It seems, from industry and fan murmurs alike, that a collab EP between hard drum & bass legends Black Sun Empire and Nymfo was both highly anticipated and a surprise. At news of the impending release of Mud, the artists’ first EP together, exclamations of “finally!” and “oh that’s unexpected” seemed to go up in tandem. Whatever the feeling was about the announcement, most of the D&B world knew right away that BSE and Nymfo would be two great sounds that sound great together. And so they are.
The Mud EP is due out this coming Monday, April 1. No, it’s not an April fool’s joke; it’s really happening. The EP is, of course, 17 plus minutes of dancefloor slammers but the way the tracks are put together is really complex. Most of the tracks have classic hard D&B at their cores with the the title track even featuring a Wu Tang vocal sample that hearkens back to techstep’s golden age.
All the tracks on Mud also have a lot of modern twists to them as well. Though many fans may think that’s more Nymfo’s influence than BSE’s, the production is so seamless that it really is hard to tell. The sound on this EP is truly blended and very clean.
“Perception” is sort of a highlight among highlights for this EP. The intro contains a phantom beat which is basically all snare and so long that the audience may wonder if there will be no drop. When the drop finally comes, the listener has likely given up trying to guess what’s happening next. While the drop is subtle, it also makes a huge impact and will definitely commence the dancefloor to banging.
It’s also interesting how “Perception” was put together in terms of composition and layering of sounds. Steppy but decidedly not jump up, the beat anchors the rest of the elements on the track, but just barely. The long intro sees synths and samples sort of hopscotching around each other, running themselves into syncopated breakdowns before the actual drop so once again it’s hard to tell what will happen next and which synth will be the main one. This adds to the surprise element of the first drop and that all-important dancefloor impact.
“Perception” is a good example of how Black Sun Empire and Nymfo may have worked together on Mud. Everything in this EP is fast and steppy but meticulously crafted, with the styles of both artists so enmeshed with each other that it gives Mud a sound all its own. It may have been a surprise to some that these two mega-artists were working together but it’s definitely a happy surprise.
The Mud EP by Black Sun Empire and Nymfo drops Monday, April 1 on Blackout. Check Beatport for the first purchase availability.