The new year marked a new dawn for UK drum maestro Craig Blundell as he released his debut solo record under the Dr Oktopus guise. The result is One.
Having got our hands on it before Christmas it’s about time we gave you the lowdown.
Despite a frantically busy schedule that included recording with Rebel MC/Congo Natty, live demos for Roland, teaching, clinics and a stint at the drum stool for hip-shaking, boogie blues outfit King King, Blundell somehow found time to write and record this impressive album that expertly splices drum and bass and jungle with metal, rock, classical, even Bollywood!
Kicking off with the jungle-fused ‘Beneath the Surface’, Blundell immediately sets a marker for what’s to come, before further driving the point home with the equally pulsating and guitar-driven ‘Boxes of Destruction’, which sounds like The Prodigy on acid. ‘Digging Deeper’ and ‘It’s All a Bit Odd’ see the tempo taken down a notch, with Blundell favouring a marginally more laid-back approach for the second half of the album compared with the high-octane vibe of the opening tracks.
A particular Rhythm highlight, purely for the scale of the track is ‘The Diggy Daggy Vocal Interlude’, which was recorded entirely from recordings of Craig’s voice, bass lines and all! At its height the track includes 36 part vocals. Ambitious isn’t the half of it…
Despite, by his own admission, not being a typical drummer’s album, Blundell still manages to lay down a succession of water-tight beats allowing for all manner of electro wizardry to be layered on top, which is all the more impressive given that the record is pretty much a one man show from start to finish. Worthy of your attention.
One is available now through CraigBlundell.net and iTunes.
Pick up the latest copy of Rhythm, on sale now, for an interview with Craig about One.