Now pressed on vinyl after an elusive run on tape earlier this year, D.K. meets downbeat mystic Sabla for a devotional offering on his fledgling Worship label; a smoky, moonlit, dubbed-out special, like some lost mid 90’s Mo Wax x Chain Reaction collab.
Offering an absorbing switch-up from the musclier ‘Gate of Enlightenment’, Sabla here pulls D.K. into a far more furtive parallel dimension where their familiar ingredients of tuned percussion and pads take on a more brooding character, one akin to Sabla’s ace debut LP ‘Music For Melted Floors’ as much as Đ.K.’s more reserved, yet richly atmospheric works for 12th Isle and Good Morning Tapes.
Call it trip hop, illbient, ambient beats, or whatever you like, ‘Totem Society’ is patently built for introspective times and not for club use. Across the six tracks we can isolate residual traces of experimental post punk from the likes of 23 Skidoo and O Yuki Conjugate feeding forward via the squashed beats of DJ Spooky and even Muslimgauze’s more opiated, somnambulant works to limn a place and time out of joint.
The stark gamelan dub of ‘Ocra Flat Lands’ sets shadowy parameters where the drums of ‘Dove’ bounce off the walls to contrast with ‘Bamboo Houses’ style synth progressions, and ‘Nubes Shepherd’ lightens it up a smidge with something like a quasi-speed atmospheric D&B production, before nastier neurotic acid line complicates the feel. The penultimate ‘O’ likewise dials up jazz-fusion influence via Source Direct-on-quaaludes sorta vibe, and ‘A Minute’ beautifully sees it off with more impish synth voices hinting at Coil-esque zones.