Updated: Apr 14, 2019
SA0090 - Nova - Nova EP
Welcome back to the Cartel's very own home resource of bass weight and sub-low frequencies. Today we will be reviewing an EP doing the rounds from none other than Substantial Audio, the label has been active and moving strong for the last three years with previous releases from Reaction, The Cosmos, Aki, B-Say and many more, and are moving forward again by bringing through another producer on the next wave of up and coming dubstep production.
Before we crack straight on with getting deep into this EP, lets take a look at Nova’s previous history as a producer. He represents an ever-growing and currently strong youth culture within Dubstep, really taking the scene by storm at the age of 16/17. Nova has now released content on many major up and coming kingpins in the dubstep community including the label 'Monsters' with his 'Interterrestrial EP' as well as single releases and free downloads through Too Much Collective, Abysmal Entities, Shitty War Dubs & More – all before he can legally step foot in a club. And that's not even mentioning his heavyweight release alongside Repulsion on Vinyl Vigilance (check out the Juan review on that if you haven't already) The Nova EP, released on the 28th of September, as an entire unit of sound really unifies all the stylistic qualities in Nova’s sound, showing how it can be twisted and turned from track to track, highlighting the versatility of the young producer. The EP kicks into 1st gear with a track entitled 'Firepower'. This is one of those tracks in the dance that puts you into one of those automatic gun finger situations, so in short the track truly lives up to its name. With slightly swung and off beat movements layered with tight LFO’d Subs and bass synthesisers to what I guessed was some sort of ¾ Time Signature or similar (which really brings the track alive with a sense of a real sound value) instead of everything being robotic and quantised to a beat. Trust me from a producers point of view, it’s a very hard challenge to accomplish creating any off-beat structure, it takes a lot of practice! Topped off with mirrored claps and beautiful delay sequences the track is one I would describe as a movement, the track moves up and down in loudness and layers as you listen, building up to suspense and also giving us those beloved break sections we all adore so much.
Whilst staying in the same realm of darkness we experienced on 'Firepower', 'Circulation' takes an entirely new swing to the sound by Upping The Ante’ in pace and intense percussion, whilst keeping to core sounds of dubstep. This track gives us that double time feel you would usually find in other 140 styles like Grime, UK Funky and Garage. The tracks gloomy ambience kind of makes you wonder if this kind of sound was the result of a Peverelist and Burial sound baby, but as creative’s our imaginations can run a little erm, high. All together this track shows that Nova is not just lurking in the corners of Dubstep scared to venture out, but moving in and around the spectrum into other arena’s of sound, and isn’t afraid to cook up all sorts of productions.
'Tiger Ambush' rolls through with a lot more mid range power than the last two tracks, really pushing LFO driven low frequency wobbles paired nicely with mid-range layers; my favourite element of this track being the eerie horror movie pads screaming through the back layers of the percussion and hats. Definitely one for the smoking crew, I see you with your heads in the speaker stacks. The limiters on this EP are about to get pushed just one more notch. “Monsterz” follows suit in the sounds we experienced from “Tiger Ambush”. Driving a heavy use of warm distortion and twisted samples a little bit more than the rest of the release, Nova creates a rising quality to the EP which you notice as you listen to the release back to front. This track is as weighty as you could ask for, 'Monsterz' really compliments the tribal feel of the entire EP and launches it in your face with volume and width and as a final track it really cements Nova's on-going adventure exploring every nook and cranny of the 140 spectrum, and is constantly searching for new elements to support his sound.
This EP is an journey through yet another young UK production talent who has entered the scene on a high. Nova is slowly becoming a figure head to show other young producers that yes, at a young age there are limitations we have no control of, but there are more than enough ways round to avoid them and still push your creative craft. Within music culture it is often the youth that drives progress and experimentation, and being a part of sound system culture we welcome all types of weird and wonderful sounds that develop from these young minds. The Nova EP is an incredible release, and for only four quid you can cop this gem from Substantial Audio and support the up and coming producers of our sound. SDLR out, Juan Love.