Sepehr Alimagham may pay his taxes in San Francisco, but these days it’s the United Kingdom’s coat of arms that is emblazoned on the producer’s rave ID. After releasing rather unimaginative house and techno under the name Sepehr at the beginning of his career and indulging in shameless acid worship on his first EP for Dark Entries, a change of direction became apparent two years ago. His debut album for the Berlin label Spe:c let electro and classic jungle vibes collide in marvelous ways. While his second album »Shaytoon,« also on Dark Entries, took its cues mostly by the former style, his second mini-LP »Survivalism« explores the darker spectrum of drum’n’bass and other varieties of the hardcore continuum. The opener »Eternity’s Artifice« brings together claustrophobic sounds, a dancehall-like groove and classic IDM tropes, but already the following track »Destination Unknown« offers straight up drum’n’bass – haunting, psychotic, psychedelic even. This self-conscious take on tried and tested genre conventions is however immediately followed by more innovative tracks. The half-time stepper »Solitary Tool,« for example, enters post-dubstep territory thanks to its Burial-esque vocal samples, while the title track clearly riffs on breakcore conventions and the digital bonus track »Plane of Fear« is clearly influenced by newer developments on the UK bass scene. However, Sepehr also pays tribute to the breathless US electro of DJ Stingray with »Lavashak Love,« although the nod to the grand master is contrasted by melodies of Middle Eastern influence and even more short and pitched vocals reminiscent of Burial, while »Bipayan« on the other hand is a frantic techno banger. Instead of just lazily appropriating British music styles, Sepehr takes a only a few select ingredients from their bag of tricks, mixes them with US-American influences and finally sprinkles them with elements from Arabic music traditions. The resulting is much more versatile and innovative than any of his previous releases.