is in metal music, and it makes clear sense after listening to My Demons, as distorted sounds and huge drums (along with mind-bending bass) rule the day. Over the course of the past year and a half or so, I've now heard quite a few releases in the genre, but I honestly haven't heard anything quite as growling and gritty as this. "Night Vision" kicks things off and after about thirty seconds of more atmospheric sounds (including a spoken-word sample), it lowers the boom with a dirt-covered bass line that throbs while thick, lumbering beats crash and higher electronic sounds shoot through the mix.
Album-titled "My Demons" draws out the tension for a bit longer, with overlapping layers of guitars playing off each other nicely while sharp beats again crack. Single bass notes start to drop into the mix before everything folds in on itself and a crushing dub line promises to wobble sub woofers. "Traffic" was one of the tracks from his most recent 12" and everyone is going to be happy that it's back here, because it's easily one of the standouts on the album. Over the course of just over five minutes, it blasts a distorted bassline while cracking beats punish over and over again. It's followed by "Mistral," and hard snares smash out over almost subterranean low-end that curls with modulation.
The claustrophobic feel of My Demons doesn't abate much, and in places it tends to get a bit on the repetitive side. Tracks like the gut-churning "Ska" are offset with the more bland "Weigh Down" (which doesn't age well with a single vocal sample being pitched to different degrees for the duration of the track). With a few exceptions (Burial's self-titled release, Kode9 & The Spaceape's Memories Of The Future), it seems that most dubstep albums I've heard feel a bit more like a handfull of killer singles with enough tracks added on to pad things out to an album. This debut from Distance at least partially suffers that fate, but it's never flat out boring and the singles are slamming enough that it weighs out a bit better than some.