Deadboy is an innovator. His 2009-2010 singles ‘U Cheated’ and ‘If U Want Me’ predicted exactly where UK dance music would go after dubstep, though unlike a lot of the acts that followed in his slipstream Deadboy’s music was never polite, and bassline house, dancehall and grime were as big influences as the r’n’b, pop and garage sensibilities that he combined so effectively. His single ‘Fireworks’ remains a high point for that era of UK club music, with even Drake singing the track’s praises.
On his first Local Action releases White Magick and Black Magick, Deadboy lets in influences from outside the club in ways that he hasn’t before: the influence of new age and ambient music is obvious from the opening notes of ‘White Moon Garden’, while ‘Copwar’ and ‘Sad Sniper’ are the two grimiest tracks that he’s released yet. ‘Inner Palace’, meanwhile, is a reminder that six years on from ‘U Cheated’, there’s still no one combining experimental club music and pop hooks like Deadboy.
Deadboy will release his debut album, Earth Body, through Local Action on May 19.