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Audio Asia: electro experimentation on 'Pleasure Systems' from Prequel Tapes x dBridge

Witness the slick fusionist results of combining a d&b titan with an experimental sonic alchemist


  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 25 May 2021
Audio Asia: electro experimentation on 'Pleasure Systems' from Prequel Tapes x dBridge

Title: Pleasure Systems
Artist: Prequel Tapes x dBridge
Label: Midnight Shift
Release Date: June 18

Singaporean electronic fusionists Midnight Shift are back with their latest genre-defying missive, this time combining the mighty production forces of dBridge and Prequel Tapes on the 'Ionize EP'.

Drum & bass heavy-hitter dBridge has been actively producing floor-focused fire since the early '90s, working as a solo artist as well as a member of groups Bad Company and Future Focus Inc. He's released music on Metalheadz, Liquid V, and Exit, and his name rings out loud and proud on the d 'n' b underground. Joining him on this release is fellow UK-based artist Prequel Tapes, who makes his second appearance on Midnight Shift. He's previously released deeply introspective sounds from across the realms of experimental electronica on labels including Rcoupd, Mannequin, and Gaffa Tape.

True to Midnight Shift's experimental nature, the combination of a pair of artists from seemingly disparate musical domains is in part a product of the diverse cultural landscape of the label's Singaporean home, where people from far-flung lands have for centuries congregated and made a genuinely multi-cultural home. “We have always wanted to showcase that sentiment in our label, a musical reflection of Singapore’s well-blended diversity,” says label founder Kavan Spruyt. “If you have been to Singapore, listened to us speak our native slang or tried the food, you will know that the fusion of cultures and our colonial history are what make us unique.”

Opening cut 'Divisible Cause' skirts genre boundaries, with extrasensory pads combining with paranoid sonic textures over a glitchy drum track, while the crisp beats of 'Stray Thrills' power over wonky synth layers and gigantic bass notes to supremely cinematic effect. The Jagged layers and vaguely terrifying soundscapes of closing track 'Mindless' allude to dBridge's drum & bass roots, though the rhythm is subdued enough to add waves of mystery – and more than a shadow of doubt when it comes to genre classification. Our pick from a tight bunch is the electro-inspired groove of 'Pleasure Systems'. Here, abstract textures fuse with a slick broken rhythm as microscopic fragments fly through the hypnotic biosphere, and thick pads rise to an all-consuming and utterly riveting crescendo.

Prequel Tapes x dBridge 'Ionize' is out June 18, you can listen and buy it here

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