The latest EP from Duffrey, Return to Source, is absolutely rejuvenating, to say the least. Refreshing, clean, and cutting edge, each song is filled with its own unique elements, culminating for a thriller of an EP.
One-third of the highly regarded, ultraSloth, Duffrey has really come into his own recently. Throughout quarantine, he blessed us with some phenomenal sets and a light sprinkle of tunes. His impact on the ultraSloth EP that released in September of 2020 was noticeable by the punchy and definitive sounds. Then in April, he released his soothing drum n bass remix for Hullabalo0’s “Another Day.” He has announced massive bookings, including Submersion, where Potions and Daily Bread and many other rising stars will be playing alongside. All of this leading to the anticipation of his next release to shoot through the roof.
Combining spectacular and straightforward sound design with his untouchable rhythm, Duffrey has produced arguably his most comprehensive body of work to date.
Return to Source did not disappoint. In what has been my favorite work of his to date, Duffrey expands on his standard sound design and explores new territory with his flow. While doing this, he still maintains the groovy and loose atmosphere that we fell in love with. Duffrey’s music doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is part of what makes it so enjoyable to listen to. In “Hyphadillaty“, the groan of someone getting socked in the stomach is consistent throughout, which is quite relevant considering how powerful and punchy the tune is. He also throws in a now-famous, “sheeeesh,” because why not. It’s this combination of humor (as seen below), rhythm, and innovative sound design that makes Duffrey so enjoyable to listen to on and off the dancefloor.
The EP as a whole sits in the category of glitch/halftime, but trying to define this by genre would be a disservice. These are clean-cut, hard-hitting tunes. “Scuffed,” the song that opens the EP, has a classic Duffrey feel. It is straight head-nod, bounce-inducing music with distinguished sound. Next is the previously mentioned “Hyphadillaty” which is personally my favorite off the EP. It starts off with a large introduction, combining a whirlwind of sounds. Duffrey expands this into a bubbly and psychedelic build-up, before dropping into some face-twisting filth. This song is a gut punch in the best way possible. The second drop is just immensely large, with a surrounding bass and absolutely staggering drums, making for a whale of a tune.
After a thrilling first half of the Return to Source, Duffrey continues his flex for the last two songs.
“Wüdnerland” brings back the crispy head-nod feel, with an increase in the neuro-funk sounds, showing off his range. In the conclusion, “The Abyss Screams Back,” Duffrey goes in a slightly different direction. Still maintaining the hard-hitting drums, Duffrey sends us on more of a journey through this one. While this one does have multiple drops, the focus seems more on the progression throughout each one. It is the perfect way to close out the gem that is Return to Source.
This EP is genuinely inspiring as a listener. It is the type of release that reminds us why we love this music so much, and sets off the desire to hunt for more. Paired with The Rust Music, one of the top labels in this scene right now, Duffrey’s Return to Source has found the perfect home to be shared with the world. With the combination of his personal growth, plus the rise of ultraSloth, it will be fun to see where Duffrey’s journey takes him in the future. We will be watching and listening every step of the way.
Listen to Return to Source, out now:
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