If you covered your eyes before listening, you’d think this is the work of veterans like Noisia, Enei, or Icicle – not a pair of relative newcomers in Shyun & Cruk. The two Critical Music sensations have officially joined forces, making their debut release as Fade Black.

The Condemned EP demonstrates their dynamism with 4 top-shelf sonics. A masterclass in crisp quality production while maintaining the rawness and energy we just love as drum and bass heads.


A cinematic introduction that builds into the eventual ‘whomp’ of bass, the title track ‘Condemned’ jumps straight out of the gate. The arpeggiated noise and percussion that follows is structured at breakneck speeds – put this on a system and you’ll notice the low-end has just as much pace.

Up next we have ‘Sane’ featuring Leo Law. I recently spoke with Halogenix about this one and he gave it very high praise, describing it as “if Disclosure made drum and bass” – hearing these lush chords and strong vocals I would agree. But don’t go looking for it on Top Of The Pops. Fade Black keep it underground with an abrasive, driving bassline and tight, minimal drumwork to match. They certainly avoid any cheesiness here, and keep consistent with the Critical sound.

Leo Law doesn’t hold back either. He flexes a smooth and catchy hook that commands attention throughout the track. Law makes a name for himself on this track – maybe not parallel, but perpendicular to Sam Smith on Disclosure’s breakout hit Latch.

The aptly named ‘Sluggah’ is a stepper with all the elements of a what we love today – a sinister sample, hard-hitting snares, and of course there’s some distorted horns. It’s not just another horn track though, there’s plenty more chops of industrial-grade synth action to experience.

They decide to continue the trend, finishing things off with the final banger ‘RWD’. When I mentioned Noisia in the introduction, this track is mainly what I was referring to. The bass talks in a thick accent, as reverberated keys fade in to complement. Off-kilter percussive hits and samples keep things interesting. RWD is enormous, dramatic, and exceptionally produced.

Their debut EP together as Fade Black will definitely cause rumbles across the D&B scene. DJs; these tracks are locked, loaded, and ready to blast over any club system – also bringing the same intense feeling via. headphones; for the casual heads.

Fade Black should now be on everyone’s radar as the next big thing in bass music. I’m frothing to hear what they have next, and throughout 2020.

The Condemned EP is fresh out today! Purchase your copy here.

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