Albion 004 is the fourth release from UK label Albion Collective, as well as their first release for 2018. Having been responsible for releases such as ‘In Pieces’ by Vaun & Jafu and Digid’s ‘Rainbow Dub Ep’, it was no surprise to hear more sounds of same quality coming from the label. This time round we’ve got tunes from Bristol artists Glume, input from co-producer FLO and well known Bristol producer Sepia who graces us with a B side remix.
Let’s begin by discussing the first and arguably most notable track on the record. “Thug” is a tune I expect to turn heads and ears on the dance floor; some tracks have the ability to pull a crowd back from the smoking area and this is certainly one of them. Providing an instant sense of expectancy from the strings in its intro, the track creates a build up without needing to change tempo or provide “signals” that the low end is incoming, creating a stark contrast between the high & low end frequencies.As the strings move up a chord we are suddenly provided with a single kick drum which produces enough low end to satisfy any sound system & dubstep enthusiast. A second drop cuts up the track and leaves more space between the drums & sub, this one is definitely a mixer; when I turn up the volume, all I can picture is dark rooms & nodding heads.
The flip-side also plays homage to another low frequency roller from Glume but this time we’ve been blessed with the input of FLO straight out of Slovenia. ‘Skateland’ is surprisingly not related to Bristols infamous skate scene but instead originates from the 1985 dancehall killer “Dance in a Skate Land“. At first we’re given a sense of mystery and wonder in the early stages of ‘What’s To Come’ but about 30 seconds in we’re given a pretty full picture. Incomes a heavily delayed ‘Skateland’ vocal sample and the meat of the track – jumpy and slightly displaced kicks bound to produce dancehall & sound system pressure alike. The intense bass and lack of high frequencies gives us a sense that the track is pushing itself to the next stage and such is confirmed when a quick cut – off wobble is introduced 2 minutes in, perfectly accenting the displacement of the kicks.
The second half of the B is a minimal, dungeon-esque track from Sepia who slowly starts to reveal synths that permeate from the background. Complemented by layered samples of the same dancehall killer, Sepia includes drums in the forms of snaps and subtle rolling hi-hats, showing influence from trap but grounding the melody in low growls and prime percussion.
Adding yet another piece of dubstep music to the infamous collection of tracks mixed & mastered by the talented crew at TenEightSeven, music from this record will doubtlessly be heard by any low frequency lover. The producers have been able to achieve a sound which is minimal yet highly captivating, I can’t wait to hear ‘Thug’ put through it’s paces on a sound system sometime soon.