Foundation Audio had its first steps in the industry, emerging from the depths of gloomy, industrial 2013 dubstep, first investing in sharp and heavy catalogue of free downloads and compilations for Bristol’s underground scene. With their first physical release in 2016 FA established its consequent presence in the world of 140 music. In those years, the label expanded into more instrumental, dubwise form, collecting together elements of powerful, rhythmic dubstep soaked in echoing melodicas, saxophones and vocals. The evolution of their style is certainly present on their third physical outing, where Foundation Audio returns with three dubwise productions by their long time contributor – DTR (David Roesler), all wrapped and refined with iconic mastering by Beau Thomas at Ten Eight Seven.
The record starts with spacious stabs and dominant punchy kick that reminds us about its dance floor purpose. “First Rhythm” is a slow pacing stepper, sprinkled with feathery bright hats. The bare structure leaves plenty of space for delaying melodies and reverberant horns that wander around the stereo field. Vocal, pitched unusually low, tells us about the methods of creating dub mixes. Some may find it too unnatural, however contributing to the overall character of the track, swinging between peaceful and dark.
The B-side opens with collaboration between DTR and Bukkha. “Between The Lions” represents a genuine dub style sound, recreating characteristics of live recording. The natural sound of saxophone, guitars, melodicas and drums is maintained due to reserved use of delays, that at occasional occurrence emphasise attributes of performance. B2 is a sentimental return to FA018, this time twisted in a minimal, underwater wobblage. In the remix of “Walls Of Babylon” Akcept adds movement to the original through his signature, fast oscillation in the low bass. With huge focus on the low frequencies, producer sends everything else into phantasmagoric echo: showing the original in a completely different angle, while retaining the linearity of its foundation.
FAV003 stands out from the label’s catalogue so far as the most melodic and harmonious release. By doing so DTR repeated his efforts from FA018, pushing its sound into strong dub influence. Although remaining in quantised frames of sturdy kicks and snares, it brings the rhythmical, dance driven dynamics of previous releases.