Underslung Audio have enjoyed a prosperous journey since their launch early last year, having recruited a selection of the best up and coming artists to join the label with the desire to drive a diverse and forward-thinking sound. Based in the Netherlands, their previous releases have featured the likes of Devnik, Tylam and The Illuminated and they have brought variety from one release to the next, never sticking to a specific sound or tempo, yet always providing music of the highest level.
The next release comes from J.K.L, a very highly rated artist for me personally; since hearing his music I’ve been captivated by his direct, cutting edge approach to production. With the backing from numerous heavyweights in the scene, he’s taken leaps and bounds over the past year, instilling his weighty tribalistic manner onto everything he creates. This release certainly doesn’t let down either, featuring 2 monstrous tracks from himself, alongside a collaboration with Devious to complete this colossal EP; which arguably is the best release for the label up until now.
The EP kicks off with ‘The Initiation’. The listener is instantly thrown into the action with a hard hitting bass kick, layered with inventive riddling synths, fading in and out as the atmosphere builds and the reverberating mechanics intertwine. The stuttering SFX help to instigate a heightened atmosphere and anticipation before the drop unleashes a bass swelling structure. I personally love the drum pattern created for this track, alongside the robust snare, which helps to fortify the heavy aura and weight the bass conveys. The initial synths continue to be the centre-piece for the structure throughout, twisting viciously as the other elements incorporate a moody impression.
‘Holding Back’ would be my favourite track here due to the diversity it contains. Beginning with a spiritual atmosphere through the subtle use of voices as the backdrop, light flows through the track during the opening build-up. As the highs begin to build with the thumping bass kick, a vocal sample instantly diminishes the light atmosphere before you are plunged into a frenzy of distorting synths and a coagulating low end. J.K.L’s signature tribal style is imprinted into the track as delicate drums are fabricated behind the rugged body, all-in-all forming this complete dance floor annihilator.
‘Concealed Knowledge’ is the final track and the collaboration with Devious. A driving drum beat cohering with light chords bring the listener in, before the track drops will ultimate force. A shape-shifting bass line is the core throughout the track, acutely placing tribalistic drums and a shuddering percussion over the top. Again like in the previous tracks, a demonic mid-range is used to additionally birth the track with further depth and darkness, and although the track isn’t the most technically produced track of the three; high energy is formed through the coarse bass line, constantly being shifted through the rolling drum pattern.
This EP is a perfect way for both the label and the artists to begin 2014 and hopefully we’ll see plenty more releases for J.K.L this year. I’d even go to the extent of saying that he’s one of the producers to watch in this coming year, carrying futuristic ideas, along with the production skills to match. The release will be available on all digital formats on the 13th of January 2014 from all good music outlets or from the Underslung website, under the release section.
The release is available to purchase here:
Be sure to check out the label and artist’s links:
Written By Drew Jones