The Weekly Buzz – 07/02/2022 [HNYBSS Premiere]

The Foto Sounds gang are back and looking to diversify the catalogue by welcoming Nottingham based duo Major Oak to the label! After swiftly building a back catalogue of mostly dark and gritty material from the likes of Gnasha, Itmek and Wheelton, this latest Foto instalment introduces an extra splash of colour in the true dub-wise styles of Major Oak with a little help from the system slayer himself, Digid. However with what becomes a tale of two halves, ‘Fusion‘ EP doesn’t take long to become infected with the prototypical Foto darkness and I have the pleasure of presenting it’s rough ‘n tough finale, ‘Mystery Whiff‘.

Like Jesus calling on his disciples, Major Oak teams up with Digid to lure out the dedicated steppers with the foundational sounds of ‘Tempest Dub‘. A masterclass in authentic sound-system music, ‘Tempest Dub‘ is loaded with the kind of warm marching basslines that gets the shoulders of the dance swaying, paired with the vibrant, vibe-elevating chords and delayed samples that would put a smile on the face of anyone predisposed to the sounds of roots and culture. Major Oak goes on to unleash the funk with the livelier sub action and techy percussion of the title track ‘Fusion‘, before the descent into darker realms begins, starting with 11th Hour‘s remix. As you’d expect by someone who’s been so prevalent in recent months, the Belgian’s take on ‘Fusion’ is a punchy one, doing damage with big sub stomps switching to wonky LFO lines, whilst introducing unusual alien-like chattering to an eerily stripped-back mix. The finale cut and today’s premiere ‘Mystery Whiff‘ lets Major Oak explore their darker horizons. The low frequencies are toughened like reinforced steel, scraped by regular sweeps of coarse mid-range textures, proving to be one of Major Oak‘s toughest tunes in their arsenal.

Although it came as a shock to hear these dub-infused accents on Foto Sounds at first, the diversification is an enjoyable one which, with the help of two Belgian dons, sees Major Oak continue to successfully walk that line between the foundational sounds of dub and the darker modern flavours of dubstep.

Fusion‘ EP is out 11/02/2022 and will be available to download from the Foto Sounds Bandamp.

Check out Major Oak on Soundcloud and Instagram.
Check out Foto Sounds on Soundcloud and Instagram.