‘[Unsocial]’ is the brand-new LP dropping from drum & bass producer Audio, a name which sent shockwaves across the community when it was announced he’d signed to influential imprint RAM Records. But his fifth album ‘[Unsocial]’ goes further than the sounds he’s cultivated over decades and instead sees him dig even deeper into what is at his core as an artist.
After feeling a certain amount of pressure which came through writing big tracks of a certain style, the ongoing pandemic has helped him elevate himself out of the pigeonhole he’d found himself in whilst keeping him planted at his roots. With the world going into lockdown, he felt a pressure release, not being so reliant on music financially, especially the type of music he’d written to get the best reactions whilst playing out. But after the DJing disappeared, it became more about what he wanted to focus on artistically. It wasn’t until he was out of the other side, producing back at home and away from dancefloors he came to realize the love had been squeezed out of his work. Something which returned with the creation of his forthcoming LP ‘[Unsocial].’
Covid provided Audio with a reset as survival mode kicked in and he started to dismantle the stereotype of his artist name. An unforeseen consequence of the world’s changing face saw him fall in love with drum and bass again, washing away the complacency and leaving him no longer feeling boxed in by his position. Now there was no question about whether exploring a more expansive path would affect bookings, and he certainly didn’t want to repeatedly produce another ‘Headroom,’ but still wanted to continue the hardstyle he was renowned for. The voice he thought he’d forgotten he now found with ‘[Unsocial]’ and it felt like a similar homecoming to the conception of his legendary album on Virus Recordings, ‘Genesis Device’.
Tracks like ‘Lost’ stand out on the LP. It was a record that described the start of his transition and the realization that after three or four months, the pressure was releasing, starting to drip away. During the initial stages of the first lockdown, he did feel lost, questioning what was going to happen next. Although on consideration, it wasn’t the ideal situation, Audio was able to adapt and overcome. And the product was the freedom in the music, something which came out the other side with ‘[Unsocial].’
An example of the album’s versatility comes through ‘Lost,’ a homage to the old, dark two-step garage sound. It demonstrates how the album covers influences from across his life and different genres, almost as if someone else was chronicling it. With ‘[Unsocial]’ coming together quickly, it was a good sign he’d caught magic, garnering the essence of the project straight away, which helped to highlight how special this album really was.
Meanwhile, ‘Yellow Was the Light’ and ‘Fool’s Paradise’ represented the embracing of new freedom, which was invigorating for Audio’s journey throughout the making of ‘[Unsocial].’ Both selections stand as a celebration, one which saw him jump back into the same timeline as his family, it flipped the situation in his mind. It was as if previously he’d been in lockdown, unable to reach the inspiration which family life now offered him.
With more music still to be uncovered, ‘[Unsocial]’ is the fruits of Audio’s labour after two years in the pandemic world. It takes its listener on a journey through everything he loves about drum & bass. It’s homegrown, personal, and organic, even down to Audio generating its artwork; the LP came out of no necessity and under no contracts, instead one track led into the next until it was finalized. All coming from the same place and creating an album in the fullest sense. A listening experience and a voyage, ‘[Unsocial]’ is the next stage in Audio’s progression – finding a home once more in the catalogue of RAM Records, nearly thirty years in the game.