British drum n’ bass sensations Fred V & Grafix have been busy since they signed to the notorious Hospital Records in 2011. The pair released two EPs, was featured on radio shows like Annie Mac and BBC1xtra, and toured the world – including North America twice. Finally, the duo has released their debut full-length album entitled Recognise. The LP is a testament to the talent and versatility of the young artists emerging from an underground scene that worships the old school. Whether you’re a long time drum n’ bass head or just looking for a new sound to enjoy, you’re going to want to get your virtual hands on this album.
Recognise is a rich and melodious reminder to dance even through your darkest days. Like all good albums, it takes the listener on a handcrafted journey through emotion and sound. The album opens with the catchy and uplifting “Hydra”, then delivers some half-tempo funk in “Maverick Souls”. The title track and premiere single “Recognise” is an atmospheric, harmonious tune highlighted by original vocals from Fred V. Fans of drum n’ bass are likely familiar with “Major Happy”, which was originally released in a 2012 Hospital Records compilation. The LP takes a darker twist with the haunting orchestral song “Bladerunner” – a monumental halfway point. After “Sick of All Your Secrets (feat. Josie)”, a jazz-tinted tune featuring rich, melancholy female vocals, the lighthearted “Catch My Breath” provides necessary emotional relief. “Forest Fires” features breakout sensation Etherwood, integrating a touch of the liquid sound that defines his recent self-titled album. My personal favourite track is undoubtedly “Green Destiny”: it’s atmospheric and totally immersive, juxtaposing wistful string melodies over a soul-shaking bass line. And after all that, Fred V & Grafix let us off the ride gently with the classic inspiring liquid drum n’ bass encapsulated in “Clouds Cross Skies”. When you’re finished, of course, it’s right back to the first track.
Fred V & Grafix strike a perfect balance in Recognise: between the heavy and the lighthearted, organic and technological, and notably classic underground drum n’ bass styles and the newer, poppier trends that are beginning to infiltrate the airwaves. The pair may be relatively new to the drum n’ bass scene, but Recognise is only one of their first steps toward transforming it. Recognise is available now on iTunes, and you can listen to the full album right here.