Have you ever heard of the belief that good things always come in a series of 3? The third instalment of the City Series is no exception. Serum swoops in to deliver a cavernous set of soundscapes that house as many familiar, spacious, soothing sounds as they do new and original ones. Much like the city itself, The Tokyo EP is here to expand the existing boundaries of the landscape that is Drum & Bass.
First up, “Up In Smoke” sounds as smooth as butter. The intro boasts a deep, introspective vocal that is the perfect contrast to the cooled-out, technically-sound drum kit. Reminiscent of something almost liquid in nature with a side of Jungle flavour, the intro provides a fluid transition into the dance-friendly, warming sub that, for all intents and purposes, provides the character of the tune. Complimented by the profound vocal flowing in and out of the foreground at a consistent pace, the wide array of vast, soaring atmospheres provide ample space for this tune to expedite the inevitable expansion of your consciousness. Sit back, relax, and let the journey begin.
“You Think You Really Know Me” pops up next without skipping a beat. Once again Serum’s meticulous organization of FX that seem to know no boundaries allow massive amounts of room for the pulsing bassline and smooth as silk beatz to do their thing while constantly feeling fresh and refreshing throughout. Bordering the line between haunting and oozing with style, this tune really showcases what Drum & Bass, both modern and classic in style, is really about.
3rd in line, “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” commences with an intro that is altogether majestic and magical in nature. Forget to tell yourself to blink, and you’re involuntarily transported to dreamland almost immediately. Without overusing & abusing its impact, the intro rolls out just long enough for you to drop your guard. Then, without warning, in comes an insidious, deliciously-nasty bassline that borders the line between pure filth and supremely fluid like it’s the only thing it knows how to do. Like the others, this tune is here to light you up, resulting in the smoothest of skank outs. Get your groove on to this, and do it in style.
Cinematic in nature, the climactic 4th track, “Death Wish”, epitomizes the vibe and front line production techniques dispersed throughout the rest of the EP. Jazz, House, Hip Hop, Psychedelic Rock, and Funk are just a few of the influences lying beneath the surface of this brilliantly-crafted tune and album. A new boundary has been drawn in terms of what the sub genre of Jump Up really means and more importantly, what it means to make tunes that some would argue have no boundaries or classifications other than being pure, 100% experimental Drum & Bass.