“Cosmic Bridge continues its dedication to new talent with “The Gift”, a four-track EP from Oliver Yorke. Since his first release in 2012, Yorke’s output has been minimal but that hasn’t stopped the music from catching the ears of label boss Om Unit. On The Gift, Yorke pulls from travels and visual experiences to deliver a strikingly detailed blend of classic drum & bass and Autonomic vibes that deftly balances mood and energy.
The title track draws from jungle’s storied past – think golden era Metalheadz and Prototype – for a dynamic yet melancholic ride, a sonic image of watching the city wake up in the crisp hues of dawn. Opening with sweeping pads and an ominous vocal sample, the track comes alive with tight drum breaks, repeating snares, resonant, cavernous bass and a simple but captivating progression that brings forth the power of the music. “Silver River” is the soundtrack to Yorke’s attempt to capture a clear picture of the Milky Way, the name a translation of the Chinese word for our galaxy. With a clear nod to the Autonomic school of drum & bass, the track balances a half-time pace with percussive elements, gravelly stabs and soaring melodies to evoke both the excitement of the journey and the grandeur of the sky above us.
The B-side opens with “Ryoan-ji”, inspired by and named after the Zen temple in Kyoto best known for its contemplative dry garden. “Ryoan-ji” emulates the details and intricacies that lie beyond the garden’s seemingly simple surface. The track builds up progressively without any obvious drop structure, carefully adding layers towards a complete sonic picture that asks patience of the listener and rewards them with a gripping ride. The EP closes with “Totem”, inspired by another temple visit this time in Myanmar. Using recordings from the trip – including shimmering bells and a voice – Yorke builds another gentle Autonomic roller that captures the serene and peaceful atmosphere he witnessed, a blissful trip that shies from obvious tropes and instead envelopes the listener in its spiritual experience.
With The Gift Yorke truly captures the cinematic potential of drum & bass, transporting the listener to the places and times he experienced with an astute blend of musicality and sound design. For fans of melodic dance music that can be both emotive and still move a dancefloor, The Gift is sure to be well received.”
1. The Gift
2. Silver River