VA - Tonics: Batch 2

Various Artists

SV092: 17 September 2021

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What tastes better than the first gin & tonic? The second one. So we’ve once again scoured the drum & bass scene for more brand new talent to soothe your ears and entice your palate. The assembled team of exciting young talents promise to further the success of our first batch, as we continue to distil the potency of our ’Tonics’ series.

First up are the bouncing, buoyant sounds of UK based producer Soul Method’s aptly titled ‘Throwing Shapes’ providing a welcome, high-energy introduction to the sonic selection displayed on the EP. Groovy pads and pleasing arpeggios ride a seriously satisfying drum break and woodblock. Superbly simple vocals and measured bass work will have you giving it all and shuffling with glee on the dancefloor now that clubs are finally back open.

Newcomer Half-Life smashes it out of the park with his debut release ‘Split’ which is a little on the grittier side than its predecessor. Creepy layered pads and foreboding harmony gel atop brisk drums, resulting in a stomach lurching drop. Wobbly bass tones, grainy digital synths and a growing drone really push the momentum throughout the tune and positions Half-Life as another young name to watch over the next year.

Bath resident Aydn takes the floor with his bubbly, uplifting debut ‘No Option’. Trickling notes from a spacey synth and vocal chops swim in reverb, backed by a rolling beat and a deceptive crescendo which boasts rousing string plucks and grumbling swathes of bass. The 2nd drop ushers in a beefy amen break and deep, swelling bass notes which splice perfectly with the existing elements. .

Devon boy Beeson pollinates our ears with the nectar that is ‘Brown Sugar’. For a track that starts relatively calmly, it doesn’t waste any time shifting into a stuttering, hypnotic shoe thrower. The interplay between the intense acidic arpeggio, the guttural tones of low-end and the swelling strings are very easy on the ear - a pleasing first outing that is reminiscent of the old-school raves that we have been desperate to re-capture.

Bristol bombshells Circumference continue to prove why they’re one of the most exciting duos to come out of the city in the last 24 months. Building on the accomplished and varied sound displayed on their ‘Ambivalence’ EP on Flexout last year, the orchestral enthusiasts continue to merge mind-melting synth work with unorthodox harmonic approaches and production quality beyond their years. With drums tighter than a billionaire's wallet and compositional chops that continue to turn heads - we welcome the return of this bright young pair who you’re guaranteed to see more of.

Rising South African star Stay-C shows off her developing style with her Soulvent debut ‘Make It Complex’ which rounds out the EP and undeniably lives it up to its name. Dark, unsettling atmos and haunting synths culminate in a gnarled, growling and gritty soundscape complete with hard-hitting drums which switches up just as fast as your ear can process it.

Buy release

WAV £4.99
MP3 £3.99
  • WAV
  • MP3
1 Throwing Shapes (Original) Soul Method 4:15 £0.99
2 Split (Original) Half-Life 5:09 £0.99
3 No Option (Original) Aydn 4:09 £0.99
4 Brown Sugar (Original) Beeson 4:45 £0.99
5 Breadsticks (Original) Circumference 3:50 £0.99
6 Make It Complex (Original) Stay-C 4:16 £0.99
1 Throwing Shapes (Original) Soul Method 4:15 £0.79
2 Split (Original) Half-Life 5:09 £0.79
3 No Option (Original) Aydn 4:09 £0.79
4 Brown Sugar (Original) Beeson 4:45 £0.79
5 Breadsticks (Original) Circumference 3:50 £0.79
6 Make It Complex (Original) Stay-C 4:16 £0.79

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