2002's Instrmntl is a continuation of the beat experiments Tadd Mullinix aka Dabrye began with One/Three and a bridge to the diverse textures that would define Two/Three four years later. About half of its nine tracks (ten if you lived in Japan) were created at the same time as One/Three while the rest were newer or made specifically for the album. Once again Mullinix looked outside of hip-hop to techno, house, and drum & bass for stylistic and technical ideas while embracing the blissful minimalism of a good hip-hop instrumental and the rhythmic nuance of Detroit.
Despite the similarities between Dabrye's debut and this follow up, Mullinix didn't simply replicate what had made One/Three so arresting. He pushed and pulled further between the two cornerstones of his approach to reveal more potentials. Instrmntl takes you deeper into electronic depths – the rugged synth stutter of "Won," the tumbling, wobbling bass in "No Child Of God," the electro get down of "Prospects (Marshall Law)" – while also treading more organic grounds by letting samples breathe and moods unfurl at a gentler pace ("Take Me Home," "Evelyn" and "You Know The Formula Right?"). And then there are the moments where this push and pull finds balance and the result becomes more, as it does on the mournful march of "D-Town Tabernacle Choir" and the twinkling daydream of "This Is Where I Came In."
At just over 30 minutes, Instrmntl offers a snapshot of a time when potentials seemed infinite, when lines could be drawn between jazz, ragga jungle, techno, and hip-hop and the resulting shape divined an exciting future.
• Reissue of the out of print 2002 album available for the first time on Ghostly International
• Includes previously Japanese-only bonus track "Gimme Lowlands"
• Standard weight colored vinyl is housed in a matte jacket