ChaseR - Avalanche / Sensum/Program/Need For Mirrors - Arp Tune / Reverie/Ram Records/Freek - 'L

The level of talent coming out of Russia grows year on year. No strangers to working with up-and-coming acts from across the globe, ProgRAM keeps its ear to the ground for fresh beats from fresh producers making their name in the scene – and this release continues with that tradition. ChaseR is the latest artist to now find himself within the ProgRAM fold and delivers two cuts of tech-driven viciousness. ‘Avalanche’ creeps up on you slowly, propelling itself into a progressive, constantly moving stomper filled with jagged synth turnarounds, ravey stabs and an ear catchingly lead riff line. ChaseR switches mood on ‘Sensum’, which dials down the aggression without sacrificing the quality of the production. Steppy beat patterns underpin filtered atmospherics, giving ‘Sensum’ a more musical feel while there are elements of grittiness with some laser sharp synths adds some pace over the top. Both tracks show ChaseR has some serious technical prowess coupled with real groove. Once more - it’s time to get with the ProgRAM.

Hot on the heels of his recently released ‘Royal Blood’ EP on ProgRAM, plus an exclusive appearance on the Drum & Bass Annual 2019 compilation with ‘Big Pharma,’ it’s time for Need For Mirrors’ full debut release on RAM. ‘Arp Tune’ immerses you in the cinematic side of what the Londoner can do as a producer. It’s epic in sound and scale, with a stadium sized feel to it; yet none of the intricacies and delicate touches that that drive it are sacrificed because of that. From the arpeggiated notes to its piano lead line with subtle hints of reverb, ‘Arp Tune’ truly signals Need For Mirrors’ arrival on the label. Heavily supported by Andy C in his recent XOYO shows, if you've been, you would of heard this one. Similarly, ‘Reverie’ keeps the theme and tone of its predecessor – orchestral string plucks are underpinned by a pitch-bending distorted synth, which itself is juxtaposed by twinkling melodies. Add in some crisp percussion and breaks and you truly see why ‘Reverie’ sits perfectly beside the lead track. Both tracks prove that RAM and Need For Mirrors refuse to be defined by what people think they should sound like. Quality is always the first and most important factor and with ‘Arp Tune’ and ‘Reverie,’ we’re graced with two stunning pieces of music.

Freek is certainly no stranger to the RAM/ProgRAM team. Previous appearances include the crowd pleasing ‘Cobalt 60’ (supported by none other than Andy C), to his most recent offering ‘Human Being’ on last years ‘RAM Goes To Let It Roll 3.0’ EP. Freek found himself on ProgRAM’s first long-player offering ‘Encrypted’ way back in 2015. Now he gets his own chance to shine with the first of two standalone singles on Ram’s sister label. ‘Therapy’ is allllll about the bassline. Sparse beats and fills are swamped by the wave riding hoover bass, which definitely makes its presence known. Featured guest MC Jack Knife adds a punk aesthetic, with a brash vocal adding extra bark to the productions bite. Pushing things in more melodic direction is ‘Lately’, where Freek displays a liquid side to his usual dancefloor sound. For this he enlists singer/songwriter Chris Cotton, who adds crisp vocals over the melancholic piano, strings and warping bass. ‘Therapy’ and ‘Lately’ are two examples of an artist growing in confidence with every release across our imprints, while showing versatility in the process. It’s time to get with the ProgRAM - and 2019 is already looking strong.