29 Nov 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Unsub - Unsub - Album Review: Heartbreaker

11 Dec 2019 // A review by Gareth Heta
Prolific producer Unsub delivers the impressive Heartbreaker LP, the fourth on her ‘Pure Heart Dirty Mind’ imprint via mother label ‘NexGen Music’. Sub-genre wise the album could be filed under techstep or neurofunk, but unlike the sometimes cold and emotionless offerings prevalent in this sound, Heartbreaker (like much of Unsub’s output) carries a deeply musical element bringing an analog warmth to every track. Conceptually about a relationship and breakup, the song titles hint at a process of anger, grief, and transcendence, hefty themes for a drum & bass LP.


Title track Heartbreaker sets the mood and feel effectively with a plaintive female vocal mourning a loss of love, piano and strings soaring over a warbling bass. Arutama similarly features a melancholic piano line and soulful vocal sample that gives way to deep, wobbling bass and a crisp, shuffling break. String instruments pluck a mischievous melody on Eastern Time before a wailing eastern vocal slams into a cheeky drop, the nastiness of the grungy bass juxtaposed with sitar and high frequency clicking percussion.

An unashamedly dancefloor-oriented track, The Sound starts pensively enough with squelchy synths and a female rave vocal before clattering breaks and sirens bring the damage. Rift, one of the standout cuts, is another dancefloor-ready destroyer, a fusion of Dillinja-esque abrasiveness and slithering neurofunk bass that stomps like a monster, with a nasty vocal yell on the drop reinforcing the in-your-face vibe.

On Apocalypto, tribal percussive elements and a tinkering piano are all that stand between the listener and a prowling, shuffling bassline reminiscent of Wormhole-era Ed Rush & Optical. Tribal drums again create a mysterious vibe on Psalm 34:11 before a powerful drop with a hyperactive bassline kicks things into gear. A melodic synth line and wailing vocal ramp up the atmosphere, and further vocal chanting in the second breakdown leads to a nifty half-time drop before action resumes.

Despite the name, Killcode is a funky track that dips into liquid-sounding territory with warm, off-beat pads, while still retaining techy bass warbles and mentasm stabs, and on Binding, a collab with fellow artist Alexis K, a ragga vocal lends a jungle flavour with eastern-sounding strings over another punchy and active neuro-flecked bass, with a chaotic drum change-up in the second drop.

Elsewhere, the winning formula of soft, melodic intro and driving, techy drops is also found on Evergreen Lustrush (featuring a second drop with gnarled synth growls), Life Wide Open (with soaring female vocal and rave blips calling to mind early Concord Dawn), Objectifine (chittering percussive layers, warped bass and wistful vocal) and album closer Zarathrustra.

While overall the tracks on the album don’t deviate too far from Unsub’s signature sound, it’s an incredibly powerful one - an undoubtedly emotional heft with pristine production grunt to make ravers move. Watch out for more from this talented artist as she continues her rise.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Unsub

Influenced by everything from Massive Attack, Jack White, Led Zep and Jimmy Page through to Burial, Peaches, Soundgarden and Doc Scott. Lily has been focused on carving her own unique sound into the bass music soundscape for the better part of 6 years with more then 70 releases (totaling more then 140 tracks) and tours around NZ and Australia.

After undergoing 27 hours of major surgery in march 2011 which left her deaf for 3-months, Lily managed to still keep her prolific production and release rate going without skipping a beat. After taking 6 months off from touring to recover, she came back and toured extensively around Australia and New Zealand throughout 2012 and the first half of 2013. Set to take on North America in the second half of 2013.

After spending 6 years creating music under different aliases across multiple genres; Alexis K, Unsub, Kidsader, Reiko Che, Josie Gets Naked, Slightly, Sub Affair, Akuce and the band Madison; Lily has decided to combine all her work under one name 'Unsub'.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Unsub

Releases

There are no releases to display for Unsub.

Other Reviews By Gareth Heta

Oakley Grenell - EP Review: Style Dem Ripe
18 Nov 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Oakley Grenell caps off 2020 with a wicked dancefloor-oriented EP showcasing a range of vocalists over bouncy, bass-fuelled tunes with a trademark reggae flair. A few years in the making, it’s another solid addition to an already impressive discography.
Read More...
J Plates - Album Review: Seven Days Of Fire
29 Oct 2020 // by Gareth Heta
2020 has been a big year for J Plates, releasing a string of heavyweight DnB alongside a side project offering ambient and lower-BPM electronic stylings. Dropping just in time for Halloween, Seven Days Of Fire marks his debut, self-released LP, and it’s a fitting collection for the spooky season - massive stabbing bass, crunching breakbeats and haunting atmospheres abound.
Read More...
Gig Review: Shapeshifter @ Christchurch Town Hall - 18/10/2020
19 Oct 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Two decades deep and showing no signs of slowing down, veteran live act Shapeshifter jetted into Christchurch on the back of a sold out Auckland show and a global pandemic causing havoc for the events industry. Showcasing their incredible musical prowess with a powerhouse performance, they created a special vibe for those in attendance in a celebration of music, dance, and togetherness.
Read More...
Biobird - Album Review: Riders
13 Aug 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Crisp production, organic drums, layered percussion and gritty, overdriven bass are hallmarks of Biobird's work: presented here for the first time in LP format, it’s a chance to draw together the specific vibe and tone (developed to great success on 2019’s Count to Ten EP) into a cohesive whole. Title track Riders opens with ominous swells before plunging into a dark, techy workout reminiscent of early-2000’s Drum & Bass staples such as Universal Project and Keaton; the second drop change-up bounces along on a half-time beat.
Read More...
Biobird - EP Review: Count to Ten
10 Aug 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Biobird has been quietly amassing a solid body of work and growing recognition amongst the New Zealand bass music community, sliding between low and high BPM subgenres with ease. The 2019 EP release Count to Ten leans toward 170+ but retains enough Trap/Dubstep elements to distinguish itself from your usual release.
Read More...
Fear Not Want - Album Review: Return To The Source
14 Jul 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Fear Not Want (stylised as FnW) is off to a strong start, with this LP dropping hot on the heels of debut release The Waiting last month. While that was an entirely ambient affair, Return To The Source finds Jeremy Graham (aka J Plates) exploring new terrain in the form of classic House music, mixed in with some downtempo and ambient bits.
Read More...
Lee Mvtthews - Single Review: Turning Back
13 Jul 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Lee Mvtthews are one of the biggest names among a new breed of NZ Drum & Bass producers making a mark on the global stage. Fresh off a big 2019 which saw the release of their debut LP Bones, a slew of awards at the Georgies as well regular appearances on club and festival line-ups, their latest single is a perfect distillation of their powerful, upbeat sound.
Read More...
Truth - EP Review: Without You
02 Jul 2020 // by Gareth Heta
Truth, predominantly known for their prolific output in the Dubstep scene via their own Deep, Dark & Dangerous label, now turn their attention to 170BPM on the stellar EP Without You. This is a substantial EP utilising classic Drum & Bass motifs, it retains enough of a connection to the vibe of deep Dubstep as to not alienate fans of previous works, while still crafting something truly unique.
Read More...
View All Articles By Gareth Heta

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • POSITIONS
    Ariana Grande
  • THEREFORE I AM
    Billie Eilish
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • MONSTER
    Shawn Mendes And Justin Bieber
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem