Stateside Sessions: Drum and Bass Vol. 2
To mix drum and bass is hard. To mix it effortlessly and with breathtaking flair is the personification of difficulty. In a genre dependent on nuance, minimalism and subtlety, crafting a set that feels harmonious and fluid is quite an achievement. The second installment of Stateside Sessions demonstrates what a formidable talent Empress is, with a crisp, seamless collection of tracks that bond themselves together like inseparable friends.
Empress lifts her cuts from several corners of the d’n’b spectrum, demonstrating a remarkable knack for exposing the humanity evident within a field of music that is looked on as cold and calculated by many. The sequencing of her selections exposes a myriad of interlaced relationships. This is the road map of a pioneer, but a deeply personal one — it is a set that forms an utterly hypnotic progression in which the bigger picture is only evident in astonished hindsight.
The journey is emotionally draining, and its intensity could, perhaps, have been tempered with more subdued areas. This qualm is a minor one in the face of the formidable talent evident here, though — the listener has little choice but to allow Empress to guide them through the music, and it’s an astonishing trip.