Fade: Collaboration LP
Faded Music

On an hour-long set issued on his own Faded Music imprint, Ukraine drum'n'bass artist Eugene Fade opens the doors wide open by collaborating on ten tracks with a whole host of different producers. There is, truth be told, something for everyone on the collection, even if a fair amount of it is devoted to a style suggesting some grime-coated spawn of industrial and drum'n'bass. Voice samples, sirens, atmospheric treatments, and hard breaks are common factors, even if each track differentiates itself from the others in clear-cut manner.

A dark undercurrent runs through much of it, also, such that fidgety belters like “Captive,” the Axon collab, and “Pursuit,” which pairs Fade with Meth and 2SHY, ooze so much tension, they begin to feel—to borrow a line from The Matrix's Morpheus—like “a splinter in the mind.” Fade teams up with Heavy1 on the—what else?—heavy “Beyond the Fringe,” where a steamy groove carves a path through a thick smorgasbord of writhing textures and machine noise, and keeps the dynamic spirit alive in the rolling groove of the NotioN team-up “Days of Mayhem.” With Andy Pain and Z Connection aboard, “Target” also catches one's ear with a catapulting, lightspeed pulse whose squirrely parts seem to ricochet in multiple directions.

As one might expect, certain tracks stand out from the crowd, among them Fade and Dess's “My Mind,” which couples a hushed voiceover to “Amen Break” snippets and a bleepy attack, and, most of all, the Nitri collab “Allways [sic] By Your Side,” an uplifting, vocal-tinged throwdown whose already sunny mood is brightened by the presence of acoustic piano shadings. Though Fade doesn't break new ground on the collection, any drum'n'bass head looking for an hour's worth of hard-hitting belters could do a lot worse than Collaboration LP .

August-September 2014