Observing their tenth anniversary together, British bass music duo Chase & Status deliver their third album with Brand New Machine, one that encompasses many different subgenres of electronic music.
The group may have caught the attention of today’s younger EDM generation thanks to the Skrillex remix of “International”, released both as a single and a bonus track for this LP. But truth-by-told, their original version trumps it by far, with an unapologetic dancehall riddim and origianl rudebwoy bass, no dubstep. Again on “Machine Gun”, Pusha T’s appearance grabs your attention, but their flawless meshing of trap, drum-&-bass, and hip-hop lyrics are really what make this one stand out.
Sticking to tradition, songs like “Count On Me” and “Deeper Devotion” are classic, piano driven house, while the the more subdued “Blk & Blu” is a thoughtful, somber vocal collaboration with Ed Thomas. They hit the nail on the head here, but then the album struggles to find its groove, travelling in and out of different styles. Its Major Lazer collab, “Pressure” is decent, but pales in comparison to the aforementioned “International”. Breathy vocal driven tracks like “What Is Right” or the overly thugged out “Gangsta Boogie” seem like they don’t belong on the same album, while some of the drum-&-bass tracks (“Breathing”) just kind of….exist. “Alive”, however, ends things on a higher note, despite sounding a bit like their version of Rudimental’s “Feel The Love”.
With Brand New Machine, Chase & Status have delivered an album that sticks closely to their roots, yet follows the same guest-heavy blueprint of their last LP, No More Idols. While they show a diverse palette of sounds and styles here – particularly impressing us on how easily they adapted to newer sounds like trap – the end result is a full-length album that feels just a bit uneven.
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