When it comes to the deep and dark side of drum and bass, minimal reigns supreme. From the overwhelming evil sounding bass lines, to the schizophrenic samples, or the simple yet effective beats, it is where many exciting new ideas are explored and used. Sustance has slowly been carving out his own brand of minimal tunes for some time now; his latest release on Overview Music, the Temperance EP, is absolutely stunning in this regard.
“Bristol Gang” starts the ep off with eerie atmospherics, chattering noises, and a driving pattern of hi hats which only get heightened as the beat starts to get introduced. A vocal sample signals the beat drop and when it hits, it hits heavy and hard. Using the bare minimum of elements, he crafts an addictive tune that will get stuck in your head faster than you can blink.
The ominous tones of the title track begin the next, with a metronomic click building the momentum until the echo-filled patter of the beat comes sneaking in. As the hi-hats increase in frequency, a bubbling feeling of rambunctiousness infects your ears as the vibrational bass drops in at the perfect moment. This tune swings between pure vibes and that clamorous intensity so smoothly, it’s breathtaking and mind-blowing simultaneously.
Keeping the theme going yet taking it in a totally new direction comes “Squirt.” Right out of the gate we get the beat along with subtle hints of the warbling bassline. A vocal sample declaring , “I play what I want” launches the track into its full beauty, and that sentiment perfectly encapsulates both this song and Sustance in general. It’s easy to hear the passion he pours into his music: each layer is well crafted and piercingly effective, the sonic textures themselves are incredibly thick and full, and overall the feeling created is poignant and intentional.
The dark and minimal side of DnB is often seen as robotic and unfeeling, but on “One Away” Sustance proves this to be a myth. Using soulful keyboard chords along with broken beats and wobbling distorted bass lines, he crafts a tune that is as heavy as it is fun. It is one of those tracks that hardcore jungle heads and dancefloor freaks can both get behind, as the hypnotic flavoring of this song excites both the mind and the body.
Ending the release is “Shame,” and here he digs deep to give us a tune filled to the brim with hard hitting beats, malevolent vibes, and fuzzy white noise to top it all off. Deceptively simple, there is a lot going on this track between all shifting layers that come and go. The bass is constantly vibrating yet has unexpected moments of halting itself through noise, and especially after the drop it seems to almost become a bass solo of sorts. This track is a thorough exercise in the wide world of creativity repetition offers.
This is a landmark EP; with every track reveling in experimenting with melodies, beats, and the endless way they can create new sounds, it’s no wonder this release has been storming the charts and the ears of anyone who hears it. Out now on Overview Music, cop this one ASAP!!