Outer Heaven returns to the Bristol-based UVB-76 label for an EP of clinical beats, sour atmospheres and gruelling bass. The follow up to his “Pathos EP”, released back in 2017, contains four tracks, three of them are drum and bass and a fourth is a downtempo piece.
“The Last Men EP” uses a palette of noise, kicks, sub-bass and percussion to craft sinister techno rhythms that capture a sense of building pressure and foreboding with each track generating a unique aura. Like techno, these soundscapes begin full yet minimal creating an environment where the slightest change in rhythm or introduction of a new sound adds momentum or tension. A great example of this is the devasting bass line switch in “Trapline”, avoiding an all guns blazing approach often seen in dancefloor jungle Outer Heaven instead builds energy in his productions before unleashing subtle elements that manage to take the journey in a whole new direction or intensify the current one.
“Still Waters” begins relatively calm before the introduction of fierce bass tones that signal a more turbulent journey ahead. The amen break makes a brief appearance but disappears before it becomes unwelcome, almost like the past coming back to haunt. The beauty in these tracks is how much of an impact Outer Heaven achieves without obvious drum and bass linchpins.
The EP is dark for sure but not in a 90s cliche way. This is sinister without being overbearing. Subtle yet highly charged. Every element has a purpose and space. Beautifully crafted and perfectly executed.
“The Last Men EP” by Outer Heaven is released June 28th 2019 and can be pre-ordered now on digital via Bandcamp. The release will also be available on 12” vinyl.