Few styles of music have the energy of drum and bass, and when used to its full potential it’s a style of music that can raise even the most weary of spirits. As label heads of Breakbeat Kaos, DJ Fresh and Adam F know this better than most, and as well as their own storming music have shown an eye for picking acts for the label too, Pendulum being an obvious example.
The Brookes Brothers are another of those acts, and having been carefully nurtured on the label since their debut in 2007, it is now time for their star to rise. It does so quickly, in the form of an album full of adrenalin shots, sharp beats and bass and gorgeously full bodied orchestration.
Vocal guests are well chosen, particularly the masterstroke of having house music legend Robert Owens on the first track Beautiful, leaving an imprint with its ‘so damn beautiful’ hook as all around it goes crazy. Paperchase capitalises on this high, with Danny Byrd in charge of a vocoded thumper that manages to be catchy as its athletic melody reaches for the skies.
What works really well for The Brookes Brothers here is the overall sound picture, which complements their double quick beats. The warm keys and clipped beats of Last Night are more mellow, looking towards that LTJ Bukem-influenced sound, but Souvenir is like being sprayed in the face with a high pressure jet of water, so immediate is its massive wash of synth sound.
It is clear too that a lot of time has been spent on the album’s structure. Too many albums in the genre get this wrong, going off too quickly with the big weapons and having nothing of real substance as back-up later on. Brookes Brothers get this pretty much right by leaving Daybreak until just before the close, with Tasha Baxter‘s vocal beautifully restrained as yet more keyboard magic is worked around her.
They may not master every element of the styles hanging on to drum and bass here, but The Brookes Brothers have made something very impressive with their self-titled debut. It bursts out of the blocks like a steroid-fuelled sprinter, not setting you down until 45 minutes of high octane, adrenalin-fuelled music have worked you in to a frenzy. And of course, this is exactly what drum and bass music is for.