The most recent addition to Seven’s, Uprise Audio is a collection of Juss B’s dense basslines and hypnotic vocal samples in his new album ‘Blow My Smoke’. The tracks encompass distinguishable layers of deep sub and crisp percussion with the narrative vocal maintaining Juss B’s original sound.
The album kicks off with title track ‘Blow My Smoke’, a dream-like yet raw combination of dark brooding bass and spacey pads, creating a nice contrast between moody melodic elements and the delicate metallic percussion which continues throughout.
‘Dime’ and ‘Grand Hustle’ both hold a similar groove with similar soundscapes dipping in and out over the duration of the tracks. Tribal flavours are introduced in ‘Dime’ about half way which changes the tone slightly, keeping the listener curious.
Moving on to ‘Hater Blockers’ which opens with some dreamy pads but doesn’t take long to switch up into an aggressive dance floor destroyer, the main vocal hauntingly catchy, pretty much dictating the flow of the rest of the track. Nice shakers, the feathery percussion is probably what is creating a middle ground between the hard beat/bold vocal and the floating pads that swim the whole length of this track. It’s also the ever-morphing arps that contrast with the low-key violent nature of the rest of the track that results in something that sounds fresh and tight.
Next onto ‘Boom Mentality’. Mesmerising from the start, this track smoothly transitions into some serious weight, carrying along a memorable hook with the classic middle eastern wind instruments doing their thing. This is one of my personal favourites for sure, I think fusing the organic flutes with somewhat mechanical percussion is definitely something that has been proven to work from earlier dubstep’s fascination with the middle eastern melodies. That said, Juss B has no doubt given it his own stamp very successfully.
Bringing us into the second half of this album is ‘Lit’ and ‘Starry Eyes’ which again, both carry similar components and sound like they have gathered a hint of influence from the current trap scene. The pads and vocals work synonymously to create a ghostly atmosphere in two tracks that flow seamlessly together. The drums are kept to a minimum leaving the pads to do their job and build the bulk of the these.
Onto a collaboration with label mate Feonix. Scattered glitchy/white noise-y percussion and lack of such thick, luscious pads set this track apart from the others. It is clear where both artists have had involvement in different elements here, Feonix has been in charge of percussion while B’s been on it with the vocal sampling and processing. It is satisfying to hear each of the artist’s individual impacts in a track.
Right from the start of ‘From A Distance’ the vibe is apparent. A deep, emotional track, animated with a few scattered sound effects throughout. The futuristic arp gives a continuity which allows for a more complex bass pattern which is relatively unpredictable and keeps things interesting. ‘Drop Dat’ shares a few similar elements like the brooding soundscapes and futuristic arpy sections as well as sounds effects and vocal snippets which vivify the track as a whole.
Listening to this has made me excited to hear more from Juss B in 2017. It’s an album packed full of weight and spacious episodes, it seems to go from strength to strength with a smooth integration of elements, most definitely something to check out. In the future I’d like to be reminded of Juss B’s versatility. He has without a doubt perfected his sound but I am eager to hear something of a different flavour from him in days ahead.
You can listen to it here.