TFword Review: Easy’s Debut Album ‘After Dark’

With artists like Alix Perez, Netsky, Bredren, Murdock, Larigold, Hiraeth, Lavance and many others, Belgium is easily one of the powerhouses of modern-day drum & bass.

Steadily joining this distinguished list of beat-smiths is Antwerp-based producer, Marnix Steel aka Easy. A self taught musician with a keen interest in music since his adolescent years, Marnix was introduced to electronic music in the mid-90s.

However, Easy’s first encounter with drum & bass in 1996 when he heard A Guy Called Gerald’s ‘Silent Cry’ which eventually compelled him to enter the studio and start making music. Easy was also an active part of the Belgian drum & bass with regular appearances at the best clubs in the country until his hiatus from music altogether.

After a decade-long pause, Easy made a comeback in 2017 to release his first ever piece of music on Influence Records. Since then, he has made released his music on Goldfat Records, Midas Touch Recordings, and pyxis’ Beats In Mind with a majority of his music coming on Influence. After making an appearance on Influence Records on their ‘Diaries From Detroit City’ compilation, he has now returned to the label for his debut album called ‘After Dark’. The 17-track album from the Belgian producer is an ode to his influences which have ranged across many genres and styles over the years.

The ‘After Dark’ LP begins with a deep and moody intro called ‘The Beginning’ which sets the tone for what’s to come. The comes ‘Burt Bacharach’ which is a melancholic slice of DnB with gloomy vocal samples that are perfect for a rainy day listen. ‘The Pretender’ raises the intensity of the album with a high-syncopated tune that is wrapped around shimmering synths and cinematics.

‘By Your Side’ changes the tempo of the album with a melodic and hybrid offering from Easy; and ‘Always Ready’ wastes no time in bringing the album’s pulsation back up with a deep and gritty Dnb cut. ‘To Be Free’ with its charged up nature demonstrates the album’s roller-coaster journey while ‘Lovelee Dae’, ‘Anything’ bring Easy’s House music influences on the table.

‘Meridian’ once again, brings the album back up to its melancholic narrative. ‘Symfony’ raises the temperature of the ‘After Dark’ journey with its deep, dark and sharp structures. Title track does justice to the name with its intensely growing and dramatic beats. ‘Saturday’ bring a delightful harmony of emotional drum & bass with a heavy flavor. ‘Break 10.3’ is the last tune before the albums signals its departure with ‘Interlude Dub’ which is a slow burning tune followed by ‘Step In To The Light’ which brings the album to a close with beautifully constructed sonics that are crafted with care and precision.

Buy/Stream ‘After Dark’ – HERE

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