Vision Recordings was born in 2005, created and lovingly curated by the mammoth Noisia trio of Nik Roos, Martijn van Sonderen and Thijs de Vlieger, established from their base of Groningen, Netherlands. Home to some of the most important drum & bass and electronica masterpieces of our age, the label has hosted Noisia’s ‘Outer Edges’ project and Mefjus’ ‘Manifest’ LP (plus accompanying remixes for both), as well as all those other gems from Noisia’s extensive discography - The Upbeats-collab smasher ‘Dead Limit’, ‘Program’, ‘Stigma’, ‘Dustup’, ‘Incessant’, ‘Asteroids’; all can be found here. As much a home for Noisia as it is for the breadth of insane talent that they’ve taken under their esteemed, historied wing, the likes of IMANU, Machinedrum, Levela, Phace, Annix, Buunshin, Skantia, Misanthrop have all found their rightful place here, and the list goes on and on for the much-loved imprint. Stationed under a multi-faceted umbrella that also includes Division Recordings and Invisible Recordings, there are few labels that command a reputation quite like Vision, and thus Noisia.
Review: We were over the moon to see that Koan Sound, one of the most respected electronic production outfits in the UK, have finally made their return release, courtesy of the Vision Recordings team. It's safe to say that this is a pretty mind boggling selection, kicking off with a system-thumping half-time masterpiece of a title track entitled 'Chronos'. The levels of clarity these guys are able to pump into their synthy goliaths are off the scale, with 'Red Shift' following up with another reesey punch of production wizardy. Next, 'Traverse' takes a more minimal approach without losing any of the potency, with 'Aeon' giving us a storming finale, focussing on a much more harmonic side things. The champions have returned.
Review: Music for the strong-willed and not faint hearted, this Ithaca EP by Thys (aka Noisia) and Amon Tobin takes a listener through a spectral nether region of pastoral ambience and time-splitting cosmology. As if synths themselves, breathy chants of human chorals add a human touch to the vast and glacial atmospheres of the record, coming through at large in "Badlands", "Somewhere Else" and "Departure", with "Ithaca" itself shining in searing rays of synthesis layered to oblivion. Theatrical bass lines and deconstructed drums patterns add further narrative to the EP through their punctuation and offering of respite from its most dramatic moments, as heard in "Turning Point", with the complete package something like a soundtrack to a film documenting the edges of time, space and reality itself.
Review: IMANU you animal! Blasting away the cobwebs of the weirdest, non-ravey summer we've all had, the man previously known as Signal returns to Noisia's Vision Recordings with four epic missives. The 1.21 gigawatt blasts of "Nagow" take the lead with partner in crime Buunshin on collab duties. Ridiculous in weight and drama, it sets the tone for the rest of the EP; the twitchy ruffed up glitches of "Cheren", the gutter grinding halftime of "Whatever It Takes" and the Flume-on-superglue emotional dreamboat "Music To Stay In Your House To". Stay safe.
Review: It's been quite a while since Martin Mefjus last treated us to a full release, but boy have him and Vision-owners Noisia more than made up for it with this seminal release. Particles is a six-tracker with features on every tune: Camo & Krooked, Skeptical, Phace, IMANU, Break & Noisia. What a lineup that is, and it exceeds expectations as the Austrian trio of Mefjus and Camo & Krooked smash things to pieces on 'Sidewinder', a deeply unique track with a stepping, featherweight drum line, funky synth work and a seriously track structure which moves from hardstyle-esque sounds into drum & bass and back again. IMANU's feature on 'Transit' nails the neurofunk vibe (emphasis on the funk), whilst things get minimal on Skeptical's 'Amber'. Unbelievable Jeff.
Review: Vision are just full of surprises right now. Straight off the back of Noisia's "Armajet" OST comes this gully-AF quartet from Machinedrum and EDM/trap producer Holly. Neither artist is known for making drum & bass (although you can hear elements of it in many of their past productions) but it sounds like they've been bending breaks at 170 forever. From the rave tension of "Berry Patch" to the glacial textures and experimentalism of "Bramble" to the underwater Rockwell soul "Goji" and the Salvador Dali style bass of "Yangmei", this is the absolute business.
Review: Posij is one of the several Dutch producers in the Noisia orbit who make weird and wonderful sounds, appearing on multiple of the soon-to-split trio's three labels. This time around its Vision and, in true Vision form, these four tunes are abstract but not overly so, with a grounding that D&B format we know so well. It's all about the sound design and the complexity here, and we especially love the pitched-up synth work on 'No Cats' and 'Nighthorse'. It's 'Bolt', however, which has really grabbed us and it's partly thanks to the insane drum work (that snare!) that ensconces a broader approach at nastiness, encapsulated by bass flourishes and sub wobbles. Top work.
