Arcatype’s new EP called Narrative on CIA Recordings just came out last Friday, May 18. Most of the EP can be streamed on CIA’s Bandcamp, but the label saved an exclusive just for Your EDM readers: the title track featuring vocalist Riya. It’s easily the prettiest track on the EP and definitely makes a statement about what Arcatype may have been thinking about when he put this EP together.
The Narrative EP is a great conglomeration of styles, tracing the trajectory of not only liquid drum and bass but the whole genre’s history. It’s a not to EDM as a whole, to where it’s come from and where it’s going. “Hämeenlinna,” the opening track, has lots of techno and early liquid vibes with a deep and throbbing bassline that covers the spread of a number of DnB subgenres. “Hämeenlinna” can merge into “Levitate” in a way that almost makes it seem like the two tracks are part of a mix.”Yakima Dub” continues the grinding, surprisingly heavy bass seen in “Hämeenlinna,” but “Levitate” both lightens up the EP and takes it on a different trajectory before the title track goes to a fully liquid “Narrative.”
“Narrative” seems a bit lighter than the other tracks on the EP but it goes quite a bit deeper on the emotional side of things with the aid of Riya’s breathy yet heart-wrenching vocals, which discuss how one’s personal narrative is, in fact, just words and one must be careful not to let that narrative focus too much on the past and things that can’t be changed. The smooth bass rolls along with her vocals and the melody becomes ambient at the hook, creating even more of an emotional impact for the track. “Narrative” is evocative and esoteric at the same time in a way that only liquid DnB can truly do.
It’s great to see some solid, classic work out of artists like Arcatype, since so much coming out of drum and bass lately is focused on creating the new big, impressive sound. The Narrative EP pays homage to the narrative of drum and bass and shows that producers can still send chills down their listeners’ spines with a sick bassline and a haunting melody.