Today is the day of Flexout Audio‘s sixty seventh release on their primary catalog. It’s been an impressive six year journey for the label with the most recent introductions of it’s two sister imprints, Waves and Onyx, and a slew of signings from some of the best names in the industry. With artists like Philth, dRamatic & dbAudio, Kasra, Ed:It, Hyroglifics, Amoss, Neve, and many more in their back catalog it’s easy to see why they’ve created a name for quality in the Drum & Bass community. The newest release adds Survey’s second EP for Flexout, a five track belter aptly named the “Solar EP,” filled with deep, tech-funk vibes as well as some spaced out liquid rollers to keep things even. Flexout Audio was also feeling very generous and decided to give out an extra track by Survey & PRTCL for anyone who purchased the track from bandcamp, as shown below! Thanks Flexout!
“Solar EP” starts us off strong with a funky roller from Survey & SubMarine named “Back Track.” Eerily woven atmospheric synths lead us through the darkness of space as we quickly find thick, rolling sub-bass complimented by tight drums and stretched out mid-bass distortion. With a “less-is-more” approach to composition, “Back Track” creates a very subtle yet effective state of building stress while still keeping it’s minimalist foundations clearly at it’s core.
The second tune from Survey, “Solar Sail,” gives direct notion to the EP’s space themed origin as weightless fading chords create a vast, lonely soundscape where we discover tempo through the frequencies of racing data, climbing basslines, and dark synths. “Solar Sail” is really given life though it’s use of echo effects and long release times which cultivate a sense of lingering.
Right in the middle of it all is the jumping sounds of “Linear.” While this tune may be the shortest track on the EP, it definitely brings the most energy to the table with it’s brilliant combination of tech-funk and jump-up styles. Sinking sounds of spaced out synths give way to rumbling sub-bass, digitized mid-bass, and classic drum & bass beats on this floor shaking track.
As we reach the second half of the “Solar EP,” Survey takes us down to the deep, dark depths of his liquid sound. “This Way” is, in my personal opinion, the “don’t miss out” track of the entire EP. Alluring, pulsing synths softly carry us into subtle rolling bass, sweeping high hat breaks, and catchy swaying mid-bass all while vocal samples remind us that it must be “This Way.” With an overall deep aquatic feel there are points when Survey strips back a majority of the songs layers giving it a truly groovy aura. If you are or have ever been a fan of Ivy Lab’s liquid tracks, this tune will be right up your alley.
Survey pairs up with old friend PRTCL on the final track of this release to give us “People In Suits.” This tune slowly builds energy with soft, lingering atmospheres, echoing pad synths, and increasing drum break intensity before we’re only left with gritty, groovy basslines.
Flexout Audio has done a great job solidifying it’s place in the D&B community and it’s even more prevalent with Survey’s “Solar EP.” Be sure to stay on top of this label and it’s signed talent for the future as there will be nothing but top notch releases to continue their already solid legacy. Feel free to check out some of my favorite picks from the label’s 2017 releases here and stay up to date with all things Drum & Bass!