Lasting in a climate where dubstep has come and gone, techno is flooding clubs and dance culture has expanded, it would be an achievement for Chase & Status to be producing albums that still fit with the times. On their new album, individual tracks sound like true contenders in grime and dance, but the genre-hopping that happens on What Came Before makes it hard to keep up with what Chase & Status want to achieve with this record.
Pushing for that moment of euphoria only found between sweaty dancing bodies, the duo’s opener ‘Don’t Be Scared’ is an explosion of acid, jungle, and drum and bass. Hearing the warped melodies and squelchy bass brings a smile to your face as you’re reminded of the era in which Chase & Status first hit the scene. ‘Censor’ goes as hard as ‘Hold Your Ground’ goes soft. Throwing in a ballad in the mix alongside some dubby dance as you’re still trying to recover from a hard-hitting grime track does make your head spin.
Being genreless is becoming more and more popular as music evolves and seeing Chase & Status undefined by dance, jungle or D&B is refreshing. They still capture the dancefloor energy that has been their brand since 2003. They hit a stride with the final trio of tracks as they focus on their speciality, D&B, starting with ‘Consciousness’, bounces along with tight beats, carving out a futuristic cyberpunk soundscape.
It may feel like more of a mixtape, but the lack of cohesiveness on What Came Before can be forgiven. Chase & Status remind you of the true dance and D&B legends they are, with tracks worthy of any dancefloor interspersed between furious grime and vicious jungle.
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