This week’s DNB Fix is a soulful sojourn across Los Angeles based Akuratyde’s second album, who returns once more on Blu Mar Ten Music. Here, cinema and soundscape flirt with drum and bass influences and beyond, on the stunner that is ‘Home Movies’.
It’s the first time in 2021 a piece of music has stopped me in my tracks so thoroughly, feeling a genuine sense of awe from the musicality and mastery at play. The last time this happened was another BMTM outing with Pete Rogers’ ‘Wardown’. Once again Blu Mar Ten Music demonstrates that you can predict the unpredictable, unique, sonic identities from all their alumni.
Akuratyde produces a homage to that which goes against the grain of current 170 music, often all body but with little soul. Indeed, several of the tracks are at slower tempos - but these themes of clicky and glitched-out rhythms follow throughout the album and there are still many upbeat occasions.
Eponymous piece ‘Home Movies’ is drenched in feeling, yet there’s something quite triumphant lingering in those chords which arpeggiate more swing than staccato. Choir-esque ad-libs and chimes unite with a laid back breaks, weaving a blanket of both organised and chaotic emotion. It’s like a much needed hug listening to this one, wrapping you in it’s sonic embrace and assuring you that everything is going to be alright. Akuratyde’s ability to break out of the loop creates a real narrative energy, conjuring feelings and thoughts across space and time in your mind. Like watching your own ‘home movie’ unravel as it were.
Each track bleeds like a broken heart into the next, ‘Evergreen’ shines bright with timeless 90s sonics, dreamy pads and bright piano dominated by a rolling sub and rollicking drums; the most regular of the tunes on ‘Home Movies’ yet well placed on an album of more experimental textures. ‘White pedals’ feat. David Pittman transcends like a wistful dream with lyrics “we were walking, we were talking, I didn’t want anything to change”. Akuratyde comments on loss and love here, something we can all resonate with.
Guitar stylings feature heavily on ‘Home Movies’, and there’s something almost cure like on ‘Absolution’ with 80’s jangles and distortion lifting the piece to epic heights. Arkuratyde’s use of instrumentation is sublime and stand-out throughout the entire album paired with analogous samples artfully matched to mood. This album definitely reaches beyond the usual audience of jungle or drum & bass.
We need more music like this; Akuratyde is akin to a sonic shaman supplying Ayahuasca, such is the experience of listening to ‘Home Movies’. All junglists know the power of a piano layered over a think break, yet ‘Home Movies’ breaks boundaries, speeding up and slowing down with crescendo like swells and attenuation that drifts into cinematic catharsis and back into two step or weightier amen rhythms; buckle up, this is one ethereal ride.