I have been a fan of Steve Survival and Script over the years as individual producers. Survival’s album on Exit was in heavy rotation for me upon its release around ’09. I always liked the soundscapes and style they bring to the table so I was very intrigued to find out they were behind the mysterious duo known as SCAR. I loved the releases on Dispatch, Horizons, MethXX, as well as the track done with Artificial Intelligence on their excellent full length, “Timelines,” which also came out on Metalheadz last year.
I took on this review because talking with Wes, he couldn’t quite put his finger on what the album was saying to him. I told him to let me take a crack at it and hear it for myself.
It’s really fucking good man.
I really felt like they are telling us what they are about as a whole and what is to come. My favorite track on the album isn’t even a drum and bass track. From the opener to closing trilogy of tunes, there are some absolutely serene and beautiful moments here that come to a beautiful point in “Yours,” my favorite tune. It’s just sultry steeped heavily in that Massive Attack Bristol sound. It is not a bite but a dope tune that brings those vibes to you where you close your eyes and just let it move you. “Temptation” is another favorite that drips with a fierceness that distorts and oozes a sensuality. Love it. There are some Pink Floydesque interlude moments (“The Tube”) I found as well that just kept the flow of the record in sync with my mind and ears and close the album out in what seemed like a three part piece. From the album opener “I’m Gone” to the haunting closer “Caught Up In You” I really was drawn in to the music and absolutely great vocal performances by Naomi Pryor, Orkyd, and Eleanor Higgins.
The music landscape they cover is vast in this record and I love full lengths by DNB artists who aren’t afraid to push some boundaries. I love a good solid DNB album but I also love to hear the music that also comes to life. I can easily put this into the group of expansive DNB records like Grooverider’s classic Mysteries Of Funk or as recent as Alix Perez’s amazing Chroma Chords. I loved “Fractions” ability to make us know what a tune would sound like if Krust and Optical got down in the studio one night. It’s a roller for real. “Feel for You” with Naomi Pryor is absolute dancefloor smasher and the type of drum and bass vocal tune I wish we would hear more of. It’s got those housey vibes in some thick synth lines weaving all around and just lays it out good. If you don’t just let that tune get your head moving something is wrong with you. FOR REAL. I was listening to this on a long drive and a friend asked if that was something new by Calibre and I just smiled. Vibes.
The Orkyd Project pushes into old school/Nu skool break territory depending on how you see it with “The Rocket.” I enjoyed this a lot. I only found “Your Mistake” to be a bit out of the sequence of the album but it’s not a weak track. After a few listens I could get the overall picture and this one just seemed more suited to a separate release for its style with Ray Uptown on the mic and Orkyd providing the hooks.
There are plenty of dancefloor belters of several styles to rinse on the floor. Renegade Kicks brings some of the Omni Trio flavor that always is nice to hear. I had a momentary flashback to a track when I heard “If You Knew” but I will challenge you to think if you heard the tune I heard when it first kicks off. Omnipresent, For A While, I’m Gone, and You Were Here Again alongside Fractions give plenty to keep your set rolling along and fill the album nicely.
I really enjoy getting to hear music like this and especially a very strong debut like this. SCAR has a so much depth and songwriting thought to do something out of the box that works very well.
It took me some time to piece this together as I really kept listening to this album as a whole which is a statement to the quality of the music and sound. I sincerely look forward to more music to come from this duo.
Sampler is available now on Metalheadz.