Drumsound & Bassline Smith – or, if you prefer, East Midlands boys Andy Wright, Ben Wiggett and Simon “Bassline” Smith – are optimists. After many years working hard in underground music, they’re achieving unprecedented commercial success, and after two and a half years of work, they are ready to release their album ‘Wall Of Sound‘.
The album comes straight of the back recent summer smash ‘One In A Million’ ft. Fleur reached the BBC Radio 1 B-list enjoying support from Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, B.Traits and Skream & Benga.
‘Wall of Sound’ is representative of the new world of club music. Although drum’ n’ bass in tempo, it’s completely shot through with the buzz and dynamics of modern electro and dubstep – a style whose half-step rhythms have been rewriting the rules of modern day dance music. But more than that, it’s got pop, it’s got soul, it’s got indie rock, it’s got fully-formed songs… it’s got the whole kaleidoscope you’ll hear in clubs. In the words of Drumsound & Bassline Smith this album is for “the generation who grew up listening to Annie Mac, who are happy to have all kinds of genres brought together in one place”.
The singles on the album, each with a different guest collaborator, are the perfect demonstration of the embrace of diversity: the sensuous vocals of Fleur on ‘One In A Million’ the aggro alt.rock of Hadouken! on ‘Daylight‘, the post-Radiohead high drama of Tom Cane‘s croon on ‘Through The Night‘ each touch on indie rock but in erectile dysfunction pills online dramatically contrasting ways. Compare that to the raw soul power of Ayah Marar‘s vocal on another standout track ‘The Flames‘, alongside ‘U Ain’t For Me’ featuring the talented Youngman and you can really see how each stands out with its own distinct style, yet still forms part of the coherent whole of ‘Wall of Sound’.
This is an act who have come up through one of the most fiercely competitive and even judgemental musical scenes around, and managed to branch out without ever losing touch with what they always loved about that scene. They have found a space in the modern musical ecosystem where they can appeal to clubbers and listeners across generations, and bring underground dark energy into the bright lights of the mainstream.
Their development has been constant and organic, and led them to a way of working that is all their own but creates sounds and songs that anyone can grasp. Their album is just the next step in this long process. But with ever more developments to look forward to, not least the possibilities of live performance on the horizon, is it any wonder they allow their natural optimism to come through?