With five albums and an incredible amount of singles and EPs already to their name, production trio Blu Mar Ten have become one of D&B’s ever present forces since they helped define the sound of the seminal Good Looking Records in the late nineties and through the turn of the millennium. Through the launch of their own label BMT Music in 2009, they defined themselves not only as an incredible production outfit, but also a valuable platform for some of the most experimental, sophisticated and talented producers of the new generation. Today though, we focus on the melodic, classy sound of Blu Mar Ten themselves, with their sixth album, the thirteen track Famous Lost Words, having just been released.
Having long been great proponents of the album format, the trio have a knack of sculpting cohesive and journeying pieces of music that few in d&b seem to possess, treating the medium with the respect it deserves and putting together creations that benefit from their length, rather than simply being a string of individual tracks. Famous Lost Words is no different, their intricately crafted sound and meticulous production skills lending themselves just as well to the smooth atmospherics of Night Shift as they do to the pounding liquid drums and swooping pads of Thin Air and the rugged, mechanical synth bass lines of Holding Pattern for an intensely varied album that’s generally fairly up beat but, like even the most up front of the quality DJs, knows when to step back and let you relax, it’s more energetic side being all the more powerful for it.
As with much of Blu Mar Ten’s material, well chosen vocalist collaborations help take it up a notch to the next level of immersive listening. Robert Manos’ powerful vocals add an extra dimension to Thin Air, an incredibly detailed collaboration with Yosebu where a seemingly never ending variation of rising bass, euphoric synths and twinkling pianos makes for a thoroughly engulfing sound scape. Elsewhere, it seems no coincidence that Agne Genyte’s silky vocals occupy the first, middle and last tracks, her luscious vocal tones helping to set the tone and mood for the album, one that delightfully blends the rough with the smooth for an emotive, and yet tough, style. The difference in her three features also acts as a metaphor for the album’s steady progression, with the opening track Somewhere full of relaxing atmosphere while Break It All Apart progresses in energy, merging an unapologetic jungle break with serene pianos, and In Your Eyes finishes the release off with a tension building cinematic intro before dropping into a heavy amen workout layered thickly with swirling synths and pads.
An album in touch with it’s emotions while never too heavily overcome by them, Blu Mar Ten once again display their prowess for making music capable of morphing to your mind state and blending elements otherwise far removed from each other for tracks that are as interesting to listen to at home as they are engulfing on a dance floor. The album’s namesake particularly stands out in terms of it’s more mellow offerings, a naturally shuffling break and bongo rolls working through tranquil pianos and calm whale song over deep bass keys, while Remembered Her Wrong’s stepping break and robot like bleeps is a solid head nodder and Ariel’s fast drums and juxtaposition of airy atmos and surging bass is bound to get a crowd moving. Yer another top notch offering from the trio that sums up just why their legacy in d&b has proved such a long lasting one, it shows their breadth of skills and accomplished knack of bringing them together into a cohesive tapestry for another exceptional addition to their back catalog. Have a listen to the previews below and head over to their website to pick it up.