Sub Focus’s New Album, Torus (Review)

It was on the radio (like most occasions where people discover new music) where I heard Sub Focus for the first time. It was his track Tidal Wave (featuring Alpines) that really intrigued me. As a fan of drum and bass and electronica, I anticipated the next single and the announcement of an album.

Two more singles were announced on the way, both I loved, and now comes the news that the DJ’s second album, entitled Torus, will be released on the 30th September. To promote the release, the musician announced an interactive and fun game/challenge, tasking fans to search the globe to find discs, which, if found, would play a preview of one of the tracks from the album. The songs from the standard album were then later released on YouTube, and so here is my review of the tracks based on the audio…

1. Torus

Spoken words and a quiet beginning of the song makes the track different to other parts of the song. A complex arpeggio melody makes the song very complex and funky. When vocals are introduced the song becomes more bouncy. The song has an intense build up to the chorus which is a little too long but is worth it, with a funky and almost grunge chorus.

2. Safe in Sound

A relaxing track, with fast drum and bass. The vocals provided by the vocalist are smooth and calm, a perfect song to relax too. It is a good combination. Sub Focus’ musical interlude is a perfect attachment to the vocals provided.

3. Endorphins (feat. Alex Clare)

A complex hi-hat groove combines with Alex Clare’s talented vocals to form an exciting track. The vocal solos are great in this song, and the musical interlude included in the song adds to an electronic and drum and bass feel commonly associated with Sub Focus’ music. A great achievement for both Sub Focus and Alex Clare.

4. Out the Blue (feat. Alice Gold)

It has already been released, but this song is different to the radio edit and provides extra sections of joy. Overall the song is great, with complex drum parts, and great vocals by Alice Gold which make the track a fast-paced drum and bass song in the album. The electronic melody is a great addition to the song, making it an even stronger drum and bass album.

5. Twilight

Complex drum parts and almost alien-like sounds introduce the song. Off-beat rhythms link with the smooth and calm vocals provided with the song. A relaxing and slow tempo to provide a change to the fast tempos of other songs.

6. Close (feat. MNEK)

Vocal distortions make it appear as a dance track. The chords used in the background further suggest this. The song is a great dance anthem. The track’s later increase in pace builds up anticipation. It then drops into an almost 90’s like groove, which is a great nostalgic song. The chorus also contains catchy vocals as well. Funky addition to the album.

7. Turn it Around (feat. Kele)

A great song from the DJ and Kele. The dubstep-like background music merges perfect with his vocals, and the interlude is even better, combining a tricky melody with off-beat drum parts. Beautiful technical melodies leading to the chorus greater adds to the overall picture the song creates. A great drum and bass single.

8. Out of Reach (feat. Jayelldee)

A nice Latin feel on the drums mixing with glockenspiel-like solos. The vocals have an effect on them which make them more relaxing. The chorus is more pop and surprisingly contains no electronic melodies, but is still powerful and strong. Near the end of the song, a lack of vocals and powerful drum solos bring the song to a great finish.

9. Falling Down (feat. Kenzie May)

A memorable synthesiser tune occurs at the start before vocals add to the rhythm which work well with tempo and background Sub Focus creates. Leading up to the chorus, a dubstep/grunge chorus can be expected in a triplet fashion, which means it is likely to be another rave track from the album.

10. Turn Back Time

This track starts with a cow-bell like instrument alongside many other forms of percussion, and a repetitive and catchy synth melody. After a while vocals appear in the song which are great and add an extra umph to the track. After the smooth and relaxing verses comes the build-up to the chorus. The drop is unexpected, but contains a funky off-beat/triplet rhythm, which makes this track a likely floorfiller in clubs upon its release, as it is clear that this song is a rave track and a future dance anthem.

11. You Make it Better (feat. Culture Shock and TC)

This track is the drum and bass style that is commonly assigned to Sub Focus’ music. It starts with a fast and complex electronic glockenspiel-like sound before immediately going into a Drum and Bass chorus which is very quick and “raveable”. The vocals of the track, provided by Culture Shock and TC are distorted, but they add a good layer to the song and the fact they are quiet creates an exciting and atmospheric feel for the track.

12. Tidal Wave (feat. Alpines)

The track sees an almost seaside feel (true to the name of the song) and a summer feel. The vocal talents of Alpines is strong, with very powerful and strong high-pitched vocals nearing the chorus. The song consists of a very intense build up before a surprise slowing down of tempo which is easy to rave to. Drum fills are also present in this track which give the song more colour. Nearing the end of the song, it enters a fast-paced drum and bass synthesiser solo and drum groove. Overall a great song that stands out on the album.

13. Until the End (feat. Foxes)

As soon as the song starts it immediately creates anticipation. It starts with a fuzzy synth tune, which is different to the other synthesiser melodies on the album. When Foxes’ vocals are introduced, they work perfectly with the rhythm and tune – it is clear that her voice is well suited to electronic tracks, after the success of Clarity and this track. Regarding the actual genre of the track and its drum parts, the lack of drums makes it appear to be more of a pop song, but make it a smooth track. However, when more drums are added later on, it adds to the feel, making it sound more like pop, but adds to the song’s effect and makes it stand out more.

Overall, this album looks great, and I look forward to its release on the 30th. I am not usually one to buy albums, but this will definitely be an exception. The above videos are only previews as well, so it creates anticipation as to what each song will sound like in full, but it is clear that each one will provide something new to the album as a whole.



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