Rockwell Drops More Weird And Wonderful Music On Shogun
Posted by Ben on 14th November 2016
Last year Rockwell released Obsolete Medium, a 15 track album that pushed his own interpretation of what music is and what it means giving us tunes like its ok2behapp-e and Technoir in the process. He claims the name of the LP is referencing his own view that albums are in decline as a medium, artists deciding to choose successive EPs and singles instead. Well, off the back of that fantastic piece of music comes four more representations of what Rockwell perceives as his own sound, the creative outflows from one of Drum & Bass’ smartest producers.
The title track is Chorus of Disapproval, and I’ve been struggling to figure out why this name was chosen because it doesn’t fit quite right in my opinion. It conjures emotions of a negative nature; shame, anger or rejection none of which are to be found in Chorus of Disapproval. This tune is melancholy to the extreme, swelling layers of synth lines that wouldn’t be amiss in a Frederic Robinson or Bonobo track give it a decidedly ambient feel. But the frantic stabs working away in the background provide a healthy dose of energy, perfectly walking the line between fast and slow.
Hoez To The Floor takes things in an altogether bouncier direction. What I really like about this track is the tempo combined with the funky bass notes, creating a unique vibe that’s reminiscent of itsok2behapp-e and seriously infectious. I feel like this one would go down as well in a club as it does at home, and could definitely make for some interesting blends if used imaginatively.
The last track I’m going to talk about, my favourite off of the EP and the one I think exemplifies what Rockwell does best is Out Of Vogue. This tune has all the things that make his music so good, namely unreal creativity in conjunction with immaculate production skills. The lower end is eclectic and unruly in the best kind of way, seemingly changing tempos mid phrase before morphing into something else entirely. I’m glad it’s the longest piece from Chorus of Disapproval because Out Of Vogue is constantly interesting to listen to, sonically surprising throughout and another versatile track suitable in any environment. Have a listen below for one of the best bass lines you’ll hear all year.
Chorus of Disapproval is more of what Obsolete Medium made us love about Rockwell. Each track is really unique but they share enough overarching similarities to make listening through this EP a really continuous experience. It will however be a bit weird for some, which is definitely fair enough and Pulse OSX, the one I’ve not mentioned is a step too far in that direction, at least for my tastes. Chorus of Disapproval is also another example of how fantastic and varied the output is on Shogun Audio, for this release joins Technimatic’s album and the many others that have made 2016 a sick year for Friction’s imprint. Check out all the tunes below, and you can pick up the EP from iTunes.