Saturday, 20 July 2013

Drifta & Subsonik - Turn the Page (2010) Free Single Review

This is a tune that's available gratis on Drifta's Soundcloud page, from way back in 2010. I'm blogging about it now because this tune is absolute mint, and you should have it on your hard drive. British artist Drifta has produced a fair few tunes that are on heavy rotation on my iTunes playlist, but American DnB producer and label owner Mark "Subsonik" Pettigrew is an even more frequently revisited artist for me. For both of them "Turn the Page", featuring Kaytee on vocals is a real gem of a song, and they've given it all of the things a good Trance'n'Bass tune needs in spades. Read my reasons why and hear the embed under the cut.

Subsonik is one of the few who's been on the Trancestep train for long enough to clearly predate the current proliferation of euphoric sounds into mainstream DnB, and one of only two American purveyors of Drum and Bass I was aware of before the EDM boom, along with Dieselboy. John B was spinning his tunes as far back as 2006 and Subsonik has done several remixes for him, including a particularly great one of "Red Sky" with Slovenian producer Smooth. While Pettigrew is heavily trance influenced, he tends to shy away from embracing the cheesier side of the genre like John B does, and concentrates on keeping his tracks grounded in the DnB keystones of heavy drums, syncopated backbeats and thick reeses.

"Turn the Page" is a song with those basic elements perfectly balanced with the infused Trance vibes. The producers start with a punch from the very beginning, with a standard kick and snare beat that's powerful enough to evoke comparisons with Pendulum but also big enough to fit the big, spacious feel of the song. They also lose no time coming right in with the tune's chord progression on synth strings and quickly bring in the lead melody on a soft sine synth before the vocal breakdown introduces Kaytee's unfiltered voice and the crisp but smooth reese sound that will contrast the euphoric parts of the mix without squatting all over them. From the first drop, with the main melody coming full-on with a bright Trance keyboard lead sound against the reese and strings as a backdrop, to the following repeated single verse by Kaytee with her infectious voice over a subtle but expansive supersaw, the song continues on its journey without losing any of that DnB momentum at all.

The lyrics aren't too complex but they are evocative. I particularly like the slight contradiction between the clear, unfiltered lyrics that seem on the surface to express clear desire to move on, and the soft, heavily filtered vocals - "is it because I'm just too scared walk away", which is the sort of duality I appreciate. Anyone making the decision to leave a relationship always has some doubts - and this is in keeping with the tone of the rest of the song too, the boundless energy of the drums not really dampening the slightly sad feel of the progression and synths.

There's my characteristic over-indulgent amount of enthusiastic praise for you. This song isn't overcomplicated at all, in fact it's actually really straightforward especially for DnB, but I found it sticking in my head as soon as I heard it, and for a one-shot free download, it's impossible to find reasons not to give it a recommendation! I could keep on but really there's no need - Go and listen to it, and keep an eye out for both Subsonik and Drifta.

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