East Van Digital presents our 27th artist EP, featuring Ded Sheppard.
The most western coast of Canada is known for big things. It's a land of big mountains, big trees, and big rivers that flow towards the world's biggest ocean. Yet, keeping the expansive landscape from overwhelming its inhabitants, the massive productions of Vancouver's Andrew Bartos has helped put it all in perspective, towering tunes so grounded that even the mighty Pacific couldn't wash them away.
Bartos has made quite a name for himself over the past decade or so. In addition to being a long-time freelance composer, sound designer, and music editor for Electronic Arts, he has famously produced bass music under names such as Supercycle and C((o))de Blue, including a couple tracks with The Panacea that helped relaunch the legendary Position Chrome, and earned play by Aphex Twin at major gigs such as Coachella and Forbidden Fruit in Dublin. In 2014, he launched his Ded Sheppard project with his initial release, a gnarly drum and bass single produced with Queensyze.
The Ded Sheppard EP marks the first true solo release for this project, and it hits the ground running. 'Serfculture' kicks things off on a bit of a slower, surging beat. The slight 303 warp and gated pad build to symphonic strings and wild drums, seemingly pushing towards a drum and bass crescendo, yet the drop knocks it down to a menacing, dubby grind with a hard 4/4 beat and ominous bass warp, contrasting the frantic percussion. It seems to tap into the tension of these modern times, pulling in two directions at once.
'Warehoser' takes things on a more cerebral trip. Like a raver siren call, its processed feminine vocals beckon the listener to carry her into the night as the instrumental moves from tinkling pads to bassline meat-grinder with a touch of hip-hop swagger that'll blow your earplugs out and knock your socks off, in that order. A Queensyze treatment of 'Warehoser' later caps off the EP, maintaining much of the original's style until it hits a kind of bassline garage house peak, trading sawtooths for sinewaves at a halftime tempo.
'Wrongmusic' follows suit with a big room introduction that meets rising acid build-ups with tongue and cheek phrases 'I know this stuff' and 'I've heard this a thousand times' then counters the expected EDM landing pad on a loping underground jungle neurofunk.
'Taillights' is imbued with a rather manic energy. Opening on a cinematic blend of synth leads and orchestral brass, the track quickly escalates to a haunting, swirling liquid kind of downtempo gabber. The melodic theme coming back gated to enhance its surge, the rising acid squelches pushing its brisk percussion.
There is such poise heard on this EP. Each of its darkest and heaviest moments has a counterpoint, a light reprieve and sense of space, like the crashing of waves on the shoreline and their subsequent simmering back into the fold. There's room for the listener to regain their footing on the dancefloor, yet never a vacant moment. Imagine Acen in his prime collaborating with Spor, mixing a retro lightness with a post-millennium crush, and you're close to the magic on this earth-shaking Ded Sheppard release, a taste of even bigger things to come.
September 25th, 2015.
Direct Purchase Links:
Warehoser (Queensyze Remix)
All tracks CanCon.
All tracks clean.