Maxwell ‘Monika’ Sweeney should certainly not be an uncommon name to fans of our output by now. After birthing our own Podcast last year in June, the man himself led the charge for a solid 12 months, with his format for the show seeing guests delve into their influences. There was no shortage of interesting choices and outcomes, much like the New Zealand resident’s production. While his last EP, Fortress, was an exploration into more down-tempo and ambient territory, Rocket Sprocket marks Max’s 5th release on Soulvent with a high octane return to the realms of drum & bass – and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
A-side Rocket Sprocket blasts off with a click heavy break, counting down to launch sequence start. Bubbling pads make room for tasty crunches of low-end, with techy synth stabs and distant chimes providing progression over the top of a high energy, squelching sub bassline. This track is a notable shift from his normal aural output, but in no way is this a bad thing!
Wake Up on the flip starts with a rousing vocal sample and features Monika’s trademark percussion progression. No drowsy drums on show here! You are awoken from the peacefulness of the airy first breakdown with a no-nonsense, full-bodied bassline. As the vocal harmonies develop, we’re introduced to a murmuring top line arp in the run up to the second breakdown, that allows you to catch your breath before you’re dropped back into the depths of that expansive bassline.