I remember when I first discovered future bass around two (maybe two and a half) years ago, and was instantly hooked by a genre in its relative infancy. The impeccable sound design (for the most part), the imaginative synth usage, the unpredictable drops…fast forward two years, though, and the genre once known for its ability to stimulate never-been-heard sounds has since become stale and oversaturated with unimaginative, yet “decent,” music.
In a crowded future bass space, Pusher stands heads and shoulders above most others, having taken it upon himself to reinspire the entire genre for the next generation of producers and future bass fans everywhere. New Laces, out now on Black Butter, is a wonderful display of both the creativity that harkens back to the ‘old days’ of the genre that first drew me to the sounds as well as the man’s inspired songwriting.
The intro track, “Startup,” isn’t found on the Spotify album version, but I’ll describe it for you as best I can – 40 seconds of samples and chopped dialogue from various Internet sources and beyond. Is it essential to the listening experience? Maybe not. Is it cool as sh**, though? Most definitely.
The debut single, “Clear” with Mothica, dropped five months ago to huge reception. It’s since gone on to amass five million+ Spotify streams since I first described it as a “return to his vibrant, happy-go-lucky style of bass music but with an even sweeter twist.” Five months later, nothing’s changed on my end: a stellar single from start to finish and a great opening track to the EP. Get a load of that wonderful opening chime, you’ll probably never hear anything as sweet again.
Next up is “Fences,” a smooth lullaby-esque song featuring Cappa’s sweet vocals and heavy, bass-driven drops that sharply switch the song’s atmosphere. Think of the entire song as a delicate balancing act between its kawaii influences and a thundering drop/chorus that’s executed perfectly.
Following that is another of the EP’s singles, “Tell You” with vocalist Hunnah, which showcases Pusher’s musical past as a jazz pianist with some soothing keys and infectious melody. My colleague Rain Robinson said it best, “Pusher has mastered the art of arrangement.”
“Someway, Somehow” is unique in that it’s the only track which features a male vocal. Close your eyes and let Darren Ashley put you to sleep with the most relaxing track of the bunch. The drop is classic “neon 64-bit” Pusher at its finest with the perfect amount of ‘kawaii’ thrown in.
Pusher’s description of “Shake Down” with Push Push speaks for itself: “It’s my personal bad bitch anthem for 2016.” A dark-horse pick for the next bouncy festival trap anthem that can do equally well at a Top 40 club.
Finally, we finish off with my favorite track of the EP, “Long Night” with Anuka. The first time I heard “Long Night” I was stunned. There’s not one individual element I don’t love about this song – Anuka’s soaring vocals, a wonderful bridge, a super-catchy chorus, a uniquely twisted drop, a deliciously subtle flute in the background – I could probably go on and on but I’ll shut up so you can just enjoy the EP.