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The Upbeats - The Upbeats- 'Big Skeleton' album review

03 Oct 2009 // A review by Miss_Jukebox
It’s a little sinister, a little mischievous, but a lot of bass. That is what The Upbeats’ present to listeners in their third studio album, Big Skeleton. This spellbinding album captures every echo from a haunted house and creates the soundtrack to a spine-chilling dream.

It opens with the pounding bass beats of the title track ‘Big Skeleton.’ This track establishes this as pure drum’n’bass collection and deserves only to be played on full volume. ‘Ghost Radio’ is another track that should be turned up loud. It is trippy and reminiscent of a spinning Aphex Twin.

But the album does not just provide high-energy hits. The debut single ‘Bones’ is combined with soothing and melodic vocals by Ned Worboys. This is followed by the uplifting ‘Under the Sky’ that has beautifully blended synths To contrast from these are tracks such as ‘Ki Ki Kai Kai’ that has the hypnotic vocals of Cardz; a song that sounds like it is straight from an old infirmary. ‘The Unearthly’ describes itself through the samples used in the track exclaiming, ‘It gives me the creeps.’ These are definitely songs that you can feel on the back of your neck.

Every single song on this album contributes to the quality of this album. But if any tracks are to convince you of the power of this album, ‘Through the Night,’ featuring the pure vocals of Jess Chambers, is filled with an amalgamation of strings set to the rhythm of the beats. The beauty of this track is that The Upbeats step aside and give Chambers the limelight; the chivalry that is perfect for this song. ‘Carousel’ shows this duo’s eye for creating not just songs but atmospheres. This track catches the vivacity of a fun-fair and Kemo, who features on the song, is one commanding ringmaster.

Big Skeleton is a fantastic third album by The Upbeats, and shows that these artists have gathered much from their international escapades performing with some of DnB’s best artists including Roni Size and Shapeshifter. The reason this album works is because The Upbeats work so well together. You can hear through this album that these musicians are ardent with their work. This album gives listeners fourteen amazing songs to not listen to, but experience. This album is like a soundtrack to an old horror film, one that you can almost see play out in front of you when you hear it.

-Janise.
 

About The Upbeats

In today’s heady climate of bass-fuelled dance music it could easily be argued that producer-DJs are the new rock stars. Climbing into that mould with a pair of schoolboy grins on their faces, The Upbeats have already been playing that role for years. Their anything-goes live performances are renowned for mosh pits, topless dancers (sometimes women) and crowd surfing, while their approach to writing hard-hitting, unique-sounding drum & bass is lauded across the globe.

Nicknamed Terror Snake and Downie Wolf respectively, Jeremy and Dylan are not your average, boring producers. Meeting at school through mutual interests in surfing, skating and ‘being gangly teenagers’ Jeremy had to work hard to pull Dylan into the world of drum & bass. But, armed with a stack of Mickey Finn & Aphrodite mixtapes and an unrelenting attitude, the snake soon overcame the wolf’s natural propensity for rock music and, fortunately for us all, a love of fast breakbeats and low-slung basslines soon followed.

This love soon grew into a passion for creating their own music and by 2001 the pair were balls deep writing their own D&B. Fuelled by New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world and its staggering natural beauty, The Upbeats’ unique take on 170bpm+ bass music has seen the duo work alongside scene stalwarts such as Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company, Hive, Gridlock, Bulletproof, TREi, State of Mind and Noisia while releasing tracks across a plethora of the D&B scene’s most respected record labels.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Upbeats

Releases

No Sleep 'Til New Zealand
Year: 2020
Type: EP
No Sleep 'Til Japan & Iceland
Year: 2018
Type: Album
SSXUB
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Primitive Technique
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Big Skeleton
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Nobody's Out There
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Upbeats
Year: 2004
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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