So, the legendary Upbeats have now released both part one and part two of De Evolution, a three part series of massive drum+bass recordings. A group of artists like The Upbeats could only manage such a concept, this multi-album release, with a label that is equally progressive, patient, and able to see the music with a vision similar to the artists. There is a lot of passion, hard work, studio time, and financial investment that a special release like De Evolution requires, in order to give it the proper attention it deserves. Once the artist has given the best part of their heart and soul in the studio, and they send their baby off to be mastered, its time for the third phase of post-production to kick in. At the same the artists are in the studio laying the tracks down, there are scores of people working on pre-release promotion; from packaging, artwork, and interviews to scheduling the most advantageous date to allow the album to drop. When classic concept albums like The Wall by Pink Floyd (In the case you’re not familiar with the artist or release, just stop reading this now and get your life in order) were released, the record companies had deep pockets, and they made such releases an event that would rival and blockbuster movie premieres. In the 1970’s, record labels had huge budgets, as well as talented A&R teams that were actually hand picked specifically by the artists and their managers to help in the process of ensuring that the artists vision was understood, translated and made real by entire design departments full of graphic artists. The Wall, like other huge rock albums of the golden age, had a movie that brought the artist's musical story to the big screen. Record labels started to copy the merchandizing of movie company giants because of the new found pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Today, we have moved in the total opposite direction. There is a loss of the emotional relationship between the artist and the listener, to a degree, that went with the act of going to your local record store and physically holding the album in your hands. Seeing the artwork helped you envision what the artist intended you to envision while listening to the music. Maybe you would get lucky, and with the multi-releases you would get cool inside artwork and something like a poster…and finally, probably one of the most important pieces of the experience lacking today…all of the lyrics, printed out accurately, with no guess work regarding what even the most garbled vocals were intending to say. All of these things combined left the listener with an expansive experience. Today, gathering the music, the promotional photos, the artwork (if there is any), and lyrics that aren’tt just complied on fan-sites can be quite an undertaking. Most of us now are left to taking just the music, and trying to connect the dots for ourselves. Sometime I compare it to reading a book with no illustrations, no art on the cover. You then create those images of each character for yourself, from the description built of each character by the author. The label Vision has released the three-part Upbeats masterpiece DE EVOLUTION and has produced the actual vision for this release. Vision also includes Invisible and Division Records. They are a very progressive line of labels, and have the artists to match. At the helm is Jaap de Vries keeping the ship on course. I was sent a stack of albums this week from Jaap to review. When discovering the list of artists on each release, I was impressed, to say the least. With all that awesome material, I took a couple days to listen to part one of the The Upbeats three-part series, and to say I was impressed and moved in an emotional way would be an understatement . This is such a breath of fresh air in the DNB genre, when so much today can be overproduced and as canned as ham. These songs are textured, musical, well-selected and they skillfully provide a total listening experience...a journey that I didn’t want to come back from. I mean, wow! I rarely say this, ever, and I review music for a living. This release goes down in my top five releases of all time. There are not enough kind things that I can say about this beautiful, haunting, top-notch listening adventure that this release took me on. I can only say that I’m going back, as soon as I can, and often. Now, here’s the rub...what I’m not going to do is go song by song and express my experience. That would spoil yours. What I can say is buy the ticket and take the atmospheric ride. You will thank me after you do. Im rating this my highest rating...5 Stars. I’m also awarding DNB◉UNITED RECORDS Gold DNB Award Of Excellence to this magnificent release. I have only issued this three times. It means a lot.
Well done to both Vision Recordings and The Upbeats!
Jason Bakes FOUNDER / CEO DNB◉UNITED RECORDS / DNB◉UNITED.COM
The Upbeats present De-Evolution, a series of 3 releases to be dispersed throughout 2016.
Available at: store.vsnrecs.com