‘Dogma’ from Simula is the drum & bass producer’s debut album, and it's a trip through soundscapes from, in his words, the “creative chasm”, which Laura Jones reviews.
Having kicked off his journey as a standout part of the underground drum & bass world, Simula soon earned crossover status with ‘You and I’ alongside Bru-C, which stacked up over 100 million streams and won major tastemaker support.
It’s now ‘Dogma’, released on Friday, 21st April that will develop his next chapter, and it’s a dark amalgamation of the techniques and skills he’s honed, without foregoing tracks that will satisfy those looking for more melodic hooks. Having already set a benchmark with single ‘Colourblind’ ft. Embr, it is an uplifting hands in the air moment but not saccharine sweet. Staccato strings add bite, and Embr’s breathy delivery echoes through the beats that expertly balances with the rest of the album.
Singles ‘Menace’, ‘Scarab’ and ‘Macabre’ are joined by new LP offering ‘Basilisk’, all bristling with glitches and peppered with disembodied voices dishing out such wisdom as “truth is a menace”. It’s a dark, sci-fi mood, feeling almost like transmissions from another planet, that reference the origins of the techstep style of drum & bass yet are firmly facing forward.
Single ‘Process’ ft. Makism features the MC reflecting on creativity and the grind. ‘Attack Mode’ is a roller with a slew of robotic bleeps, and ‘Obscure’ with dubby vocal samples. ‘Angels’ opens out into a lusher soundscape with its soulfulness, whilst ‘Cold Shoulder is a steppa with minimal lyrics used like percussion.
There are the new stomping riddims of ‘Gutter’; twisted note patterns of ‘Running Out’ which features vocals with a 90s-rave feel, and ‘Tension’ with its gripping atmospherics. Together, its an album that shows a breadth of influences and styles. The (almost) all one-word titles sync with the monochrome artwork and presents a confident debut that feels uncluttered and alive with purpose.
With album showcases and parties slated for London, Bristol and Brighton, you can catch Simula show why he's one to watch.
For more information on how to get tickets head over to Simula's Instagram.