Over the last years a rehabilitation of the new beat genre has taken place. Short-lived, it succumbed under its own immense popularity at the beginning of the nineties, watered down once producers with an eye for commercial success - and not quality control - joined in on its seemingly easy recipe. Below the surface a lot of highly original tracks remain to be enjoyed however: the sound, with its unique mix of amongst others Chicago acid house and Belgian EBM, reveals itself to be an essential node in electronic music's Trans-Atlantic trajectory. Not least going at least someway to informing what become trance.
Innershades has been a longtime enthusiast of the genre and made it a focal point of attention on "Heritage Vol. 1", the first part of a series that celebrates his inspirations and influences. Rather than making a selection of style exercises, he opts to subtly inject his tech and progressive productions with some of its tropes. It is a blend that comes naturally as menacing melodies and throbbing pulses are vital to his sound. Monolithic drum sequences, consisting of propulsive four to the flour kick drums and gated snares, run throughout the EP. On "This Is Belgium" this clear-cut rhythm structure leaves ample space for the bassline to glide and glint against the frantic SH-101 leads, while a deadpan vocal points out the release's theme. In a similar way a 303 runs havoc on "Eternal Voices". Hazy pads and understated dashes of melody furtherly infuse the track with a sense of emotive call and response. Just like most of its source material, it aims for high NRG via a low BPM. "The After Hours Club" lets a gnarled square bass line and a resonance intensive lead interplay until they get interrupted by a possibly familiar sounding news bulletin sample. "Rave Signal" finally combines an ever-modulating, hypnoid lead, silky string layers and a slab of trusty solid bass. The energetic track epitomizes Innershades's contemporary palette - it is a fitting conclusion to a record that renders regard for its precursors into current day dancefloor fervor.
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says:
The new beat revival continues with Innershades. Rather than mine some spent source material however, he opts to recreate the pulsating coital throb of the era through his own original productions meaning these four cuts straddle the past and present perfectly. They're also much higher fidelity than some of those dodgy Euro pressings from the 90s! Big tip for EBM and new beat heads....
This Is Belgium
The After Hours Club