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ESKR drops debut album ‘Solstice’ on Grand Theft Audio


At Grand Theft Audio, they believe an artist’s album shouldn’t be just a random collection of tracks but should tell a cohesive story, taking the listener on a journey. In Grand Theft Audio’s 8 years of service, ESKR‘s ‘Solstice’ LP is the first single-artist album they’ve put out, and the first of 3 they have planned across the next 18 months, in amongst their standard smaller releases. And what an album it is!

ESKR the techy Drum & Bass producer hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico (of Breaking Bad fame) and veteran of Play Me and Boomslang labels, as well as blessing the milestone release ‘GTA 50‘ with his bouncy roller ‘Calibrate’, has outdone himself with this record and produced his best work to date.

From the off, the only track that could begin an album like this, the title track, ‘Solstice’, with its hypnotic vocal chops, play-to-win drums and off-kilter basses on the drop, sets both the tone and the standard for what’s to come. Next up, label head honchos SOLA join him for ‘Everything’, the epic arpeggiated intro giving way to a gritty drop with loads of edits, switches and a second drop that hits the dancefloor like a scud missile. After this, the bangers continue to come in thick and fast.

‘Wonder’ demonstrates his trademark sound with choppy vocal edits, bouncy head-bopping drums, a rolling sub and syncopated mid basses. ‘My Way’ is also a track of contrasts with high pitched screechy synth stabs in the intro juxtaposed with the lower register hip-hop vocal samples, mega distorted basses and our favourite snare from the whole LP. Anthemic ‘Get It’, arguably the catchiest track on the album with its big hook, simple but effective drums and cheeky vocal, was absolutely built for the dancefloor. Unleash it on an unsuspecting crowd and watch the sparks fly.

‘Higher’ shows off ESKR’s diversity with jungle breaks, old school vocal samples, rolling basslines and plenty of twists and turns. The second collaboration on this LP comes in the form of ‘Out There’ featuring Polish rising star OkregLucky and is what would happen if Liquid and Neuro had a baby. Equal parts euphoric, funky, menacing and rolling.

After showing off his range with the last 3 tracks, it’s back to his signature sound as we traverse another run of snarling bangers. Starting with the disconcerting screech of a man who knows just how to build tension in an intro, a distorted ‘Bounce To This’ sample playfully announces the arrival of a drop with choppy drums and excellent use of space to let the listener breathe. The best track title on the album, ‘Cats With Glasses’, also boasts some of the craziest sound design. Eclectic bass noises rebound off tight rolling drums to create a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a classic 2009 Jump Up compilation.

‘My Ugly Sweater’, another sick name, starts with an arpy bass setting the pace and building through the intro. When it lands, utter chaos ensues with violent bass shots, sexy reeces, abrasive synth work and otherworldly vocal chops. The 3rd colab, this time with Histeria Records Boss Cantsay is called ‘Destination’ and has one of the most cinematic intros of the entire record. Like an oasis in a harsh desert, the classic Neurofunk aesthetic in the intro creates a soothing atmosphere before the relentless barrage of bass on the drop tears apart the calm like the mirage it always was. Intense high energy techy work out to the end with edits upon edits to keep things fresh to the last drop.

‘Gravy Train’ – All aboard the Bisto Express to Bangerland, stopping at Funky Introville, Glitchbasshampton, Switch City & Heavy-Percussion-on-Sea. Then last but by no means least is ‘Noize Of Thunder’ with Boomslang kingpin State of Decay ending things on a sinister note. The crescendo is the right balance of order and chaos with
tight drums and wayward bass motifs. The perfect ending to ESKR’s first album.

Check out our premiere of ‘Solstice’ below. The ‘Solstice’ LP drops this Friday 18th February 2022, make sure you grab a copy from here!

ESKR Solstice LP Cover

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