Julia Bernat reviews FD’s latest North Quarter release
With spring just around the corner and days getting longer and lighter every day, there is no better match than liquid DnB – they work like cheese and wine. The North Quarter have been a beacon of light in our lives for years now with releases from the freshest and finest in the genre, and their newest EP release from FD is no exception, this time bringing a slightly darker edge to the high speed rhythms. The 6 track release titled A Vision Of Hope slings through a variety of flavours, coursing between more liquid cuts to a rowdy collaboration with iconic vocalist Fox.
Opening the release is Heaven and Earth, a spooky, minimal cut with a strong emphasis on the low end of the track. Cutting samples edging their way through the haunting bassline giving an eerie air of anticipation, working as a cautious tiptoe around a full crescendo in the track. As far as opening tracks go, Heaven and Earth is a clear signal of what is to come with the remainder of the release.
Fox and his uniquely exciting vocal style have been tearing across the many flavours of drum and bass over recent years, but the addition of an ever-so-slightly tribal percussion and rumbling bass seem to work effortlessly for him. Hazmat forms a more thought-provoking side to the genre, and when matched with this dub-influenced vocals it’s ready to get any listener
straight to the dancefloor. The instrumental version of Hazmat also included on the release allows for more focus on the old school influences coming into play throughout the production.
While hints of piano are usually a trademark of liquid, Vienna Circle flips the script by taking us deep down into an overwhelming sub that takes centre stage, carefully balanced with delicate twinkles in the high end and soaring synths for a dreamy overall result. The clear-cut percussion here paves the way for melodic strains to shine through and we couldn’t be more thankful – the squelching baselines and echoing vocal chops are bliss.
The producer has already teased this release with two singles – Bully and Here With Me. Skeletal masterpiece Bully strips its production down to its very core, choosing to focus on the intricacies noticeable to the trained ear instead. The warped synths weaving throughout are an injection of force in the track, with an array of haunting samples to boot. While Here With Me definitely keeps the signature style of FD intact, it takes a more solemn turn with a heartfelt liquid track, peppered with soulful vocals settling as soft sunlight on the deeper instrumentation. Deep and delicate, this is one to warm even the coldest hearts.
A compilation of winners have shone through once again fronted by a producer heavily rooted in London’s underground club scene. Highly detailed tracks are no stranger to the artist and it’s clear that A Vision Of Hope continues this trend effortlessly. The 170’s have become a sonic habitat to the producer with his adventures holding us all on the edge of our seat time and time again. Long live the sound explorer.