The end of year push for massive releases has officially begun with labels putting out full-length epic albums and lots of EPs. Soon the requisite 2019 compilations will be hitting but in the meantime labels like Blackout are conducting business as usual. Luckily, Blackout’s usual business is pretty stellar. The last Evolutions EP was over a year ago in August 2018, so it’s definitely time for volume seven.
The Evolutions series is characterized by otherworldly sounds but not in an ambient, esoteric sense. We’re talking robots, space wars and grinding metal. Volume 7 includes fast and furious neurofunk and features Merikan, The Outsiders, Andy Pain and V O E as well as a wicked closing dubstep track by Kutlo.
Merikan opens the EP with “Absolute Zero,” which seems to be an homage to heavy vocoder, twisted synths and snares that make the track seem about 10 BPM faster than it already is. V O E’s “Tunnel Vision” follows with a long, ominous intro which has a surprising structure and tricks the listener into thinking it’s a halftime track. After the break, however, we’re clearly in 174 territory and bouncy synths add syncopation to the beat, making the track both steppy and heavy.
The Outsiders’ “Deviation” is a highlight among highlights with a synth that’s at once super-modern and an homage to early neurofunk. The snare switchups and oddly-placed break are a fun surprises and will ensure lots of difficulty for DJs hoping to mix this hyper dancefloor track. “Lake” by Andy Pain also tips a cap to neuro generations past with the synths in its intro but those synths are flipped on their ends once the scrambly, snare-driven, heavily syncopated beat drops. Someone’s been taking a page from the Hybris snare playbook.
The unexpected period on the Evolutions vol 7 sentence is a surprising dub/halftime hybrid called “Little Things” by Kutlo. The synths here grind like the neuroiest of neuro tracks but the slower beat and spacing highlights those synths in a way a faster track might miss because it’s too busy being steppy. It’s a great choice to finish this installment of Evolutions. With this release, it may be time to declare this series Blackout’s most popular. Either way, all the tracks contained herein will be widely celebrated on dancefloors throughout the winter, even amidst the impending end of year melee.
Evolutions vol. 7 is out today on Blackout Music and can be streamed or purchased on Beatport and Spotify exclusive by clicking here.