Eight original tracks make up the dreamy and immersive, aptly-titled project Awaken, by producers Droppecy and DonTibo.
Leading with carefully united synths and layers of colour, alongside mellow rhythms and vocal fragments, Old Ways II introduces an album of conceptual intrigue and cinematic freshness combined.
There’s warmth and familiarity in the looping melodies and progressions, but the details are new, the instrumental storyline prompts imaginative escapism akin to that of the greats, and immediately the music welcomes a state of inspiring awareness and calm.
From the opener we get a subtle degree of melancholy intertwined with optimism – a wash of darkness and industrial vibes softened by the peaceful embrace of melody and lighter notes. This use of contrast continues to stand tall as Everything Purple takes the reins. We know the style now, the collection has character, identity, even amidst musical versatility – this one rising up beautifully for an uplifting later section – the threads remain.
The vintage crackle of yesteryear and distant rhythms further the cinematic appeal as Do You Need a Ride slowly but surely enchants its audience; refreshing again in the unexpected effects and hypnotic design yet still rooted amidst the Awaken ideals.
Then we get Me & Medusa, and concept ignites contemplation – the stories or reflections that made these works, the emotions of the producers; now connecting with those of the listener, as they too venture into memory and possibility.
Highlights include the vast and euphoric Don’t Mind Me I’m Falling – addictive in its rising anticipation and boldly distorted, ethereal envelopment. Descension then proves well-placed for a simple yet striking scene with fragments of voice and a certain minimalism, which tips its hat to the rap soundtracks of the genre’s past.
Unpredictable in small doses, Drill City injects intensity and weight, creative sound-play akin to the rave after-parties so many ‘grew up’ around, and with plenty of room for remix or further collaboration. After which, the contemporary stylings of a light and uplifting Make It Back brings things to a finish with a welcomed and lasting afterglow. Layers of voice, variety shining amidst the flow and comfort of the general groove. And as ever, the music continues to awaken its audience, gifting a sense of self-belief and readiness for whatever may come.