Having made a name for himself on the grime scene with his DVA Music imprint in the mid to late 00's with tracks such as the chainsaw-yielding bass of Kurb Krawl through to the cartridge shredding Bullet A' Go Fly, Scratcha has always been a producer who evolves and pushes things FWD with each release. He really hit his prime with the high-gloss Funky he produced on scene-setting drops such as the dub house jammer of Jelly Roll & the stoned tribal flare of Natty. That tune cemented him as a household name on the similarly boundary-expanding imprint Hyperdub. Listening back to his early DVA 12"s it's startlingly evident that his heavyweight urban crawl and loose drum sound was always there in the backdrop of his productions, and on NOTU_URONLINEU he has produced the most crystallised, yet shadowy vision of the DVA sound yet.
Coming just under five years since his debut long player Pretty Ugly, the interval has seen DVA change his name to DVA [Hi:Emotions] a term that first materialised on his Girl Unit remix back in 2010. Using NOTU_URONLINEU to explore his increased interests in science fiction, virtual reality and the urban decay. Scratcha has dived headlong into his interests for the subject, a theme that stems from William Gibson's imagined metropolises through Ford & Lopatin's Channel Pressure and more recently the crunchy circuit board chewing grime of Mumdance, Shapednoise and Logos.
Having recorded the album entirely in the dark, it calls to mind the similarly nocturnal recording antics of Metal Box-er PiL, where abstract commentary on the world it came from unfurled over the sessions. Helping to realise his vision, DVA [HI:EMOTIONS] enlists like-minded time travelers, with Danalogue lending some neon-grime funk to the title track DVA [HI:EMOTIONS] and the excellent ALMOSTU featuring Rae Rae alongside Roses Gabor's bittersweet vocals adding an element of robust RNB to the glass-like shards of sound that surround the synths. While there is a real urgency to the sounds, it isn't panic stricken by the influence of life in the 21st century, with screen addiction and high-speed internet, the endless opening windows clicking shit to cinematic graphics, the complex colour tones fill any cold space left in between the icy electronic glow.
Much like 1.0, Black Secret Technology, Classical Curves & Far Side Virtual, NOTU_URONLINEU is an album that appears to predict a future that is riddled with internal technological imbalance; and in many ways it's a future we have already arrived at. Absolutely mind blowing material and from where we stand a 'future classic' in the truest sense of the meaning.