By: Anand Harsh
In keeping with his theme about the liminal space between waking life and sleep, the new LUZCID release, HYPNAGOGIA, advances the narrative that many in the bass community hold true—that Neil Berry is the next big thing.
Of course, those who have seen him live, either on his massive tour with Shlump and Tsuruda early last year, or at many a summer festival, already done been on that LUZCID train. Hell, they're riding shotgun and packing that stove with clean coal. Some may have even caught his surprise set in the VIP area of Electric Forest weekend one, where Liquid Stranger allotted half his time to Berry in a show of generosity that seems to say, “Yeah, this kid's got it.”
Martin Stääf has been an early adopter of LUZCID's sound, finally getting the opportunity to release Berry's latest studio effort on his own Wakaan label last week. If HYPNAGOGIA must be measured alongside the rest of the Wakaan flock, ranging from Yheti and Toadface on the weird end, to Shlump and Stranger himself on the heavy end, the 5-track EP leans more towards the heavy side.
Opener “Blow Up” and “Gotcha” are more of your traditional hybrid trap tunes, even with the former's drum and bass breakdown, but LUZCID's weird is definitely showing on “Microphone Check.” It wouldn't surprise me if “Push Em Up” got some crossover plays from your Datsik, Protohype, or other Firepower Records type acts, as well.
Funny enough, the thing that put LUZCID on the radar for so many bassheads was his collab with their lord and savior Bassnectar on “Science Fiction.” For fans who were looking for a studio-type Lorin Ashton sound from Neil Berry will be pleasantly surprised but totally shocked by the multiple heavy looks they get from this record. The closest thing they're going to find to a Nectar-type tune is “Reminisce,” which vacillates between this pretty, glittery sound to some overpowering synth bass blasts.
If all you've heard to this point is one of LUZCID's mixes, which are fantastic I should say, you're ready to jump into a fully forged, mature sound from a young artist on the rise. Liquid Stranger might be dubbing Neil Berry as the next big thing, but we're right behind him in that assertion.
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