Admittedly, drum and bass isnít something I listen to on a regular basis, but thatís part of the reason I was looking forward to this hearing this album. Personal listening habits aside, New Zealand is a country that continues to produce world class electronica, with giants like Shapeshifter dominating overseasí drum and bass scenes. And Cernís new album Terminus has the potential to do exactly that.
Itís worth a mention that Cern have held on strongly to their drum and bass roots. It seems every man (Rihanna) and his dog (Britney) has jumped the shark to dubstep recently, and although I am a fan of dubstep, itís refreshing to see that Cern has stuck with what they know and love.
The first two tracks on Terminus contrast each other nicely, and together, set the mood for the overall sound of the album. Opening with Hopetown Bridge, we see a relatively slow and hypnotic side to Cern. The sounds give the eerie feeling of the calm before the storm. The pace then picks up nicely with True Talk, and the storm has well and truly arrived.
There are some impressive collaborations on the album including tracks with drum and bass superstars Sabre and Concord Dawn. Wasabi featuring New Zealandís Teknik is a particular highlight. Tracks like Doubledown and Lifeís Curse can only be a taste of what a Cern set must be like live.
Cern generally avoids lyrics in their music, opting instead to focus on their abundant production and DJ skills. For me, lyrics do tend to make a song more fun, but the music is strong and exciting enough that itís easy to forgive the lack of sing-a-long opportunities.
Terminus is a solid drum and bass album. There are a few generic moments, but only a few. The album is comprehensive and impressively cohesive, and more than a few of the tracks play extremely pleasant tricks on the mind. Cern is another notable reason that the New Zealand drum and bass scene is so strong, and even for rookies like me, the high level of skill showcased on Terminus is obvious.
A widespread name around the globe already; Cern's production has seen released and forthcoming tracks on many of the scenes leading European record labels including UK's Renegade Hardware, Critical, Cylon, Syndrome Audio as well as New Zealand's own Samurai Music.
Since 2001 Cern have been collectively producing music for the main purpose of having a good time and making use of their creative tendencies. After finishing school both Climate (Jonny) and Omen (Ollie) began work at the then home of underground music in Auckland, Fu Bar. This is where their passion for DJing and production began and they experienced the best of what the world had to offer. After getting recognised for their skills, they soon began to support some of the acts for New Zealand drum and bass pioneers Subtronix and Cyanide Recordings. This is when their attention turned to production, and their skills began to take form.
2006 and 2007 saw collaborations with Bulletproof, Dose, Teknik, Menace, Consequence and Luca, and promotion of both local shows and guests including Noisia, Mayhem, dBridge and Psidream.