The Pegasus volume of the Constellations EP series on Neonlight’s new DIASCOPE label isn’t due out until the end of this month but if it’s anything like the first one, tagged URSA Major, it will be just as fun and interesting. Since starting the imprint in May last year, Neonlight have been doing things differently in that they mostly release work from relatively new artists. That’s definitely what the Constellations series is about, and with the Pegasus volume, Neonlight are once again proving they have a good ear for new talent.
“Pusher” by the Czech/Slovak duo known as Ripple is the first teaser track out today on Constellations: Pegasus. Ripple formed about three years ago when PmdR and Spill met in a studio and decided to join forces. With a similar vision of deep bass, minimal beats and swirling snares, Ripple released their first single “Portal/Infinite River” on Skanandbass . They released on Space Pirate Recordings, Mainframe and BNC Express before DIASCOPE snapped up their jumpy dual single “Let Me” featuring another Czech artist, Overtasked, and “Let It Go” in April. They have since also become part of the Let It Roll family, having just played this past weekend at LIR’s Renegade Festival.
For “Pusher” Ripple have once again teamed up with Overtasked to showcase their mastery of the deep, dark synth. Their style on this single and others hearkens back to a time where darkstep, which begat techstep and neurofunk, was at its most raw. The beat structure here is blown out with frayed edges yet still minimal and well/contained. A heavy sub bass synth is technically the main melody even though it’s just one “note,” heavily syncopated into a pattern that drives the track. There’s a higher bass synth that sort of sweeps in from the rafters at the phrase transitions to connect everything and add some tech to the dark.
The snares are what really give “Pusher” away as a modern track, with their unique texture that makes them sound less like percussion and more like notes; sort of like bubbles popping in a tin can. In a D&B landscape of “who can make the most unique snares,” it seems Ripple are jumping out of the gate with an early lead, as “Pusher” isn’t the first track by the duo with interesting, note-worthy snares. Add an eerie, tortured sine wave scream at the breaks of the track and “Pusher” is set to win the hearts of neuro fans and tech heads alike.
It seems that DIASCOPE, Ripple and Overtasked are all ones to watch when it comes to new hard D&B and the Constellations series will likely become a watchword for new artists. In the meantime, Ripple will continue to build their discography and, likely, surprise fans with more stinging snares.