Darren Keen – It’s Never Too Late To Say You’re Welcome

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[ Orange Milk, 2017 ]

On his second full-length for Orange Milk Records, Darren Keen achieves the escape velocity that plunge him beyond the clichés of footwork, setting him free of endlessly repeating spoken-word samples that, let’s face it, can get quite annoying after a longer while. The drum patterns are as tight, fast and complex as ever. But here, Keen manages to slow down sometimes, providing a much-needed rest from the sensory overload of the genre, while proving that he’s able to break the mold and look further without locking himself into the safe zone. The album is full of politeness, which is also a welcome thing in the world of ubiquitous trolling and constant middle fingers toward everybody. Keep being polite, Mr. Keen. It works very well. Highly recommended!

Darren Keen – He’s Not Real

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2015 ]

Is Darren Keen real? He probably isn’t. Sure, we might see some long-haired, big-framed dude when we type “Darren Keen” into Google search, but that guy is just a simulacrum. The real Darren Keen is a musical algorithm, designed to collect cool samples and put them into tight patchworks of the footwork genre so well it almost puts the genre’s Chicago godfathers to shame. Incredibly melodic and precise at the same time, it feels like Brooklyn’s laser guided answer to the Teklife crew, although with a bit of that Orange Milk flair left intact. Darren Keen might not be real, but this album definitely is real.