So a small release hiatus from the big angry Bear during the pandemic sees his return to the scene with a bang on the mighty Eatbrain. Ensnared is the EP you have all been waiting for, with typical AKOV sounds and production levels which will make you want to play over and over again. Some of my favourite AKOV tunes have been on Eatbrain with Blind (Moon mix), Games With God and Deus Ex, the latter being one of my favourite Neurofunk tunes in recent years.
The title track for this EP give you that really distinct AKOV sound. The intro leads you through an almost Middle Eastern vibe with a Sitar sampling to a beautifully distorted reece on the build-up and then into that chugging mechanical sound of the bassline which AKOV executes so well and letting you know immediately who has destroyed your eardrums. What a tune to open with and what a tune to return to releases with. Something tells me this tune is going to have people popping off in the clubs.
Next up is a collab with Screamarts, an artist which has come strong onto the scene lately, especially with their tune on Eatbrains Divergence III, Shadow Beast. A nice rolling intro to ‘Disfunktion’ with some sick snares which lead the way through the majesty of a real atmospheric start to the track. The drop is really funky and gets the head nodding, completed by that short snappy but destructive snare. Halfway through, there appears to be a really angry bee coming for you as the tune switches up and gives you an element of old school flavours but really makes the tune more interesting as you get thrown through it. The second drop of this beast of a track has triplets which punish you and really up the tempo of what was already a cracking track.
‘Voices’ is the next tune on this already outstanding EP. It’s got a really awesome drum beat to build you up in the intro, almost like a drum solo in a metal band to begin with. The synth then takes you by the hand to the vocal mysteriously talking about not being able to run from the voices inside AKOV’s head. The drop is sick, so heavy and lumbering, it really feels amazing and stompy and you can’t help but sway side to side while nodding your head. What a tune and not necessarily the style you usually associate with AKOV, just highlighting that a large mammal which steals people’s picnics can be flexible.
Last track on this fire is ‘The Itch’ which has a very mellow intro and subtle bass hit just before the drop. You think “ahh this is the chilled track” WRONG! The drop is punishing and slams you around like a Grizzly attack after trying to take your sandwich back. The background of the tune maintains that mellow sound but the beat just keeps on slapping you until you are battered and bruised.
All in all a fantastic EP from the mind of AKOV who never fails to disappoint. We’ve got some new styles from him on this release and it’s refreshing, while never completely detaching from that sound we know and love from this cuddly monster.
I got some comments from the man himself on this release:
”It’s been interesting writing music in a time such as a pandemic. I’ve been writing lots of metal for my band and preparing to transition AKOV into a project that explores different tempos more frequently. My taste in music and goals for what I want to achieve have changed and even though I have written a lot, these 4 new ones are the only dnb tracks that stood the test of time through the small hiatus. Things look to be returning to normal now and it’s exciting to get back into it”.
Expect this release on Eatbrain on 28th May 2021. Get it bought, you know it makes sense.
Pre-order here: https://www.beatport.com/release/ensnared-ep/3383606