After dropping a couple EPs on the mighty Soulvent, the duo of Blacklab attempts to keep up their momentum with new tracks “Curious” backed with “The Vow” out now on Future Retro Records. Original sister to the ubiquitous Spearhead Records, the Future Retro label took a bit of a hiatus until it was resurrected in 2018 with a string of singles and EPs, only to disappear again until this year. Blacklab does justice for the label’s re-return, and I would take this is a sign of more great things to come from both them and the Spearhead/Future Retro camp.
The lead track “Curious” is like a twilight dream soundtrack welcoming you into a deeper state of consciousness. It starts out with an ethereal intro consisting of light pads, mellow synth stabs and twinkling bells. A gradually building reverb-soaked vocal entices you to further down the rabbit hole, then before you know it the drums drop right into a smooth but swift rolling cadence, offset by a nice easy break at the transitions. The intro sounds continue to dance around the track while occasional ominous growls are later introduced into the mix, reminding the listener that there’s more to this mood than meets the eye. It’s a great compliment to any chillout set or wind-down playlist.
“The Vow” changes things up with a lo-fi hip hop beat to kick it off. The intro then rolls into an echoing Wurlitzer-style key rhythm backed with another vocal sample. On the drop, the vibe kicks up another notch with a rolling drum pattern that’s as home on the dance floor as it is in the lounge. Drum breaks appear a bit more intentional in this one, adding a bit of a funk vibe while keeping the track moving along through its phases, while bright synth stab creeps in on the upbeats adding to the funk style underlying the tune. It’s a soulful journey that’s worthy of frequent rotation in any playlist. We’ll definitely be watching to see what’s next for this artist and label.
Watch/listen on YouTube and Soundcloud:
Blacklab – “Curious”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1K_LaMKU6c
Blacklab – “The Vow”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YFdXJ9m6DI
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