[Review] Noisia – Outer Edges


Ladies and Gentlemen, this album is absolutely spectacular. Yes it’s a lot different from the tracks we know Noisia for, but they haven’t completely deviated from the drum and bass and aggressiveness we are used to. Instead they explored more creative production avenues and ideas with influences from the various experimental bass artists featured on their radio show, adding the Noisia touch. Outer Edges is an 18 track music eargasmic journey that isn’t merely for plain dancing. It’s an album that the listener must take time to enjoy and interact with the structured sound waves that envelope the auditory senses. <br>

This is their follow up album to “Split The Atom”, released a lot earlier than expected due to the album being leaked. Noisia decided to take action immediately prompting the early release. All in all, we are just glad it is out. Let’s take a closer look at the album and explore the mastery that is Noisia.

The opening track of the “Outer Edges”, “The Approach”, is as its name suggests, lets us know that something is coming and that we should brace ourselves. The track has a distinct gaming vibe which is no surprise as Noisia have had the privilege of producing music for video games. They bring in some of that production influence into the intro of their album. Slowing easing us into the next track.

“Anomaly” as we have heard for a while now is one of the best tracks of the album, coming in second. Starting off with a boom and suspense synths. Building up into a killer neuro drop. Aggressive, distorted and wobbly signature Noisia basslines that we love. This track definitely is a crowd pleaser.

Up next is “Collider”. Another track with a suspense-like introduction. This song has a more futuristic vibe to it, drum rolls are not aggressive. It’s not the typical drum and bass loops, it’s a bit more chilled and rock orientated. The different sections of the song gives of a game soundtrack vibe, adding the drama and intensity in some bits, whilst in other breaking into the heavier sounds.

On to “Vigilantes”, this track incorporates some old school hip hop vibes mixed with funk. Soon things evolve into a more edgier sound. The bass drops and we hear one of the first experimental bass tracks of the album from Noisia. They explored different sounds and song structures. Clean cut washy effects. Loving this track.

Coming in next is “Tentacles”. Noisia starts of the track interestingly using a highly synthesized repetition of “tentacles” sample. This is a crowd pleaser, typical drum and bass track I must say. Isn’t my favourite track of the album but it isn’t weak. The basslines are the strength of the track, which is an obvious trait of any dnb track. I just felt the song could have had something more.

“Voodoo” comes in next, drumming intro, building up to the drop. Experimental bass track which Noisia have called “Beats”. This track has a great wobbly bass, taking some influence from the older dubstep tracks mashed together with trap and hip hop elements.

Following through is “Mantra” with a cool percussion introduction. Flowing into a massive build-up packed with tons of riser effects, breaking into a festival friendly drop. Don’t be mistaken, it’s not cheesy. What I mean is that it has an uplifting feel. It still manages to keep the aggression going with the heavier basslines and drum loop.

At the halfway mark is an interlude track taking us into the second half of the album. It is a beauty. Chilled and relaxed with pretty pads and soft synth pattern melodies. A shorter track with hints of that futuristic vibe.

We go straight into “Straight Hook”. This is one of my least favourite tracks of the album. The track does not have that punch therefore it doesn’t manage to stand out. I do however like the off tune synth pattern, it’s pretty cool. I also like the beat variations in the different sections of the song, other than that I can’t really say much.

Up next is “Stonewalled”. Starting off strong with break beats. Noisia explore the realms of bass music on this track. Wonderfully mixing together their dnb elements with the “beats” elements.

“Motion Blur” comes in next to slow things down from all the aggressiveness we heard so far. It’s a more chilled liquid funk track with pads and a Reese bassline. This track is great for a club. In my opinion it’s an unexpected production from Noisia, since this style of drum and bass isn’t what we are used to hearing from them. If I just heard the track, I wouldn’t have known its Noisia, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

“The Entangled” comes in next. A space vibe track spinning us on our heads. This track incorporates the club electro feel with a slower beat rhythm. It’s a cool combination.

“Exavolt” is up next. Another of the experimental bass tracks. This is a monster track. The bassline is heavy but Noisia adds the soothing orchestra pads to the track to give it emotion. The contrast makes a beautiful combination.

Following through is “Into Dust”. This track has quite a long introduction/build-up to the main drop. I can definitely see this doing well in the clubs. It has a sultry dark vibe that makes it dangerous, drawing you in. Absolutely love it.

“Miniatures” comes in next and gosh this track is fabulous. Another pleasantly surprising track. It’s so chilled consisting of the 80s vibe. Feels so retro with a modern touch due to the basslines and tinkling keys. It’s a beautiful, feel good track. Did not expect that from Noisia.

Noisia decides to take us back into the aggressiveness with “Sinkhole”. A cool sample intro starts us off and the drop! Gosh the drop is insane! The basslines are so heavy but they balance it with an interesting beat rhythm which adds so much dimension and intensity. You need to hear this track. It is a killer.

Next up is “Get Deaded”. Another song with an interesting beat rhythm. The snares are great in this song. The song is a mix of house elements with drum and bass. It’s just weird, but it’s an awesome weird. There are so many great sections in this track, all fitting together without making the listener confused.

Lastly is the outro track “The Approach (Reprise)” bringing us to the end of “Outer Edges”. Calm and robotic sounding. Showing off a cool percussion section in the track. It is really cool, sounds are all clean cut and natural.

I’ve gotta say, this album was something else. Plenty of musical surprises from Noisia. As a fan and listener of music, I appreciate their artistry and definitely suggest you check this album out. As they have stated, the tracks aren’t really DJ friendly, but we understand that there’s more to electronic music than just to dance. This is an album you can just sit back and soak in all of the musical pleasure. You can purchase your copy here.

Stream the entire album below.

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