ASC – Nothing Is Certain

January 01, 1970

(NonPlus+ Records)


While the man behind Nothing Is Certain is known for his drum ‘n’ bass production, those who
are familiar with James “ASC” Clements’ work likely consume it for
its broad-spanning, heavily atmospheric appeal – this is not the d’n’b your
friends have told you about. Nothing Is Certain combines various rhythmic patterns and divergent
textures for mysterious, dense results. Clements weaves in dubstep influences,
deep and reverberating drum sounds, and midtempo techno to get the distinct
compositions that characterize his debut full-length for NonPlus+, the
London-based label run by likeminded techno/d’n’b producers Instra:mental.


“Opus” is aptly identified toward the close
of Nothing
Is Certain
. It features
experimental dubstep producer/Clements’ wife Vaccine, and its crisp snare shots
and glassy synths pair nicely with powerful countermelodies and airy swirls
padding the track’s busy percussive end. “Opus” is layered and
rhythmically propulsive, with a sporadic vocal materializing to haunting
effect. This is how vocals are used on Nothing throughout-they’re little more than fragments,
augmented with delay, and then gradually disintegrating like cigarette smoke.
“Losing You” doesn’t move in the frustrating, angry manner that one
might suspect; Clements employs the same sampled vocal approach and a delicate
d’n’b framework on the percussion end. Synth chords rush to the fore at each
turn as they do for “The Depths,” with the producer adding minor bits
here and there for murkier effect, driving any sense of certainty far out of




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