Before starting their own Diascope imprint in mid-2019, German neuro duo Neonlight were known for bouncing releases from label to label. This wasn’t due to any kind of indecision, but rather the diversity of their style. From Viper to Eatbrain to RAM to Bad Taste and even Playaz, Neonlight’s clean, heavy-handed sound plays will with lots of different A&R. The one label they’ve always gone back to, however, is Blackout.
It makes sense, really: the lively, no-nonsense beats, screeching synths and whip-smart snares of any Neonlight track fit right in at the Dutch hard D&B label. Recently and unsurprisingly since starting Diascope, the duo have been self-releasing most of their stuff. Their latest single “Hero of My Youth,” however, seemed to warrant a return to Blackout form, and no one’s going to be mad about it.
Seen by the boys as an inspirational track, “Hero of My Youth” is meant to be nostalgic, calling on the listener to think back to childhood and remember who inspired or incited passion in life or career.
“We think everybody has a person from their childhood who has been an inspiration, idol or guiding figure. Somebody who influenced you deeply. Your behavior, your view on the world, your inner strength. This track is a homage to our heroes.”
It’s a good thing to remember in these crazy times and it also may explain the nostalgic, techno-and-Tron-inspired intro to “Hero of My Youth.” The emotion of the intro, break and synths in this track has the emotional intensity and throwback vibes of Kraftwerk or similar. It’s still a banger though, no mistaking. As the amen-laced jumpy beat gets involved in the equation and the snares whip the track ever forward, it becomes a true neuro banger with cinematic sound design and crunchy, classic Neonlight/Blackout secondary synths and phrase transitions.
Full of a range of emotions, it’s clear Neonlight wanted to tell a story with “Hero of My Youth” and connect listeners with that inspiring, slightly nostalgic feeling of being really passionate about something. Without knowing exactly who the heroes of the duo’s youth are, it’s clear Neonlight are as passionate as ever about drum & bass.
“Hero of My Youth” drops tomorrow, December 3 on Blackout. Pre-order or pre-save here.