Listencorp review image of symbiosis by underkind




Liam Murphy

May 1, 2020

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Underkind begins Symbiosis with a vocal sample that lashes out across an emerging atmosphere. Ominous piano begins to trickle in…

Underkind begins Symbiosis with a vocal sample that lashes out across an emerging atmosphere. Ominous piano begins to trickle in alongside percussion that sounds as if someone is knocking more and more frantically against the walls of a slowly shrinking space. A bass cuts through everything, huge and commanding. It wipes the mix completely clean, allowing for the bass to hit once again now backed up by heavily industrious drum sequences. The sweep of the bassline is huge, with every instance it seems to scan the stereo field like some great amorphous machine. Soul-inspired vocal samples echo quietly in the background, restricted by the heavily sinister atmosphere.

Big Apple brings jungle samples to the forefront as swift drum patterns scatter. The tightness of this initial loop helps Underkind to deliver more of a big hit when bringing the heavier elements into the mix. A bassline throbs uncontrollably, only just restrained by a recurring bass drum. The track stays mainly percussive, save for a winding tune in the more hard-hitting sections and string that drawls eerily in the quieter parts.

Heavily distorted bass pushes intricate percussion to one side at the beginning of The Radar. As the bass moves closer to the listener one can hear a certain dynamic in the tempo. The track moves incredibly fast, but a slower rhythm can be found at the half tempo. Something about the structure of the song accentuates that slower rhythm more so than the other tunes. The instrumentation falls away, allowing a short gap for a spoken word sample before the bass drops another level, shaking the foundation of the track. From here, the track is seared by this bassline, voices echo out against the surface of the rumbling noise. Underkind toys with the listener for the entirety, dropping the percussion out twice forcing the bassline to the front of the mix as it hits with this laser-powered energy.

Harder hears vocal samples stretch out far away from the listener as contrasting jungle samples steal the narrative of the track from each other. Everything sways in this exotic heat, the jittering delay of the voices. The alluring vocal sample rings out as another huge bassline drops in. The textures that Underkind is able to create are astounding, they retain that heavy, scratchy jungle quality but exercise this slick beauty at the same time. This track clearly pulls inspiration from the own artist’s travels around Asia. The snake-like sound of a flute appearing like whisps of smoke, the voice that laments so expertly placed within the mix.

Underkind delivers 4 huge tracks in this EP, hitting the listener in slightly contrasting ways. The slickness of each excursion results in an incredibly enjoyable listening experience, and conjures visions of a smokey dance floor deep in the UK’s often mystic suburban scenes.