Drumsound & Bassline Smith - Wall Of Sound
Drumsound & Bassline Smith – or, if you prefer, East Midlands boys Andy Wright, Ben Wiggett and Simon “Bassline” Smith – are optimists. It's not surprising in some ways: after many years working hard in underground music, they're achieving unprecedented commercial success, and after two and a half years of work, they've just completed the album of their careers in Wall of Sound.
Wall of Sound is from the new world of club music. Although drum'n'bass in tempo, it's completely shot through with the buzz and dynamics of modern electro, trap, a smattering of 4/4 and dubstep – a style whose half-step rhythms “re-wrote the rules of what could work in a club”, says Smith. But more than that, it's got pop, it's got soul, it's got indie rock, it's got fully-formed songs... it's got the whole kaleidoscope you'll hear in clubs habituated by, as Wright puts it, “the generation who grew up listening to Annie Mac, who are happy to have all kinds of genres brought together in one place.” “This has taken us two and a half years to make,” says Smith; “and we feel like we've learned something new with every song we made.”
The singles on Wall of Sound, each with a different guest collaborator, are the perfect demonstration of diversity: the post-Radiohead high drama of Tom Cane's croon on Through The Night and the aggro alt.rock of Hadouken! on Daylight, each touch on indie rock but in dramatically contrasting ways. Compare that to the soul power of Fleur’s vocal on another standout track One In A Million, alongside U Ain’t Ready For Me featuring the talented Youngman and you can really see how each has its own distinct style, yet still forms part of the coherent whole of Wall of Sound. “With each singer,” remembers Smith, “we had to listen to their character, get the mood of what they did, and keep that but also transform it to become a part of our thing too.” Elsewhere on the album you'll hear old skool hip-hop via Bam from Jungle Brothers on killer summer rolling d&b cut All Day, Daft Punk vocoders on Freak and the Sam Frank powered Atmosphere, classic rave pianos on Pull It Up Selector and even pop-trance giddiness on Close, but still it holds together.
Drumsound & Bassline Smith have come up through one of the most fiercely competitive and judgemental scenes and managed to bring their dark underground energy into the bright lights of the mainstream. Wall of Sound is just the next step in this long process. But with ever more developments to look forward including the possibilities of live performance on the horizon, is it any wonder they allow their natural optimism to come through?
Drumsound & Bassline Smith will be out touring Australia for Stereosonic Festival later this year.
30 November – Stereosonic Festival, Sydney
1 December – Stereosonic Festival, Perth
6 December – Stereosonic Festival, Adelaide
7 December – Stereosonic Festival, Melbourne
8 December – Stereosonic Festival, Brisbane
01 Atmosphere (feat. Sam Frank)
02 Through the Night (feat. Tom Cane)
03 Epic (feat. Chezree)
05 All Day (feat. Bam)
06 Freak (VIP Mix)
07 Tough Times
08 Daylight (feat. Hadouken!)
09 What Can You Do for Me (Utah Saints vs. Drumsound & Bassline Smith)
10 Pull It Up Selector
11 One in a Million (feat. Fleur)
12 The Only Way (feat. Ayah Marar)
13 U Ain't Ready for Me (feat. Youngman)
14 Back to Life (feat. Tom Cane)
16 Revolution (feat. DRS)
17 The Weekend (feat. Phreeda Sharp)
18 Wall of Sound