Back in September of 2015 I covered the collaborative album from Noisia and The Upbeats named Dead Limit – I had enjoyed a lot of Noisia tracks in the past but wasn’t so familiar with The Upbeats, but following the review I started keeping a closer eye on the electronic group from Kiwi. Through news on twitter lists I discovered The Upbeats’ De-Evolution series; I covered parts 1 and 2 here and here, finding that there were a few tracks that didn’t go anywhere but also some killer standout tracks that I still listen to if I’m out and library shuffles just aren’t doing it for me. It’s those standouts that have kept me interested in De-Evolution Part 3, said to be the final part of the series. My digital download became available on Friday afternoon (sadly the Vision Recordings store has no option to buy the trilogy on CD; the only options are digital and vinyl) and my early impressions are that it’s eager to impress but is a fitting close to the trilogy.
De-Evolution Part 3 – Cauldron and Prism
The opening track, Cauldron, is full of big bass, slick beats and great drops. The main bassy hook gets under your skin fairly easily whilst the tempo shifts from slow build-ups to quick snare rolls and steady but unrelenting beats. It’s definitely the kind of thing that you’d be able to annoy next-door neighbours with, and the as the lingering bass buzz makes way for warbly keys about two minutes in, the track transitions into another build up and drop before bringing everything back for the latter half. It might not be hugely inventive, but it’s a lot of fun, and a good start for the EP. The next track on De-Evolution Part 3, Prism, has gentle yet eerie effects easing you into the intro, as well as a distorted vocal that later gets lost in amplified synth effects just before a steady but catchy beat and bouncy melody come in. It’s definitely one of the slower tracks I’ve heard in the De-Evolution series, but it gets the head nodding, even if it’s not quite as exciting as those standouts I mentioned in the opening paragraph. It does slightly pick up the pace later on with a quicker and more playful drum track layered on to the rest of it, and it could be a great track to lose yourself in after a hectic day. Or something.
De-Evolution Part 3 – Veiled and De-Evolution
One track that certainly got the foot tapping was Veiled, an early contender for the highlight of De-Evolution Part 3 (in my personal opinion), sharing glory with Elevator from part 1 and Mediums from part 2. The echoes and wobbles at the start may not be that exciting, and it takes its time building up the track with pounding kicks and retro sounding synths but when it all comes together it’s haunting, catchy and amazing. Oh, and it finishes at a logical place too, rather than going around the build-ups and drops again or overstaying its welcome. I already got a chance to listen to the title track, as “De-Evolution” was revealed on the Bassrush website in late February – it’s a nice serving of multi-layered dirty bass amongst great beat loops and fills, transforming towards the end into something more low-key but still bursting with energy.
De-Evolution Part 3 – the end
The penultimate track, A Place For You, has a gorgeous vocal from Sylvee and a slower beat, but even though it’s not drum and bass mayhem it’s still nice to listen to – layering on plenty of echoed vocals, soft synth-y sounds and intentionally muffled beeps – and fits really well with the rest of De-Evolution Part 3. Things are brought to a close with Streetlight, which has very little bass noise but a busy rhythm and plenty of keys and melodies layered on to create a satisfying whole. In general, if you liked previous releases in the De-Evolution series you should definitely pick this up. And if you’re new to the series, each release has something on there to recommend, so look them up on Spotify today.