Digging to find the most intricate and innovative sound has always been a focus here at The 3000 Network, and forward-thinking bass label Sapyens Records keeps its roots firmly in the underground, while attracting names from all corners of the bass world over the last 6 years from their home in Prague. The most recent of their releases comes from producer Kimber, who brings us a warped collision of techno, bass and experimental in the brand new extended release, Random Steps LP.
Deep sub bass runs amok throughout the length of the release, with opening track Mental Oriental bringing a sprinkling of Eastern flavours in the twisted vocal samples, unfolding over glitching synths and hints of breakbeat which are cleverly hidden away in the very depths of the production.
Swinging into a more haunting techno vibe are tracks such as Random Step and the bonus remix of Drid courtesy of Muadeep. Bringing a sense of dread and anticipation in the development of both tracks, Drid launches unsettling sirens into the mix, alongside rising synths that hint at influences from dubstep. The former of the tracks takes this in the opposite direction, using a drone to clash with ambience in a calculated way and reinvent the very fibres of the genre at hand.
The Random Steps LP also pays subtle homage to genres originating from the UK such as grime, funky and even edging towards UK Garage. State of Kenshiro takes a rhythm not unlike that of the prime era of funky, nudging it into a much darker realm with soaring, cinematic energies weaving between melodic touches added in an almost erratic manner. Piecing together jabs of glossy synths and ethereal pads is Kaleidoscope, arguably the most delicate of the selection, yet still balancing it with careful sound design to form a room-filling, minimalist masterpiece.
Friendly Fire and Raven share one crucial factor – they both form the perfect backdrop for lyrics, yet still burst at the seams with intricacy. Raven does this by incorporating skippy percussion and a liquid, sparse melody line leading the shapeshifter of a track into acid territories, with a tenacity many only dream of creating. Taking a tenacious, groovy rhythm and pairing it with minimal distractions is Friendly Fire, instead adding ominous pads that morph and grow with the track, going from spooky to shining and back again.
The heaviest-hitting of the release is definitely half-time warper, Kontakt. Forming a terrifying mass of sound with metallic strings that soar above the terrifying low end. Rattling percussion here elevates a sound that can come across as dull in many half time tracks, while still allowing the forceful bass to shine through as the main attraction.
If Sapyens Records have mastered one thing – and they have mastered many – it’s curating a sound that’s hard to shoehorn into a single category. This release follows the trend, with the 8-track run taking listeners on a journey from edge to edge of what music itself can become, and a different temperament coursing through every melody. Through the Random Steps LP, Kimber has solidified himself as a force to be reckoned with amongst alternative production, with a skill that is second to none and an avant-garde mind.
We have been lucky enough to host a premiere of the title track Random Step ahead of it’s release later this week, listen to it below: