SPKTRM: THE NUMINOUS
Talking to us through the wires.
This month has been a gargantuan month for releases. February 24th was the day that AGN7 Audio leveled us all up with the unveiling of the latest LP ‘The Numinous’ from Michigan resident SPKTRM. With past releases on Renegade Hardware, Project 51 & Lossless Music, and remixing tunes by Gridlok. SPKTRM is reverse engineering the future of esoteric drum and bass music.
AG7N Audio has been making synapses fray for some years now. Coming in piping hot off 2020’s Reflections LP. The dystopian dnb outfit keeps the idea of non-comformative projects at the helm of its mantra. They are making and releasing drum and bass that they want to hear. Not what people want them to make. With constant nods to styles, bpm’s, and soundscapes of the past. ‘The Numinous’ LP does all those things, and draws additional firing power from remixes by D-struct/ Indidjinous/ Homemade Weapons. Three very polished and very well known producers in the dark drone/ and true tech step subsidiaries of the junglist regime.
LET’S TALK TUNES:
The title cut ‘The Numinous’ welcomes us into the album. Slowly leading us down the path to an aural pleasure dome. The 160 bpm lets every single element breathe comfortably. The array of brilliant light and dark synths provide a heady contrast. The drums are not as delicate though. Literally punching holes in the “spectrum”. Which gives a hint at the juxtaposition of the ride we are about to embark upon.
‘Down’ blurs the lines between funky r&b forward future jungle, and slap happy halftime. With falsetto nymph vocal lines swirling around the breathing aura of risers and Parliament Funkadelic styled stabs and “key-tar” bleeps. At the second break, time literally slows down. A direct call to Zapp is made, and the entire plane of underground funk comes moonwalking into 2021.
We leave the pleasures of fun times with fun people. We slip back into our re-occuring state of existential dread. Arriving at the remix of ‘2349’. Originally on the infamous ‘Android Dreams’ lp. This is the place where classic Genotype/FutureForces/DocScott era tech step is reborn. An array of soft cinematic keys shimmer against a depressed horns section. Dark rising tones that whisper of infinite darkness. A very conscious effort to slip the listener back into an unconscious state, or a triggering nod off. Reminding us of times we wish to forget
D’Struct comes in hammering the choppage on the redux of ‘Second movement’ . The drums are the focal point of this track. Clean, precise, chopped, faded, and thick would be the best way to describe the work put in on the rhythm section. A great homage to the original cut, and paying tribute to Perfect Combination /DomnRoland/Nico/Fracture esq’ classics.
This is the part where we take the junglist into the thick of it all. The hyperbolic and notoriously frantic , Indidjinous, lays his signature on ‘Shapeless’ . This is pure tech step bliss. Keep the focus on chopped, filtered, and funky drums. Laced it over with some varying 808’s and deep old school sub bass. The result is a groove meister’s solution to getting a steady nod out of your neck and filling the floor with the slinkiest of liquid dancers.
Homemade Weapons closes this lp down. His take on ‘Dimension’ is exactly what I expected from him. The constant driving tones, synth bass, and never ending kick drum is enough to give anyone with onset anxiety a full blown panic attack. Which is a signature sound of HM. The overall soundscape is pretty gritty and black. The whole tune seems blown out, in a good way. When the track ends, you forgot where it began. If we could repurpose the opiadic drones of the band ‘Morphine’ into a fast paced tech step banger. This is what it would be.
So I have been sitting on this LP for a couple months now. I did it justice by listening to it from front to back over and over again. the adventure here is real. Where the LP begins with ‘The Numinous’ and where it ends at ‘Dimension’ is exactly what i really want from an album. Care and thought about the tracks selected, the producers called to remix, and the overall sequence of tunes plays to huge strengths.
This is not a selections of songs. It is a really good effort to showcase extremely well composed songwriting and arrangement. The overall production, mixing, and mastering on this album is top notch. The artwork leaves itself to the enduser’s interpritation. Which is how the album overall could be described. I feel that many people could listen to this and derive their own opinion of what they just experienced. Which means the art did what it was supposed to do.
Entertain us, make us think, and most importantly. Makes us smile and dance. I really enjoyed this release. It is definitely something I will return to as a listener and a dj over and over again. Because sometimes, we get lucky, and people make the music we are looking for. In a genre we least expect it from.
THIS RELEASE IS AVAILABLE NOW
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