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Insight Review: ‘Be There EP’ (2017)

London’s Bucky and Russia’s L Own have joined forces. The result: An amazing collection of future garage tunes with a deeply melodic flavour…

Bucky? National treasure, in my opinion. I seriously dig his blend of melodic UK beats and, as of late, hip hop and old school rnb-tinged sound. I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted, but if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t yet heard Bucky, his previous EPs Stockwell, Car Boot Sale and South Of The River are required listening. Without doubt the true sound of south London…

And then there’s L Own. One of the most intriguing, otherworldly producers around. His sounds are most definitely rooted in (and a homage to) old school 90s UK beats, but he also brings that wonderful darkness to his music that Russian producers do so well. If you want ghost-rave at its finest L Own’s entire back catalogue will sit very well – but in my opinion the real standouts are last year’s Stonyhearted and Citybred Saint VIP (available here courtesy of Hidden Vector Records). Interestingly, I believe Burial was trying to achieve something akin to L Own’s sound with his recent remix of Goldie’s drum and bass classic Inner City Life.

So what happens when producers of this calibre join forces? Stunning music, that’s what. This latest EP represents a wonderful journey through everything that is good about underground music. Here you have everything: atmospheric crackle, beautifully crafted garage-style beats, ghostly London voices that weave in and out of focus. But you also have wonderful melodies, serene ambient sound, soulful vocals. Even glorious little acoustic guitar and piano skits (these guys can play!). This is future garage and ‘future soul’ (is that a genre? It should be!) for those that love their melody alongside their beats ‘n bass. A testament to 90s rave but also 90s soul. A testament to rainy urban nights, pitch-black backstreet clubs, smoky after-hours piano haunts and ghostly beauty. All packaged up in five wonderful tracks!

Every track on this EP is glorious, but for me the real standouts are ‘Chance’ (a truly captivating ambient piano-driven tune that can only be described as ‘haunting’) and EP-closer ‘Promise’ (a perfect little two-step trap-flecked number that will have your head bobbing for sure!). The sheer versatility of this release means you will almost certainly have your own favourites, but for me those two tracks alone are worth the price of admission.

To summarise – this is atmospheric music from two highly sophisticated, experienced producers who have clearly thought very carefully about how their individual styles can compliment and augment one another. The result is a wonderfully vibrant EP which showcases a broad range of innovation and musical talent, but without losing focus on the importance of melody, atmosphere and carefully constructed music. Give it a go!

‘Be There’ will be released here tomorrow.

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