Culprit One - Running In Order

Culprit One

The debut album by the Newport producer finally sees the light of day.
Exceptional Records: 7 May 2007

Last updated: 27 November 2008

Culprit One, aka James Hannam, has been knocking about as a producer and remixer for some years now, providing the Cardiff and Newport scenes with dark dance music that slipped between hip hop, ambient and techno.

Culprit One, Running In Order

Tracklisting

  • Electric State
  • No Need To Ask
  • Berliner
  • Hollow (feat. MCIncyte)
  • Brasilia
  • Sway (feat. Halflight)
  • Amoh
  • Manical
  • Tell Me It Isn't True (feat. Iko)
  • Frozen Format
  • Tricks
  • Flute Box
  • Strings Outro

Now based in London, the son of Newport is making a name for himself with crunching live performances, club-friendly releases and extensive remix partnerships.

Given that British dance music has been suffering a lull since the heyday of Leftfield, Chemical Brothers and Orbital, the likes of Culprit One represent something of a great white hope for clued-up clubbers.

Running In Order is right there, begging to be regarded in those exalted terms. Like the best dance albums, it has as much merit in the home environment as it does in the strobe-straked club. It's an intelligent album for dancing to, and a dance album to actually listen to.

The key to Hannam's success in creating this rarity is his inclusivity. He combines genres without it sounding forced or disjointed, and his background in indie music means none of these tracks would alienate a guitar fan. Likewise, he conjures hip hop breaks or lays down fast-paced electronica rhythms with total conviction.

The singles are here: No Need To Ask, Sway, Hollow and Tricks, but it's the likes of the menacing, thrumming delicacy of Brasilia or the contemplative electronic musings of Frozen Format that make the album.

Unlike so many dance sets, it's impossible to label the album as a 'party' album, a 'chillout' album or a 'drugs' album: it's all of those and more. But this strength is also its weakness - you'll often find yourself choosing individual tracks to fit a mood.

But Running In Order does reward a full-length listen. It may just represent a key record in the next generation of British dance talent breaking through.

Words: James McLaren


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