Album Review: DJ Pone – Erratic Impulses EP

Despite the eerie synths that DJ Pone spins on his first release under Ed Banger Records, the most mysterious part of the Erratic Impulses EP is that it falls so far from any of the funky beats he has successfully delivered in the past. Given the French producer’s four Disco Mix Club Championship titles, collaborations with francophone rappers like Triptik, and membership in the EDM collective Birdy Nam Nam (who contributed to the mother of all dubstep cliches, “Wild for the Night” featuring Skrillex and ASAP Rocky), it would be reasonable to expect a scratchy, hip-hop leaning compilation of the same dance-inducing caliber. However, DJ Pone (born Thomas Parent) strayed far from his proven capabilities on Erratic Impulses to create more of a Tron-like dystopia than a decadent nightclub playlist.

The four-track EP presents big beats, but remains palatable. Opening track “Falken’s Maze” could be pulled straight from a Giorgio Moroder composition with its pulsing blend of ominous low beats and seesawing electronic creaks. Another retro-electro track, “MFE”, slightly lifts the mood, but does little to make the EP more interesting. The mix of monotonous percussion, repetitive “bow bows,” and the congratulatory video game sound effects come off more hokey than enjoyable.

Pone manages to command some attention with the experimental “Dipodaine”, featuring Didaï. If Erratic Impulses were a soundtrack for a futuristic action film, this track would accompany the final chase scene, with its variety of grinding, zipper-like drum beats. Although “Dipodaine” causes a brief rush of adrenaline, it falls flat again with closer “Errotik Impulses”, a forgettable conglomeration of all the previous tracks. Too many unique sounds and clunky transitions make it an overly ambitious track, as if Pone were trying out all the effects on his synthesizer instead of focusing on a listenable rhythm.

While DJ Pone has a strong producing portfolio, this release fails to truly showcases it. The dramatic change from urban electronic to synthwave could be due to the pressure to conform to a more Ed Banger sound (that is, one reminiscent of seasoned veterans like Justice, Breakbot, or Busy P). However, those acts draw success from their individuality and consistency, both of which DJ Pone fails to establish here. Although sonic erraticism was expected from an EP entitled Erratic Impulses, most of it comes off as clumsy.

Essential Tracks: “Dipodaine” feat. Didaï


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