Celebrating their first Octave One album in seven years, the Burden brothers have delivered an eleven-track LP which channels the energy of their notorious live shows, packing the punch that they are known to unleash on crowds around the world.
If you’ve ever been to see Octave One live, the first thing that hits you is the rock-solid kick, so crisp it whips against the eardrum. Secondly, is the wall of sound, the acid-tinged layers of entangled synth patterns, musically reminiscent of the wires visibly poking from the Burdens’ hardware, closely resembling the cockpit of a spaceship.
Burn It Down opens with ‘Eighth Wonder’ in this very fashion, immediately asserting itself with a dominant kick before a sinister synth riff lets you know they mean business with this record. It’s a meaty track, which sets the pace and energy for much of the remainder of the record.
‘Jazzo/Lose Myself’ comes in equally as hard, however the vocal appearance of Anne Saunderson infuses the track with soul, while rasping loose hi-hats provide a more housey feel than the harsh opener. Ensuring the energy is retained, ‘Afterglow’ sinks even deeper, a bass line big enough to buckle knees, as the tech-house beat ploughs on.
One of our highlights, ‘A Better Tomorrow’ sees the mood taken down a little, the beat becomes softer and a ponderous riff pushes through the freed space. One of two tracks featuring under the Random Noise Generation alias (used with their fellow Burden brothers Lorne, Lynell and Lance as revolving members), the plucked melodies relay an emotional depth to the otherwise enormous dancefloor stompers.
Another highlight, ‘Believer’, demonstrates a different side to Octave One. The huge uplifting house boasts bright stoccato synth stabs, reminiscent of Gold Panda, as the dreamy vocals give the track a summery edge. With tracks like this, the album achieves an interesting dynamic, advertising the Burden brothers as the musicians they are, with wider scope than the techno they’re known for. This depth comes across especially on ‘Whatever She Wants’, a softer track still, with its warm chord progression making it a perfect festival drop.
Towards the end of the record the pace picks up again, aggressive tracks like ‘Return Of Juno’ delivering more of the clattering, undying fuel that Octave One are renowned for in a club setting. It’s this that gives the album its edge. The tracks are arranged and produced well, but there remains an element of their live energy. Some of the tracks sound like jams, in a good way, and to the very last beat, you’re left nodding like Churchill.
Burn It Down LP is released on 26th May via 430 West. Catch Octave One this Saturday, at our Bristol day party with Just Jack down in Motion’s Crane Yard!