Fourward - Aftermath EP [APORN029]
Following on from the ballooning success of their last release on AudioPorn – the five-track genre-spanning EP “All That Matters” – Austrian group Fourward are back with another scintillating offering set to cement their rapidly growing reputation as one of the most technically adept quartet of artists working within electronic music today. A set of signature Fourward beats that display in full their fine-tuned, simple-yet-complex approach to music production, with support already from BBC Radio 1Xtra’s head-honcho Crissy Criss and features on Friction’s flagship Radio 1 show, the “Aftermath” EP offers a simultaneous primal funk and sonic expertise sure to dominate airwaves and live events for the foreseeable future.
‘Aftermath (feat. Youthstar)’
‘Aftermath’ is the perfect example of Fourward’s ‘less is more’ approach to tech-funk. Teasing on the precipice of anger, the opening track combines flitting hi-hats and futuristic edits as it builds towards the introduction of Youthstar’s inimitable, towering vocals. ‘Aftermath’ represents an intriguing marriage of the new-age minimal aesthetic with a delicate, bouncing sub-groove that lends the track a clinical yet unassuming edge rarely heard within the neurofunk-aligned sub-genre of Drum & Bass.
‘Streetknowledge’ continues in the relentless vein that Fourward is renowned for. Sweeping dystopian pads and rolling, progressive keys set a reflectively ominous tone. Moving towards its climax, the scattered drum arrangement and precision mid-swipes shatter the air of foreboding as a stepping kick-snare couplet allows the laser-gun funk to dominate, highlighting Fourward’s comfort in meticulous, carefully constructed and deconstructed arrangements.
Not one to rest on their laurels, Fourward flips the script after the lurking, cavernous danger of the opening track with the no-holds-barred immediacy of ‘Mudlark’. Thudding claps and oscillating mid-wave frequencies slowly evolve into an aggressive crescendo laced with Amen rolls, clever vocal edits and swiping samples, displaying the group’s ability to be able to transcend typical genre tropes with consummate ease.
‘Steady State VIP’
With the original having been a constant on BBC Radio 1, at once both tearing up live sets across the land and proving Fourward’s muscular technical proficiency, the group is now ready to drop the VIP to ‘Steady State’. Those familiar plucking keys and spiraling mids return in combination with an interchanging synth arrangement, retaining the wild energy of the former with an enigmatic alternative flourish.