Dean Rodell is one half of the duo which make up Machine Code, one of drum and bass’s most innovative and respected neuro/darkstep founders. Berlin-based Rodell, under the solo monkier DR, has been working on a project lately with MethLab recordings called the “BNKR” series. His Epoch EP, releasing tomorrow, September 5, is the fifth installment in the series and shows DR just as creative, exciting and technical as ever.


The length of Epoch is actually more like an LP, with seven tracks featuring a number of DR’s German colleagues including Allied, Coppa and Monolog. Though each song is laced with the characteristic DR/Machine Code minimal darkness, it runs the gamut if beat styles with everything from the minimalist techno of “Marzen” (collab with Henning) to “Hide Windows with Allied, which is a halftime/trap hybrid that sounds like it could score the next saw movie.

The track Your EDM is premiering today, “Proxomity” is 100% DR, and fans of darkstep, techstep and minimalist neuro will find this track filling a void they’d forgotten was there. The beat is so sparse and off the usual dnb syncopation that many listeners may mistake it for halftime, but it is indeed at 174 BPM. The reason the beat sounds as it does is because instead of the upbeat in most phrases, there is either a gap filled by dark bass synth or an almost imperceptible snare. The track has techy sine waves and is dotted with a grinding sub bass not often used since the heyday of darkstep in 1999-2000, but it will be welcome to all who missed Machine Code and their contemporaries, as well as modern neuro fans looking to be blown away by something that was and is still ahead of its time.

Epoch is out on September 5 on MethLab and can be pre-ordered here.