DMX Krew ‎– Broken SD140

3 out of 5

Label: Breakin’ Records

Produced by: Ed DMX

Some fun beats, but only a couple that really exemplify the way Ed is capable of iterating off of disarmingly simple rhythms to create mini-masterpieces.

Thankfully, those “couple” are the bookends of this single, making a good first, and lasting, impression.

The title track – which I’ll assume is named for the synth – whips a bouncy, catchy beat (with a dark backbone) and acid stylings into a call-and-response frenzy of various flourishes. If this SD140 is, indeed, broken, getting these sounds out of it is even more impressive.

The A-side then gives us two tracks which are interestingly minimal, but tend to be repetitive, their nuances way too fleeting. Given the names, though – RX5 Cassette Loop, TR808 Echo Beats – I could assume these to just be simple programs, and maybe not meant to be full tracks…? I dunno, man, the synth game is too complex for me, I just try to enjoy what I hear. Echo beats has a really cool, cavernous production – fitting to its title; I do wish it was more fleshed out.

B-side’s Past Master has a pretty sweet swagger, and honestly gets off to a great start, but across its 6+ minutes, Ed stops and re-starts it a couple of times; the first time he hits this fade out and return, it’s awesome, but the track never quite picks back up to the peak it hits on its initial go-round. Lots of cool, ominous sounds, though.

Closer Goodbye Sparks is a bit more “classic” Ed, given its 80s, raw production, and great sense of momentum. Both of these elements keep it movin’, playing a keyboard melody off its grooving beat, and maintaining that unusual (for Ed) darker edge this EP has throughout.