With his new Chapter 4 EP due out on Noisia’s Invisible imprint this Friday, March 29, Fre4knc has said that he quite literally wanted to write a new musical chapter for his own style and the methods and techniques he uses to produce. Once the EP is out, however, it will become clear that he’s written a whole new chapter for DnB on the whole. This innovative, diverse and technically flawless EP is a game-changer in terms of sound design, and Fre4knc intended it to be as such. For more on his ideas and techniques for Chapter 4, check out our Q&A with Fre4knc, posted on Bassrush.com last week before digging into this exclusive premiere of “Red Shadow” from the project below.
“Red Shadow” opens as a recognizable beat structure. It’s decidedly in the darkstep camp with its ambient atmospheric background, grinding sub bass and steppy beat. Before the first break a number of sounds emerge; some metallic and techy, others more sub bass, but nothing is really woven into the beat. There’s no way to decipher which of these seemingly errant sounds will take hold on the main track until after the breakdown. When said main track hits, the answer is “none of the above.” A completely new set of sub bass, sample sounds and phrase breaks come in to fill the ambient space around the beat, while the sounds from the intro stay only as sort of random connection points at the end of each phrase. The outro introduces even more seemingly metallic sounds which connect the track to techstep once again and send this “red shadow” of a track back into the primordial mist from whence it came.
Technique-wise, “Red Shadow” is so different from the way many producers make drum and bass nowadays that it could almost be tagged as experimental or ambient. In these electronic genres what the artist does with the empty space between beats and melodies and phrases is just as important as the audible music itself. This is why so many producers stress the importance of sound design, and this is why all the time Fre4knc spent in the studio teaching himself new techniques paid off. It’s also likely why Noisia snapped him up on this EP. With “Red Shadow,” the addition of a groove in the form of the darkstep beat balances the track, making it pretty much spot-on in all possible ways. Even grumpy old schoolers will find little to complain about with this track.
It’s an excellent teaser and with much more in store, be sure to check on Invisible’s Beatport and SoundCloud pages for full Chapter 4 release information as soon as it’s available. DJs will not want to sleep on this one.