2 Bit Crew - Danske Byer (2 Bit Crew Recordings, 2020)
Progression and melodic perfection collide once more as the Bit Crew serve up yet another dazzling display of tender yet powerful beats.
Some certainly do have a knack for infusing dynamics with musical structure. It was a ideal that first became popular within the late 80s and 90s, where producers would craft soundscapes in which the manner that rhythmic patterns and melodic features would wrap themselves around each other, creating sequences that flowed between one another instantly. For club orientated music, it became almost the norm, with dancers constantly refreshed by music that morphed and responded to their rhythms as much as they responded to the beat. As a formula, there was little there that didn't work, and it would find itself being used within countless genres that spanned across the spectrum. Its perhaps the spacious, interwoven and cosmic landscapes of techno and deep house that we saw the most bountiful expression of these ideals, which would only continually developing year upon year. Techno began its journey very much rooted in these ideals, where extremely dynamic beats were laid under a sea of vast and spacious chord structures. The concept would certainly change within its first few years, and whilst the genre flowed into areas where the beat became the main draw, house borrowed much and began its own take on the complex dynamic driven sound that had adhered techno to the world. The ingredients to this has very much born fruit in the contemporary dance music scene, in particular a few hot beds around the world that have crafted their own unique and invigorating vision. Not settling on just a few releases that celebrate these notions of dynamics and energy, these producers and scenes have channelled it into all aspects of their musical outputs, using the essence as a guide to crafting their own unique blend of dynamism and sound. As a result, we start to get drawn into their world, a landscape filled with expanse and pleasure, where our emotions are set into hyper drive by the swirling rhythms that run through the rivers and keep the trees alive. Its that kind of bountiful atmosphere that keeps us going, our energies maintained through a series of drums and keys that combine together so effortlessly into something new, something fresh, something intrinsic.
The Danish dance music scene has been doing some serious bits in the past few years, and that success and admiration has been formed by the people who inhibit that musical environment. Two Bit Crew, a duo made up of C.K and Optic_, are at the beating heart of all that is making the scene such a creatively thriving and cutting edge place to be. Whilst both have released some stellar EPs as individuals, there is no denying the brilliance of when they combine forces as the 2 Bits, a grouping that focuses primarily on all facets of house music. The music found within their discography is one of connected feels and ideals, with a underlying sense of emotive and rhythmic progression found within all of their music, and its absolutely brilliant. To take a stroll back in time through their releases is to experience and witness the very best aspects that house has churned out through the years, with each record serving up some new take on the genre that is as bold as it is interchangeable. The soaring chords of 90s deep house, the fast paced tempo of the beats, the progressive nature that seeps through everything, it all comes together so sweetly and perfectly through a visionary channelling by the producers, as they leave their mark on the music and the listener. Its hard to pick favourites here, as there is so much joy to get from their work, but some Endless Grooves faves include their 'Untitled' EP from 2014; the gorgeous 'Untitled' EP from 2015; the superbly ethereal 'Your Sun Belongs To Me', from 2016; the Beaty enriching workout that is 'Hoop Dreams', from the same year; and their last EP, the evocative 'Working Distance', from 2017. The three year gap since the last 2 Bit release has left many yearning for more, and if you stuck with their work up until that point, its easy to see why. No one quite does the beauty that can be found in modern day house quite like 2 Bit, their blend of impeccably delivered tones and chordal arrangements make you feel very much within their world. Its perhaps the masterful execution of their vision that comes across the most, you really do give into their world, their sound, due to their control over their musical aspirations for this project being so clear. There is always room to move, always space to occupy, and the Bit Crew pull it off with gusto, and then some. Seriously, check their works out!
So now we arrive at their latest offering, 'Danske Buyer', that comes out on their own imprint. For all those yearning and craving for more from the duo, this record goes above and beyond expectations in every shape of the word. From the opening chordal structure, you are immediately hooked into a swirling vortex of pleasure and progression, a short but very very sweet ride through the world of evocative and punchy house music. A tour de force, a triumph, and everything in between. So lets take a dip.
Up first comes the title track, and we jump right in feet first. The filtered chords dance around with each other, their relationship established from the off, as the beat looks to join hands with them as we move through into the core groove. The drums begin to push through slightly with the repeating cymbal, as quiet vocals shine through over the evolving keys and cymbals (apparently its Timeman!), with ourselves feeling more and more drawn to the power of it all. The track laid bare its initial progressions at the beginning, and the wheel keeps turning, the drums utilised as a subtle facilitator in the movements through sequences. A key solo then emerges on top, to add this delicate touch to all the weighty goodness that resides underneath. The track remains relentless in its pursuit, never once loosing sight of its end goals of whipping us into a euphoric state, pounding in our hearts and our minds. Class. Up next comes 'Dub', and we open our eyes to an ethereal plain. The warm and vibrant pads greet us with open arms, their presence spread right across the horizon line, as suitably soft drums gradually build beneath. Then, at just the right moment, the kick joins in on the fun, moving the track from its hazy state and into one focused on the movement of the dance. The chords keep the emotive burn going, their soft sway breezing on top of the razor sharp beats, which take time out to allow us to reconnect with the chords. The sharp transitions between melodic passages and full on beat excursions is so well planned and considered, with the hi hat moving into view during one of these transitions. The song is now in full flow, with our minds fully on board with all that it has to offer, as we place ourselves right in the middle of this sea of beauty. The way the tune weaves, as if conducted by the ebbs and flows of life itself, is something to behold, and this filters through every aspect of the track, from the pounding bass to the subtle melodies. Glorious.
To finish up, we have 'Spencer', and there is one final chance to give us just that little bit more. The tune begins in a suitably groovy place, the drumming patterns up front and pulsating, as we await for more elements to come in and join around it. From the distance, the key sequence chimes into view, as the two join forces to bring that formula together once more. As the track hits its stride, its truly glorious to inhibit the spaces between the notes and the beats, their hypnotic quality doing a number over us totally. The first break down really draws you closer, the bass line that has supported it all moves away then pushes back in with all its might, the full force of it being felt through every single facet of the track. The tune moves once more into a less dense field of vision, where the drums fall away and give over a new kind of vibe, and from there the tune builds its way up again. Its that kind of self-reflection and construction that makes this EP so special, the ability to move through the lines and sequence everything to a T crafts an experience that feels wonderfully linked together. We very much give ourselves over, as we get immersed and lost within it all.
Over three cuts, 2 Bit Crew really do compose themselves extremely well indeed. Flowing between the straight up and the ethereal with ease, it charts new territories and touches on previous glories, whilst we remain transfixed by all the goodness that swells deep within these fine pieces of music. The progressions, transitions and movements from one structure to the next might just be the smoothest and most beautifully considered of the year. Dynamism never felt so compelling or rewarding. Superb.
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