DMX Krew – Peripheral Visions

3 out of 5

Label: Byrd Out

Produced by: Ed DMX

I think I understand what Ed was going for here, but in trying to work in a slightly more smoothed-out version of his dancefloor funk, the production and looping result in beats that are undeniably DMX, but songs that don’t quite feel punchy enough.

Each track, in its buildup, is quite exciting: a funky, old school house beat married to modern electro – some touches of 90s, some more modern sounds – with those surprising counter-rhythmic (and yet perfectly in sync) flourishes that are characteristic of the artist. Both the title track and followup Glurk have such additions, and they’re almost brashly against the “sound” of the song but are executed at just the right moment to get the right response – surprise, and a cheer from the dancefloor.

However, each track in turn is also very glossed over, giving the impression of not so much riding the beat as coasting on it; even at 3 or 4 minutes, it feels like songs go on for a loop or two too many. The distinct funkiness, once established, is very much downplayed; and while I think this is in favor of allowing Ed to bring forward some more subtle touches, and shift a focus to melody instead of body-movin’, the core structure of the songs are still made for the club, so it doesn’t equate to the best realized version of the tracks. The exceptions to this are the concluding Spiritual Machine and Slam Your Body, as both songs give themselves rather fully over to a singular style – a beachy chill in the former and 80s house in the latter. Slam still goes on for a bit too long, but being more “honest” in its intentions as a club tune makes that seem better justified.