Sunday, 26 May 2013

Rameses B - Stones / Follow Me (2013) EP Review

Stones and Follow Me are the newest tracks from young upstart producer Rameses B from the UK, and his first release on Nu Venture records. This mini-EP follows a string of euphoric Drum and Bass and dubstep tracks that have made an impact on Youtube, through his own channel, the influential Liquicity promotion channel and the ever-growing Monstercat netlabel. Both tracks have his trance roots very prominently featured this time, combined with his characteristic respect for subtlety and atmosphere that make him stand out in a crowded field.

Rameses B is one of the few modern day DnB producers to not only use and imitate trance synths and arrangement tropes but also to fully embrace the euphoric trance aesthetic unashamedly when it suits him. This distinguishes him somewhat from his near-contemporaries and stablemates on Youtube's MonsterCat network who frequently seem to use these elements in the same way that David Guetta or would exploit them - just throw in a thick supersaw and a bright arpeggio for instant "club" sound. Rameses B can actually gets the tone and feel right when he makes DnB in this vein, which is why he's an up and coming artist I'm keeping my eye on. Not all of his work is great, but these two songs are very worthy of attention.

"Stones" is a vocal trancestep DnB tune, featuring the voice of Holly Drummond, and while this song doesn't immediately clamour for your attention - the synths are mostly kept restrained on this one, it's going for a balance of atmosphere and energy - the beauty of it wins you over fairly quickly. This isn't a trancestep anthem - it's a much deeper, progressive piece, more blissed out than hands in the air. It's a shame it's only a snip over 4 minutes in length, because I reckon he could have made this a bit longer, and it's so gorgeous it's hard to resist replaying it. If trancestep DnB ever becomes a genre plentiful enough you could fill an entire DJ set with it, tracks like this will be key to the more subtle moments as it builds before the climax. We need more of these - going right for the giant  supersaws and thick reeses isn't always the order of the day.

It has a worthy companion in "Follow Me". I was wondering when tracks like this would show up - a track with a 2-step garage rhythm, all snappy drums and smooth swing, coupled with gentle but enveloping trance and ambient sounds that Chicane or Salt Tank would be proud of. I'd always expected the current resurgence in UK Garage and the future garage movement in particular to end up fusing with Balearic-style trance chillout before too long, and that's what Rameses B is giving us here. It's Ibiza and Ayia Napa circa 2000 meeting in one track, and like "Stones" it feels shorter than it is because nothing drags on - the composition is precise, melodies pretty and the sound design absolutely bang on for the aesthetic without sounding dated at all. It's as if these rhythms and these synths were meant to be together from the beginning, and it brilliantly conjures up the atmosphere of a warm summer night before going out.

I don't usually look at double-A releases like this but both tracks are well worth your attention if you're like me and often like your trance vibes to come with rhythms a bit less predictable and 4x4. Give Rameses B some of your time, I think he's going to keep coming out with excellent material, especially when he gets major label attention.

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