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Even as the drum ‘n’ bass scene splinters into subgenres, much of its language is reaching down to the basest level of communication. Where the music once evoked speaking in tongues—all irreverent rhythm patterns and delirious harmonic concoctions colliding and exploding into a cloud of blissful confusion—its syntax is now often reduced to baby talk. Multiphonic Ensemble uses a dialect that tries to coerce you back to the epoch of bewilderment. The one-man band (and aren’t they all these days?) is captained by Yoshihiro Hanno, whose concept of drum ‘n’ bass isn’t limited to bass booms and treacherous percussion patterns. Like those in the No U Turn camp and Witchman, Hanno uses dark, haunting melodies to bolster his spooky sound effects and chop-shop drum programming, as on “Plot’s Movement” and “Rumble Fish.” And like Spring Heel Jack and µ-Ziq, Hanno displays a deep interest in modern classical and minimalist composers, particularly on such tracks as “Pudu” and “Foot Prints on Old Carpet.” But when Jack and µ-Ziq honored Glass, their albums bogged down under the weight of their bloated songs. Hanno is like a sonic MC; he knows how to keep the new words flowing.

—Christopher Porter