After putting out release for Macabre Unit, Imperial Audio and Phantom Hertz Recordings, Feonix debuts in full on Uprise Audio with a debut, self-titled album. Littered with collaborations, the album is a dark affair with light added by the voices of Simetra and Kaya, while Na Kika's contribution to "Central" keeps the mood hallowed. For a chunk of empty space punctuated by bass stabs, tribal drums and haunting chimes check out "Source", while "All I Ask" has the clunk of Scuba's "Latch" paired with detuned vocals that bring to mind FKA Twigs. And for no nonsense dubby dubstep it's all about "West".
Driving his dusty dub wagon through the complex planes of modern bass, confidently cruising the leftfield hand side, Drew is slowly building a very solid reputation for creative boundary pushing. Too hip-hop to be dubstep, too subby and twisted to be trip-hop, there's some real character to his cuts. Examples include the woozy strings and lolloping Thievery Corporation vibe of "Strange", the fine balance of dreamy elements and snarling bass on the EP title track "Defiance" and the Shadow-esque slumber-stamper "Hope". Confidently deep.
Sometimes the title says everything you need without evening listening. Especially if you're already aware of the heavyweight work Matrix has done previously. "Big Guns" shoots with just as much deadly precision as you'd want it to. There's more in the chamber, too... "Cotton Mill" is a scratchy, shuffling roller galvanised with a hypnotic ricochet effect on the percussion, "Ego Death" is a tribal-minded 4/4 stomper with great use of a spoken word sample and a firing flex into half-time while "Roll" is the biggest bang of the shoot-out thanks to its elephantine steppy riddim and sheet-metal FX. Lock and load, fire on sight... Each one of these cuts will shred a floor in seconds.
Welsh sludge merchant Feonix lays down an early treat ahead of his debut self-titled album. "West" comes with drums so loose, carefree and easy they don't even know undergarments exist. Complete with a down-pitched Alborosie vocal shot, it's an instant killer. "Honne" is much more of a slow murder joint; chill, spacious and eerier than a midnight meander through Chernobyl. Finally we hit "Central", a cut where high levels of intense drama are maintained through an ever-evolving drone and epic space between the tribal drums. Bring on the album!
It's been a while since RS1 lay down any of their ice cold sermons, but the wait has been worth it. Teaming up with fellow NZ comrade Lefty, each of these cuts sound like they've been conjured in an old decrepit cathedral as strange shadows, reflections and echoes ooze with haunting promise. "Gravity" pins you down with squid-like sub that squeezes and slithers uncontrollably. "Her" takes us down a deeper route with wafting half-beats and pads that blast hurricane emotions. Finally "Lisa" taps into the two-step psyche with more ethereal airs and graces. Three wholly distinctive cuts for three different chapters of the night. Lefty is alrighty.