Anyone who knows their stuff in drum and bass has been eagerly awaiting the release of Joanna Syze’s sophomore album, Surrender. Over three years in the making and containing collaborations with the likes of RedPill, Barbarix, Chris.SU, Mizo and, of course, two tracks with the incomparable AKOV.
Surrender has obviously been worth the wait. Since its Beatport exclusive release on Friday, it’s shot to number four on the Beatport DnB Top 100 and a number of the singles from the album have charted as well. Rene LaVice featured three of Surrender‘s tracks on his BBC1 radio show and other singles have received high praise from Bassrush and District Bass. If that’s not enough, Joanna’s heart-rending story of how the album came to be was featured on UKF. There’s a reason it’s so deep, dark and emotional. You can check out that story here.
Another reason Surrender turned out so well is the collaborators who worked with her on this project, and her collab with AKOV on “Archangel” is a testament to that. The pair also worked with Volatile Cycle on another track called “Shadows” but “Archangel” is a real highlight in an album of highlights. The track combines Syze’s cinematic flare and AKOV’s heavier-than-heavy bass drops and neurofunk synths. In a recent interview with Bassrush, AKOV said he loves to bring a “crunchy” sound to his beats, and that’s definitely present here. If that wasn’t enough, Syze’s heart-rending and goth-tinged vocals float over and then wind around the beats and synths with some really interesting production. They appear both in the ambient sound space and in the forefront of the track, creating an effect of feeling her voice in multiple places, as an angel floating around the crunchy, crunchy bass. If you don’t get goosebumps from “Archangel,” you may not be alive yourself.
There really isn’t an album out right now like Surrender. It’s innovative and different, having been produced in a way that may not have been seen in drum and bass before. It’s a complete work and can be listened to as a full album, not just for its individual tracks. That said, each track also has its own unique vibe and each one can stand on its own as a massive tune. It’s truly one of the best LPs in 2019 so far, and “Archangel” with AKOV helps to inch the album out that much farther. It is a must must must cop.
Surrender is out now on Othercide Records on Beatport exclusive and will be released worldwide on February 22. Some singles like “Shadows,” “Dark Days,” “Nothing Lasts Forever” and the album’s title track can be streamed on YouTube or Soundcloud.