Submorphics’ Without You Is Dreamy Escapism

Posted by Ben on 23rd February 2017

Brand new Submorphics was always going to be an attention-grabber for us, the American-born soul merchant never fails to disappoint with his funky yet brooding sound, a combination drawing on all corners of Drum & Bass’ lighter side. So, a brand new 4 track EP from the man himself was more than pleasant news to receive.

With previous releases on a whole host of respected labels, this time around Greg’s work sees the light of day through Shogun LTD, leviathan Shogun Audio’s younger, slightly prettier sister. Regardless of label pedigree, one thing is for certain, Submorphics’  ongoing dedication to producing emotive Drum & Bass.

The stand out track for me is Stratoshperes which, purposely misspelled name aside, is a masterclass in tonal juxtapositions. Clashing drums and T.R.A.C’s superb rhythmic flow give hip hop a well deserved nod, contrasting with atmosphere-providing synths in the back, who’s fluttery waves of melancholic ambience would be more suited to a pick-up shot in a Miyazaki film. The drums become the main feature at the beautifully stripped back second drop, the absence of vocals or other elements shining a bright light on Submorphics’ impeccable percussion.

The title track, Without You, is another absolute stunner. Forgetting Drum & Bass for a second, this tune is made by its background; a swirling soundscape of mind drifting echoes and wails. Greg’s smooth touch has fused this with a drum section packed full of movement, another gorgeous juxtaposition of pace, contemplation and forgetfulness. Without You is one for the road or train, travelling music that brings out thoughts and feelings in equal measure.

Ordinarily I’d go into detail on the other 2 tunes on this EP, but I won’t, because it’s not worth your time. Although they’re, in my opinion, weaker than those described above, Arcata and Lost In The Lights are simple but well made, excellent examples of liquid’s airier side. I won’t go into them because their subtlety demands first hand listening, so you can do just that below.

Without You is a very solid piece of music, what I love most is the sense of continuity, its a journey of delicate ambience, featherweight dynamism and a sense of dreamlike escapism. That’s what I feel like Submorphics was going for here, music that isn’t just good in itself, but good in relation to the listener. I guess what I’m saying is it’s about enjoying the meaning you attach to these tunes, not just the one handed to you. If you have any idea what I’m on about, go buy the EP from iTunes right now.


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