TFword Review: Friction’s Second Album ‘After Dark’

We will take a closer look into DnB legend Friction’s second studio album titled ‘After Dark,’ released last week on his Elevate Records label.

One of the reasons why drum & bass is at the pinnacle of electronic music is Friction. Rising steadily through the ranks since the 1990s as arguably the most ferocious DJ/producer in the scene, Friction has pioneered drum & bass for over three decades. 

Starting his production ventures in 1998, the Brighton-based DJ made his debut release, ‘Critical Mass,’ under the stage name KinnetixThanks to his ferocious production abilities, he was snapped up by respected players like Valve, Tru Playaz, Trouble On Vinyl, 31 Records, Hospital, Charge, and Renegade Hardware until Friction started his own label in 2004. 

Fast forward to 2022, Friction’s Shogun Audio imprint is one of the most important label of the genre, pushing forward-thinking music with releases. Taking his love for the dancefloor to the next level, Friction ventured into other genres of bass music and started two more labels called Elevate Records and Maraki Records (his venture with My Nu Leng), all while being a proud host of BBC Radio 1’s weekly drum & bass show for four years.

While having seminal releases on every major label in drum & bass, what sets Friction apart are his unmistakable DJ sets. Known for his roaring double and triple drop style of DJing, Friction has turned nearly the biggest of venues upside down during his piercing DJ sets.

Featuring his dancefloor-focused drum & bass, the legendary DJ and producer has dropped his long, long anticipated second studio album,’ After Dark,’ which is now out on his Elevate Records imprint. This album comes four years after his first in 2018, and like the first one, there are only hits and no misses in ‘After Dark.’

Pushing boundaries that very few can match up to, Friction has dropped a 14-track album that reflects the sound he has been endorsing for over three decades. Bright and danceable with elements of his love for dynamic drum & bass, the album is a complete powerhouse. 

‘After Dark’ begins with the richness of Poppy Baskcomb’s powerful vocals on ‘I Need To Feel.’ Next is ‘Remember,’ featuring mountainous peaks that are laid out ever-so-smartly. For the next one, Friction has teamed up with Pola & Bryson for a tight and gritty number called ‘Into The Night.’

A Little Sound who has been a regular on Friction’s Shogun Audio label, gives her bubbly vocals on ‘Weed & Wine’ to make for the perfect couch DnB tune. ‘Sun Comes Up’ follows its previous tune’s lead with Poppy Baskcomb making her second appearance, but this time for a more high-octane journey than the album’s opening tune. 

With ‘Good To Me’ and ‘Euphoria,’ Friction raises the decibel levels of the album before we land on the enterprising and rolling sounds of the title track. ‘To The Full’ and ‘Supersonic’ offer the perfect warm-up for rip-roaring sounds of ‘Electricity’ featuring K Motionz, our favorite from the album. ‘Believer’ and ‘Falling Down’ play the curtain-closing role before the Friction ends the album with the blazing and powerful tune ‘Your Love.’

‘After Dark,’ with its rave-heavy, synth-blazed sounds, has doubled down on why Friction is the undisputed king of dancefloor-focused drum & bass. 

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