London Nebel – The End Time Pirates – A Mini Review
While their influences and productions were originally rooted in hip hop, as can be seen in the Idle Warship remix we shared with you a few months ago, the production duo of London Nebel is much more concerned with dirty beats, heavy bass, and synth experimentation and manipulation. Donnie Digital and Nasty Fingers are the individual producers who teamed up to create London Nebel, one of the most powerful dubstep acts in based in Germany and to be found throughout Europe. These well established and deeply experienced artists are continually driven to create and innovate from their inherent passion for music making, or, as these electronic assassins put it for making, “music for the sake of music.” Though they fully pour themselves into everything they create, this passion is most strongly felt on their original works. Now, with years of production experience behind them, London Nebel has released a six track EP packed full with originals and oozing in bass. Our biggest supporters in Germany were kind enough to send along a copy of The End Time Pirates for us to review; check out our thoughts and then head over to their Facebook page to to grab a free copy for yourself!
The End Time Pirates has something of a dubby influence. This is felt pretty immediately with the free EP’s opening track, “Unnormal.” However, and fitting with the track’s title, this is not any kind of typical dub stepper. While the keys and sampling of the intro carry a bit of a Caribbean vibe, the breakstep percussion line, reversed and doubled up synths, and the occasional clubby, screaming lead synth make for an experimental take on otherwise standard sounds. More than anything else, London Nebel lets you know that the bass tones on this EP are deep and unrelenting.
Nebel’s second track on this free release is again aptly named. “Awesome” quite accurately describes the entirety of this tune. Packed with samples, most of which the German twosome create themselves, lively synths, and an upbeat melody, this track is a bit of a departure from the first. While full and thoughtful piano work are signature strokes in the intro and outro of “Awesome,” everything in between is full speed ahead. Fairly minimal when it comes to bass and percussion, these four minutes are a showcase of London Nebel’s synthicianship. Unfortunately, the clip below is much too short to feature any of the outro which has to be a favorite aspect to this absolute neck snapper.
This EP’s middle track, “Angry Birds,” is without a doubt one of the most impressive tunes included on this compilation of originals. A spacious and plodding intro that features an excellent buildup and fake out will leave you totally unprepared for the monstrously low decibel bass drop that is to follow. While impressive lead sounds and sampling draw one’s attention, this track is all about the low end. A true bass bomber with deadly effects and filtering will leave you floored. London Nebel reaches deep and hits hard with “Angry Birds,” a perfect accompaniment for destroying pigs, rescuing eggs, and mastering the physics of a slingshot.
“The Captain” is yet another drastic change of pace. The heaviest track on the EP puts filthy, fully grimed out bass hits at center stage. By slowing things down and allowing for more open space, Nebel proves that they can still put together a fierce beat. While some playful and well placed variety change things up toward the end, this tune is dominated by droning bass elements and sounds that are very well at home at the low end of the sound spectrum. Otherwise, this track is remarkable for its channeling. Bright sounds that sharply contrast with the rest of this tune’s dark demeanor take great fun in alternating between your right and left speaker while your sub continues to rumble away.
“ATGSITLFTB,” though not a true to form remix, borrows from N.E.R.D’s “Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom),” a song about cocaine that was more popular on the right side of the Atlantic. However, in London Nebel’s tune, the girls in question are standing in line for the bass drop. As one would imagine, this track is primarily concerned with bass bombs. Executed nicely, “ATGSITLFTB” is thick with bass, but not so much as to be overmodulated or overbearing. Though relying heavily on vocal sampling, this track is otherwise an excellent balance of beats, bass, and space.
For The End Time Pirates London Nebel saved the best for last. In this reviewers opinion, “Fear My Thoughts” is the most rememberable selection from this free EP; this is not a slight however, as this release is quite exceptional throughout. Featuring Dorincourt, “Fear My Thoughts” wraps these three words around sharp synth stabs, wild leads, and a tight melody. Nebel is truly on point with this piece of production. A simple but powerful beat drives on a bassy synth masterpiece. Loud leads counteract mean arps, some tricky wobbles, deep bass licks, yois, full keys, and the occasional 8-bit bridge. All this is sandwiched around a simple vocal line that is chopped and placed to maximum effectiveness. While the entire EP is very worth obtaining, this track in particular is something you cannot get along with without owning in full, especially if you have the headphones or sound system to do this slice of synth heaven justice.
For a release that is available entirely for free The End Time Pirates is surprisingly strong. To grab a copy of your own all you have to do is throw a “Like” in the direction of the guys’ facebook page. Will you be among the more than one thousand who have already downloaded London Nebel’s latest?
For a bonus, here’s London Nebel’s quick tour promo video. The audio track is “Unnormal” and gives you a look the production duo’s cramped but impressive studio space.