Deadly Avenger

Deep Red

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Damon Baxter, a.k.a. Deadly Avenger, has made previous contributions to the club/dance scene as a producer and remix artist, and as the force behind the Illicit label. Here he follows up a handful of single releases under his own name with a full-length debut which includes those three previously-released sides as well as ten new tracks. Baxter's love of film music is the thread that runs most consistently through Deep Red, whether it's the 47-piece orchestra cribbing melodic content from Rocky on "We Took Pelham," or the edgy Mission Impossible bongo drums that open "Punisher." Most of these compositions have an endearingly cheesy whiff of 1970s spy music about them. "In Pursuit of the Pimpmobile" is more jazz-based, with slightly creepy string parts and pervasive electric piano; "Quest Part 2" also comes across as a bit menacing, in a cool and understated sort of way, whereas "Quest Part 1" has something of a Middle Eastern flavor. The moods and textures are leavened throughout by funky breaks, but nothing so heavy as to force you out onto the dancefloor against your will. In fact, if the beats were just a bit heavier this would have been a killer album; as it is, it tops out at very pleasant.

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