Review: Fresh off the back of his rebrand, the man previously known as Signal but now performing under the moniker of IMANU has his first release out in his new identity. On Noisia's Vision Recordings, Ego is a stunning return to form and deeply diverse, complex and well-produced piece of music. His ability to turn dystopic soundscapes into recognisable pieces of dance music was always a talent for the young Dutch producer and this might be the best example so far. It's very hard to pick a favourite, but the fluttering synths of 'Nonplus' are unbelievably good, paired as they are with pummelling low frequencies that are masterfully balanced. Sarah Hezen features on the atmospheric 'Flower Veil', Johnathan returns to halftime expertise on 'Noir' and the Neurofunk history is perfectly apparent on 'All Talk'. An incredible release from one of the 2010's best D&B breakout acts.
Review: Posij hails from Groningen in the Netherlands and, fun fact, is actually related to Icicle. Groningen is also where Noisia and their Vision Recordings imprint is based, and this EP from the Dutchman ticks all their boxes: nasty, well-engineered and deeply futuristic. 'Derivative' is definitely derivative, in fact it's a really unique track that opens with a salvo of bongos but quickly turns and flips, ducking and diving between different hooks, melodies and tonal sounds. 'A Car That Cranks' creatively uses the sound of a car starting, before heading down a slightly more recognisable path: glitchy, techy D&B. Awesome EP.
Review: This one is dedicated to all the giddy aunts out there! 30 tracks of forward-focussed bass innovation from one of the most influential shows to have emerged in recent years: Noisia Radio has helped to expose so much exciting new talent and here they bring together just some of the highlights. Ranging from super experimental to absolute gully gold, among the big hitters from Noisia themselves we have trippy, drunken freestyle bass from Bleep Bloop and Tsuruda, savage break wizardry from the likes of Howitzer, 23rd century spooky funk from Samba, beautiful glitched-out steppy funk from the mighty MRSA (AKA Mat Zo) and absolutely loads more. This is an immense package of tracks right here. Just like every Noisia Radio show.
Review: Mefjus' second album - Manifest - came out last year and was one of the biggest releases of the year, with every inch of the release absolutely dripping with insane sound design and characteristically frenzied tones. The man himself is currently releasing his forthcoming remix album as a series of singles and this is the latest, a double-sided display of technical prowess from Break and Misanthrop. Break's remix of 'Uneasy' is typically top-notch, those Break drums rattle and shake as per usual and the complex simplicity with which he arranges his basslines ties the knot on a hard-hitting piece of work. Misanthrop's contribution is more frenzied yet somehow even more precise, it's synth stabs and jagged edges tear and fold over and over, turning the original into a strange yet improved version of itself. We can't wait for the full album.
Review: With Vision Recordings being one of the most exciting projects working within the experimental areas of drum and bass music's extended circles currently, we had no doubt that we were opening a pair of firecrackers when 'Ringshifter' appeared in the store. We begin with Culprate's mettlesome rework of 'Ringshifter' itself, which smashes an assortment of contorted bass synths together in a perfect dystopian harmony. On the flip side however the fun continues as Levitate rises forth to give 'Assembler' some similar treatment, jam packed with hysteric synth designs and pinging drum structures. Amazing stuff.
Review: Oi oi! The mighty Mefjus returns with his highly anticipated second album Manifest and it's every bit as crispy, dizzying and fizzy as you want it to be. One of the most respected artists in the more technical corners of drum & bass, this is his statement about a much wider slice of the jungle pie. Still laced with his signature riotous sparks but laced with a whole new blast of dynamics such as vocals, strings and twists in the tale, highlights include the utter wiliness of "Fractured", the fugly toxicity of halftime stamper "Physically", the subversive hurricane soul of "Together", the squidgy slapbass and sudden twists of "Pivot" and the Konflict salute finale "The Sirens". Bravo Mefjus.
Review: Two more stunning pieces of work to come from Mefjus's forthcoming sophomore album Manifest... "Muskox" is a savage piece of neuro theatre with a touch of the technoids about it thanks to its Bodzin-styled rise. "Assembler" takes a step back for a moment with its industrial beat textures before steaming into your every sense with an intoxicating bassline that will, if mistreated, ruin your skin, your life and the ones you hold nearest. Yeah it's that heavy. Bring on the album!