Offending Public Morality by Dax J
Second album from the British producer and selector who used his recent notoriety as his guide
Second album from the British producer and selector Dax J, aka Dax Heddon, who channelled his recent notoriety back into his music-making. Last year he caused a stink when he dropped a track that contained an Islamic call to prayer during his set in Tunisia. Death threats and a prison sentence ensued but the charge of "offending public morality" didn't stand as he'd left the country by the time it was raised and as a result avoided jail time. The effect of the experience though bore its mark on his outlook on life and ultimately informed the shape of this album.
Tens years ago he was trading in Jungle beats on pirate radio as DJ Dangerous but these days he's known as a champion of uncompromising Techno, both through his own productions and his label Monnom Black (on which this album is released). With this in mind, anyone expecting a long player of straight-up, forward-thinking, 4x4 Techno tunes may be surprised to hear he's returned to his roots with a full-on collection of Jungle, Acid, EBM and IDM.
Brimming with bright ideas Offending Public Morality mashes together many styles that arguably shouldn't work on paper but ultimately surprise and satisfy at every turn. The high tempo throughout is a key element of note, the title track in particular epitomising the forward-thinking direction Heddon wants to take Techno. Acid plays a major role too, with tracks like Unrepentacostal and It's A Trap pushing the BPMs up. Together, with rollicking Jungle (Mustapha Mond) and emotive EBM (Looking For Tina) they make comfortable bedfellows.
Another facet comes from the haunting, coldwave vocals of Zanias on Waves Of Isolation and Babylon Brutality. Then there's the hilarious but equally shameful "jungle bunnies" track, 1001 Amen Nights, which uses dialogue from 1980 British film Babylon. In fact, snippets and samples like this are used throughout to great effect, each adding a deeper insight into the album's dark themes of racism, sin, depression, prostitution, drugs and murder. And once you throw in experimental tracks like Feed The Pigeons and The Art Of Murder you'll soon realise that this is seriously attention-demanding music.
Death Is Imminent closes things out on an austere Ambient note, Heddon accepting that adversity in life can be inspirational as well as challenging.
- Rating: 9/10
- Listens: 21
- Highlight: Looking For Tina
- Label: Monnom Black
- Release Date: 6th Apr 2018