On this record, Boyd crafts grooves ranging from afro-beat to house to trap to grime, weaving jazz virtuosity and fluidity in around a spacious electric backdrop. Obviously lead by a drummer, these beats are mixed front and centre, the focal point around which the whole album coalesces. It takes a drummer to write a one note afro-beat melody, but if it slaps, it slaps! Whereas his skills as a percussion prodigy are in full view, this record also showcases Boyd's talents as a producer.
In recent years jazz has undergone a massive overhaul. A new generation of musicians have burst through, delivering innovative, forward-thinking music on a regular basis. One of the first signs of this ground swell came when Moses Boyd - along with fellow drummer Binker Golding - won a MOBO for best jazz act in 2015. Their debut album, 'Dem Ones', was exactly what the scene needed, showcasing their prodigious talent but almost more importantly their ability to incorporate the sounds they heard in school, the street and the club into an instant jazz classic.
Moses Boyd is a drummer in the same way Questlove from the Roots is a drummer, which is to say that the twice Mobo-winning 28-year-old Londoner is a producer-composer-collaborator-influencer not bound by the kit surrounding him. A progenitor of the current London jazz scene, Boyd's official solo debut goes large on cross-pollination - and dancing. Whereas Boyd's previous Mobo-winning duo with the saxophonist Binker Golding and his Exodus ensemble remained more or less on-genre, Dark Matter exists very much in the wake of Boyd's breakout track of 2016, Rye Lane Shuffle (which featured Four Tet and Floating Points on mixes).