Eclectic underground record label Patrol The Skies Music and producer-friend Pish Posh recently debuted “Them Vibes Vol. I,” an ambitious compilation featuring contributions from the USDNB scene’s active players who are delivering 16 custom tracks featuring their own hallmark styles. With summer at your doorstep, what better way to ring it in right with some stateside DNB?
The compilation begins with Echo B.’s ambient journey guided in “Moments.” In between synth-laden moments of shuffle, Echo B. lines their track with tinges of atmospheric elements to keep things interesting. “Moments” sets the tone for the compilation as it displays both traits of traditional DNB and ambient experimentation. “Set Apart” by Pish Posh and Dfly segue into their respective track by continuing the ambient sounds heard on the last tune. In between the frantic percussion, both producers utilize fascinating melodic noise samples and blink-and-you-miss-it brilliant moments.
As “Walls” by Intrinzic takes hold, excited piano notes dot a solid backbeat while the main title is repeatedly echoed as the spoken word continues. The poetic style of the lyrical pacing makes it an interesting entry following the last two tracks as the bass fades in and out. As the words and mantras echo against the aesthetically pleasing piano, it wasn’t long before I found myself listening to “Celestial” by Order of Elim. “Celestial” changes gears and moves away from atmospheric yogi stylings and adopts a warm beat with a friendly 80s-esque synth riff. The track later adopts a more organic approach to the riffs and a chord progression Taylor “Tell It To My Heart” Dane would be proud of.
Things start getting a little weird as the Random Movement Remix of “My Heart” by Noisefloor and Angel Stanford begin to take shape. This fifth track focuses on a slightly more minimalist approach to begin, until Stanford’s voice makes a indie-soulful appearance singing the hook. While this track may be seen as the black sheep of the album, it’s a pleasant midpoint to break up any chance of monotony (which there is none to speak of). MK2 makes their first appearance with “Can’t Take My Mind Off You” and introduces us to some modernized marimba dotting an offbeat oddly glitchy synth backing. With much ado in the bass department, MK2 sets up a dramatic soundscape to back the vocalist cooing over the production. Echo B. swiftly returns with their ambient sensibilities mixed with dirty bass within “Tunnel Vision,” while later revisiting Intrinzic’s second track “Choices,” which offers a slightly more frantic calling card than “Walls” came to be.
“Globetrotting” introduces Insaint to the crowd, as they bring their best game with unconventional percussion which gives way to a plethora of global instruments sprinkled around the centerpiece of the track. With lines that give direct tribute to vocal house, “Globetrotting” could be seen as a good companion track for more in-your-face compositions found on the album. Pish Posh returns with the youthful “Every Way” and gives Pharrell Williams a run for his money in the “Happy” department, instrumentally speaking. Welcoming the second half of the album,Pish Posh’s second and final return to the tracklisting feels as rejuvenating as ever compared to darker elements. Krispe continues the upbeat trend with “Drive,” acting as a unique segue for MK2’s “The Vibe” between its continued dirty 80s synth sounds. “The Vibe” takes a darker path than the one established by Pish Posh and Krispe, but are comfy at home paired with Noisefloor’s equally chill “Summer 89.” While the style may not resemble the title and times of 1989, Noisefloor captures the sound of youthful exuberance in the form of 8-bit notes and musical tension.
The compilation begins its three-track final dash as Until The Dawn and Danielle Parente team up for 11’o clock number called “A Million Miles.” Parente brings some pop sensibility to a track I normally would not expect on this kind of collection. Voorheez uses their second-to-last spot to give us one last round of calming styles while Noisefloor and NVDR ring in the grand finale. “Sleep” concludes the album with an Postal Service-esque intro that Pixar certainly wouldn’t frown on if they wanted to deck out a film with Drum and Bass. Beginning as a soft ballad, synths and chimes deliver one last shuffle before the cows go home. By combining a confident beat and a playful melody, Noisefloor and NVDR close out a solid compilation with peace and love.
Be sure to support the artists by grabbing the compilation here.