Saturday, June 9, 2012

Against - Winter Sun EP

Winter Sun EP

Ukrainian Drum n' Bass producer Against released his first solo EP on Soul Deep Recordings, and it is definitely a keeper. While DnB mixes are usually upbeat and are the sonic equivalent of adrenalin, the tracks on the Winter Sun EP are extremely calming. Most of the songs ease the mind with soft humming bass drones in the background. The EP opens with Colour Control. In the background you will find a sporadic and barely audible bass thump nicely placed within the spaces of the drum beats. An occasional airy synth plays and adds a nice soft element to the mix. A vocal sample echoes and fades away in the outro to lead into the dark piano/organ notes that open on Eastern Express. Here, a haunting Burial style vocal sample comes in after a break from the drum beat creating an excellent climax point. The following title track intros with an astral drone interlaced with soft trumpet blares while the drum beat follows moments later, leading you through the rest of the song with occasional breaks. The last mix titled Hidden Element & Against is not shy; unlike the other tracks, it opens immediately with the main drum beat and is followed suit by an escalating organ style synth. A break, followed by yet another echoic vocal sample drives you back into the drum beat accompanied with the soft bass hum. Against has taken a grand minimalist approach to the production of this EP and the result is a unique and soothing DnB sound.

oOoOO - Our Love Is Hurting Us

Our Love Is Hurting Us

This fantastic 2012 release from witch house pioneer oOoOO (pronounced "Oh") plays host to haunting synths, thick and sluggish drum beats, and hypnotic dark vocals. His second EP via Tri-Angle records has that spectral sound that you would expect, yet it goes above and beyond. The opening track titled TryTry lays chopped up vocals over a slowed hip hop beat, consisting of a metallic clap and heavy droning drums. On the second track, fellow dark dreampop artist Butterclock offers her vocals on Springs while oOoOO lays down a beat laced with classic witch house escalating snares. As the songs draws to a close, you can hear the vocals slowly melt away to let the drums finish off the track. The outro leads nicely into Starr which opens with a beat using an almost uncomfortable time signature to grab your attention. Vocal samples are presented with their pitch drastically lowered as they blend nicely with the background atmospherics. An ecstatic electric guitar appears seemingly out of nowhere to add a very interesting element to the song. The next track titled Break Yr Heartt, is possibly the most entrancing on the EP. The song opens with a dark beat and background bass throbs, and beautiful feminine vocals shine through around 30 seconds in. oOoOO successfully uses autotune to add an ethereal quality to the already heavenly voice. Butterclock returns on NoWayBack, the last track on Our Love Is Hurting Us. oOoOO really creates a ghostly soundscape by running Butterclock's voice through dreamy filters and adding an ominous windy sound repeating in the background. Our Love Is Hurting Us finishes on a strong note and is solid throughout, and oOoOO does a tremendous job creating an eerie yet lulling vibe.