The good folks over at independent label Future Follower have been building a reputation for themselves as champions of some of the most talented up-and-coming dubstep producers on the scene, spanning dancefloor friendly big beats to the darker side of bass music. It’s all very much within the realms of future garage and so we are big fans. The quality of the artists they back is consistently excellent and nowhere is this more aptly demonstrated than the Friends Are Electric series, now in its third incarnation.
The previous two were met with much acclaim — and this one should be no exception. Friends Are Electric 3 showcases 27 tracks from emerging artists pushing the finer sounds of UKG, future garage, bass music and dubstep. The compilation is exquisite and we’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop since we got hold of it last month. The mood is unquestionably sombre and introspective throughout. It’s a thinking person’s compilation and we love it. Here are our five highlights.
The Walton Hoax – Wait For It
“One day you will find yourself alone” repeats the pitched-down male vocal, over and over, getting into your skull, invading your consciousness. The dark message is neatly complemented by a determined, powerful, unsettling sub-bass and a curiously beautiful, simple xylophone melody. The production is immaculate, driven along by a 4/4 beat, with a clap second one, and throbbing, spaceship bass sounds.
TuffCulture & Leanne Louise – Save My Heart
This one takes us back to the glory days of UKG. The beat is nice and on point, with weird filtered keys and an uplifting string melody. Leanne Louise’s vocal is reserved and charming and there’s a super-groovy bassline to get down to. It’s a little bit of nostalgia and sits well with the whole album.
Ghost Youth – Drag My Arms In ft. Linde Sagen
The intro is like something out of a sci-fi movie, with no real beat or bass to speak of, just weird static noises before a female voice wails something and you get this fantastically dark melody and the sounds of crowds chattering. This all drops out for about a minute or so building up towards this onslaught of reverberated and filtered drums and eery sounds. The vocal is haunting, moody even. This all goes on for more than 8 minutes, taking you on a journey to the outer depths of existential contemplation, or something like that. In short, we love it.
Fybe:one – Eavesdrop
It starts off slow and gloomy, like the sound of rain falling outside, but then after the intro it builds into something more, with a refined sub-bass and some real dark vibes. It’s not a particularly complex tune, but something about it just really easy to listen to. It’s definitely given us a reason to explore more work by Fybe:one. On that note, check out the Harp EP for more intriguing ambience.
LS – See No
This is the one. We’ve had this tune on repeat for a good few weeks now. It’s the standout of the compilation for us. The intro has this gorgeous, hypnotic synth melody, plucking at your subconscious and building towards a killer vocal. It’s dark, moving, gorgeous even. “I see no sunshine, when I breathe my lungs cry.” It’s the perfect accompaniment to to the brooding, trip hop vibe of the beats and bass. We can’t recommend this tune enough. LS, or Lyrical Symphony, comes out of Middlesbrough and he has some awesome tunes up on his Soundcloud.
So, what’s your favourite? Go get the album on iTunes or search for it on Spotify.