It’s been a startling couple of years for instrumental beats of all persuasions: the likes of LA’s Brainfeeder crew and Glasgow’s LuckyMe collective have developed styles with a scope far beyond creating merely ‘instrumental hip hop’. Amongst all the hype and promotion, one of the music’s reclusive architects seems to have been mysteriously overlooked.However, ask the likes of Gaslamp Killer or Ras G and they’ll tell you the same thing: Dimlite’s production was astounding from the start. His EPs of 2003 and debut album Runbox Weathers two years later revealed a Swiss producer beholden to no one, possessing a style as nuanced as his friend Prefuse 73 and yet enriched by a careworn romanticism and quirkiness that rewarded repeat listens and has, over time, made him something of a ‘producer’s producer’.
Another album, singles, remixes and side-projects followed, taking Dimlite’s sound further left, further into a singular world where soul music, latin rhythms, hiphop and more are reconstituted into dreamy, lovelorn beat constructions. And so he takes his place on Now-Again, home to a cadre of similarly singular spirits such as The Heliocentrics and The Whitefield Brothers, each bent on refracting music history through their own unique lenses.
And while copycat producers abound, Dimlite’s uniqueness is only throw into sharper relief. It’s clear the moment he sings, such as on EP highlight Elbow Flood or the astonishing (and miniature) closer, Can’t Get Used To Those. It’s apparent in every one of his strangely abrupt changes. It’s even in his song titles. Perhaps Prismic Tops will be the record that sparks a critical reappraisal of this gifted producer’s work.