Occlusion Is A Lesson in Beautiful Drum And Bass
Posted by Dan on 4th February 2017
The Silent Audio label first caught my attention back in 2014 with their free album Infusion, a brilliant compilation featuring tracks I still adore and play to this day, such as Northern Zone’s Fallen and Alston’s Red Sky At Night. Now they have unveiled their latest album, Occlusion, and it’s bloody amazing. Seriously.
I’ll be perfectly honest, only once in a blue moon do I find an album where every single song is just about an equal amount of incredible. And tonight, this moon is looking rather blue indeed. It’s been a right pain trying to pick favourites, but I think I can just about narrow it down:
Northern Zone – Afterglow
Afterglow is pure ethereal beauty. Adorned with gentle crashes, majestic echoes, and the most beautiful pads, I am subject to goosebumps every single time I hear this track. I could not think of a better way to introduce this album.
Digital Native – Fifth Heaven
Synth-tastic pretty much sums this one up nicely! A true spirit-lifter, Fifth Heaven takes us on an upward spiral with a couple of loop-the-loops to exactly that place. If colours could be heard, I imagine they would sound like this!
Nexus & Tight – Spirit VIP
The original version of Spirit popped up on Infusion, and as pleasing as it was, I felt it was a tad too repetitive and lacked enough development. (I made this same argument to my mum, who replied with “But all drum and bass is too repetitive.” I got a right telling-off for my response.) This VIP however feels like a big improvement, with subtle variations in the bassline as the track evolves, those gorgeous twinkling notes which are impossible not to fall for, plus the key change from the original is a simple touch, but one I greatly prefer.
Monrroe – What About Tomorrow
Another truly delightful tune, calm and collected in nature. That being said, this easily wins the award for favourite bassline on the album; I love the way it moves, and it’s pronounced yet deep and resonant. Could probably pack a punch if played out on a good sound system!
Maxin – Eastbound
No drum and bass album seems to be complete without a good ol’ cheeky amen track! And boy oh boy, does this one hit! It’s so infectious and uplifting, you can’t not feel happy listening to it – it just makes me want to scream off the roof in a wave of joy and ecstasy. And might I also add, those are some real classy wubs!
In:most & Pulsate – Momentum
Having been well and truly captivated by In:most’s Cloudfish EP back in 2015, I’ve been most desperate for something new from them for a while. Admittedly this is not what I expected from them, given the sound they had put forth back then. However, Momentum still more than satisfies my craving, with the end result of this Pulsate collab being a heavy yet haunting tune, where light, drifting synths are combined with pounding drums.
D Flect – After Rain
Almost tear-jerking, is After Rain. No one could deny it’s the exquisite piano chords that undoubtedly make this track, but I think it’s worth noting the intricacy of those drums! Very special stuff. Try not to be moved by this, I challenge you…
SMRD – Epigenic
Finishing off the album with something nice and easy on the ears, Epigenic has that well-loved, jazzy drum and bass vibe we all know, and of course a classic bass wobble to wash it all down! Most pleasant…
Yes, you will notice I just reviewed all eight tracks of this album. Like I said, every song here is pretty much an equal amount of incredible – it would be a sin to exclude any of them! Put simply, releases like this are the reason I love drum and bass. A job well done for Silent Audio!