MUST LISTEN: SHADES unveil their dark, desolate sophomore studio album, ‘From a Vein’ via 1985 Music
Embrace the darkness. After all, that’s the only way to come into the light. That seems to be the mission of SHADES, which all unassuming bassheads know as Alix Perez and EPROM. As one of the underground movement’s most in-demand super duos, SHADES has become synonymous with dubstep purism, acid-tinged beats, and dark, foreboding sound. Now they’ve followed up on their debut full-length, In Praise of Darkness, which saw its 2018 release on Deadbeats, with a brand new 14-track LP journey that the duo has been teasing for months. Enter: From a Vein, out now on Perez’s illustrious imprint, 1985 Music.
Dipping down into the lowest of low ends with its crawling tempos, soul-shattering basslines, and bleak and desolate ambient atmospheres that resemble a Mordor-adjacent sonic realm, this is a project that begs to be listened to all the way through without release. From the hypnotic lulls and Eastern strains on “Against The Sun” to the mazelike melodies on The Gaslamp Killer-assisted track, “Purification,” there is just so much to embrace and love about the technical skill oozing from within this album.
Certainly, the new LP has all the marking of SHADES’ past EP projects, from 2019’s Black Heart Communion to 2021’s Dance of Death, taking the darkness further and showcasing SHADES’ most recent stylistic occupation with experimenting in acid house territory. Highly distorted synths, acid-doused composites, and lacerated sound designs mark much of the LP, showing off SHADES’ progression over the years during the lockdown.
The album was primarily conceived in Portland during the onset of the pandemic, which SHADES says gave them “plenty of time to focus in on the music and dial it in.”
“This album found us experimenting with new production techniques and exploring collaborations with other artists. It’s a continuation but more refined body of work and an exploration of wider sonic fields more diverse in terms of influences, including ambient, field recording, soundtracks, as well as pushing our own vision of modern electronic music.– EPROM & Alix Perez
Taking their experimental approach to new lows, SHADES once again showcase their sonic innovation, production prowess, and raw energy on From a Vein. Stream the full-length project, out now via 1985 Music, below.
SHADES – From a Vein LP
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