Your EDM has had its eye on Anna Ross since her debut solo single, “First Day,” due to the sort of pop way her soul-infused drum and bass presents itself. She is, of course, backed by Simon LeBon and John Taylor of Duran Duran, but in the U.S. it may be tough for drum and bass fans to wrap their heads around the idea that in all the permutations of “First Day” and now her new track “Karman Line” is centered around her vocals rather than the producer’s beats. In the UK this is a pretty common occurrence, with dnb acts like SASASAS giving front billing to their vocalists on releases.
It’s also common for pop labels to pick up studio producers and create dnb tunes that way in England, but it’s also well-known where dnb comes from there. In the U.S., because drum and bass is so underground, it’s hard to imagine how it would break the pop world but artists like Anna Ross are definitely leading that charge. For “Karman Line,” Ross co-wrote the track with Simon Harris and Paul Hulbert. Harris also has a pop background, as he produced for Eurythmics in the 80s, but now he has credits on such drum and bass artists’ productions as Icicle and works with Stealth Records and RAM. Paul Hulbert is a name in his own right in trance music.
This conglomerate of producers along with Ross Explains the soulful pop feel of “Karman Line,” as it has elements of trance such as multiple starburst intros but also of classic jungle and drum and bass like Vsnares-style snares and a rolling jump up beat. If drum and bass is going to go pop, this is the way to do it.
With all of her tracks so far, Anna Ross has respected the roots and basics of drum and bass while forging her own path with her soul-infused and always pitch-perfect vocals. A little more credit to the producers might be nice, but in the meantime her full LP, due out by the end of the year, should prove to be an inspiring and high-quality pop-dnb fusion.