Untold – ‘Stereo Freeze / Mass Dreams Of The Future’ (R&S Records)

In just 2 short years since he dropped his debut EP, ‘Kingdom’, Untold has built up an almost prophet like reputation in the burgeoning sphere of UK bass music. His consistently forward-thinking productions often seem to be half a step ahead of the chasing pack and his Hemlock label has provided a spring board to launch the careers of many more of the scene’s leading lights.

For his new EP, Untold takes a break from his own imprint to link up with R&S Records, who in 2010 have been shrewdly tapping into the hotbed of young UK talent that he has helped cultivate with releases from the likes of James Blake, Pariah, and Space Dimension Controller.

The title track ‘Stereo Freeze’ begins with a throbbing sub bass which gradually crescendos as the cut-off filter opens up while tension is built by layers of rattling claps, ghostly breaths, and the first subtle allusions to the main hook. A fittingly unforgiving drop follows this menacing intro and the tone is set for the rest of the tune. Sharply syncopated drum programming, offsets the aggressive lead stab as textures subtly interchange to maintain the ear’s interest. His appreciation of space amongst the chaos is a true hallmark of his work, but what sets Untold apart for me is that secret ingredient which binds his incredibly diverse array of sounds into one which is instantly recognisable as his own. The industrial metallic clangs play the role of his sonic artist’s signature in this track.

Mass Dreams Of The Future follows in a similarly dark vein as an ultra simple rising and falling melody responds to verses of de-tuned jerking sub bass over a 4/4 house beat. It is undoubtedly the A-side though that packs the biggest punch in this package.

Words // Nick Whittingham