The Weekly Buzz – 17/02/2020

In no more than just a short couple of years, Traces have quickly risen to become a duo to be reckoned with in the world of Dubstep and 140. Having landed on the likes of Albion Collective, Kaarbanik Sound and even the multi-genre, grime infused S7NS7N, the London pair have successfully flexed their expansive range of bass-driven styles. But for me, they’re at their best when they really get stuck into raw, original sound design, unable to compare to anything that’s currently in rotation. If you are of the same opinion then this latest release should really capture your attention as this week, Traces debut on the forward thinking, trend setting label and one of my personal favourites, Rarefied. Rarefied have never shied away from all things experimental, specialising in other-wordly sounds that are rarely heard elsewhere. Take Primer for example, who’s last EP still raises the goosebumps to this day. For RARE14, Traces similarly craft an EP full of fresh, monolithic sound design that guides one into a dark alien world. Featuring the always intense, theatrical lyricism of D£DW8, somewhat of a first for the imprint.

The record’s leading track ‘Psychopath‘ broadly centres around D£DW8‘s consistently moody, malevolent lyricism. With their usual vivid wordplay and deep demonic tones, the vocal duo always draws you into a surreal world of violence and dark drama. The vocals melt into Traces‘ production so smoothly, with it’s throbbing low end frequencies and wavy although rather maniacal synth work, creating an unnerving environment of shadowy figures and overbearing menace of which D£DW8 reside.
Speaking of maniacal, ‘Originator‘ really opens the record up into an apocalyptic world of supernatural behemoths and extraterrestrial beasts. It’s the track on the record that feels like it’s made for Rarefied, a palette that’s filled with infernal growls and eerie swooping synths, echoing in the distance and driven by the deep flutters of the low end frequencies.
From the vocal lead ‘Psychopath‘ to the experimental sounds of ‘Originator‘, the only thing left for Traces to pull out is one of their signature sound-system stompers. The closing track ‘Toll‘ fills that void entirely as they put together yet another foundation shaking arrangement. In-keeping with the record’s concept, there’s still that ethereal feel coming into play, down to the mystical melodic pads and other obscure, atmosphere shaping elements.

It feels like Traces have really pushed the boat out on this one as they display their rapid growth by the bucket load. Whilst previous releases on the likes of Albion Collective have absolutely slapped and exhibited the high quality sounds of today’s contemporary Dubstep, this latest release sees their creativity rocket as they forge a pathway towards the sounds of the future, demonstrating what can be done in the realms of 140 bass music. An absolute testament to the trail-blazing label that Rarefied has become.

RARE14 is out this Friday (21st February) and available on vinyl here and digitally from the Rarefied Bandcamp.

Check out Traces on Soundcloud.
Check out Rarefied on Soundcloud.