Fre4knc – Chain of Command / Sinjek
Much as we might like to, there’s no escaping the fact that the sound of the Netherlands right now is progressive house, and Dutch DJs like Hardwell, Martin Garrix and the omnipresent Tiesto are making sure that no corner of the globe goes without it. But there are pockets of resistance in which their countrymen operate 170bpm, and you might have heard of some of them; we’re talking Noisia. We’re talking Black Sun Empire. We’re talking Lenzman. And we’re talking Fre4knc, who has new music primed and ready to drop in April.
The Groningen producer – whose name, for the record, is pronounced ‘frequency’ – has considerable history with drum & bass. He held down a radio show on jungletrain.net between 2002 and 2012 and his passion for the genre crystallised in his Break-Fast events in his hometown before the establishment of Break-Fast Audio. He has released on, amongst others, Samurai Music, Dispatch Recordings and Invisible Recordings, and his forthcoming single will be the third release of new Australian label Plasma Audio.
CHAIN OF COMMAND/SINJEK
All the way through this release the influence of Fre4knc’s compatriots is clear to see, but the producer sets up camp in the middle ground between the razor-flinging mayhem of Noisia and the liquid beauties pumped out by Lenzman. He is undoubtedly closer to the former, but A-side ‘Chain of Command’ is much more of a roller than we’ve come to expect from the three noisesmiths, never venturing too far from its oceanic sub-bass. This makes the frequent interjections from rasping synths hit all the harder, twisting around the taut neuro-informed beat before sinking once more beneath the surface.
On the flip, ‘Sinjek’ is ruled by a thumping, resonant kick with rhythmic colour coming from an incisive snare. The half-time feel provides a playground for a restless monster of a bass, constantly shifting its weight but only occasionally rearing its head. This makes for a disconcertingly sparse arrangement, but one with more than enough power to set a sub shaking.