d_rradio's series of three vinyl 7"s on Distraction Records gets well under way as #2 beams in from afar in the startling form of 'Dear John’ / ’Pick Me Up'. Having honed their euphoric, dreamlike comfort-music to charming affect on ‘Born’ / ‘Come To Light’ earlier this year, this outing sees d_rradio stretching even further into new realms. 'Dear John's haunting opening, with its fuzzy squeaks and bluesy squelches, gradually rolls and twists its way into a dark and crunchy electro-funk monster, tumbling metallically through space on pure adrenaline. Not what most people think of when they imagine d_rradio, it's true. 'Pick Me Up' is another lively offering with its breathy, hallucinogenic shimmers and stuttering razorblade beats. The subtle guitar lines of the band’s previous work are also here, though this time around they are more free; they mingle and dance with re-worked synths and statically charged electronics, giving the whole record a swirling, woozy dance floor effect.
These are two invigoratingly vibrant and energetic offerings from a band whose previous work had been described by John Peel (to whom ‘Dear John’ is dedicated) as 'lugubrious'.
The ian&i designed artwork for these singles is also worth mentioning, as each cover design is being generated from the previous one, reflecting the ever evolving, growing nature of the band’s approach to soundcraft. The bold and colourful pixilation of this sleeve was developed from the previous 7" cover, illustrating the more electronic nature of this single, as compared to its organic predecessor. No doubt this attention to detail, as well as the band’s eagerness to keep moving forward, runs through this whole series of d_rradio Distraction singles and will surely play a part in making them a collection to treasure in years to come.