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Out: 17th July
A Sides and Makoto team up for their sensational new LP, Aquarian Dreams. The two producers have each marked out stellar careers in drum & bass, and now come together for their finest work to date. A Sides album’s never fail to impress, and all of his releases down the years have been key moments in his musical progression. Makoto is no stranger to album releases either, with three previous studio albums and a host of EP’s and singles across a range of highly respected labels.
The album is set across fifteen tracks, and features guest contributions from many other established names. From Riya, to Tali and from Robert Manos to Spikey Tee, the vocal line-up on the album is second to none. And the flavours get started straight away, with the opening cut, Jupiter, featuring Robert Manos. Aquarian Dreams came about after the two producers put together several 12” projects for Eastside & Human Elements, as well as a collaboration with DJ Marky for Innerground Records. In July 2012 they collaborated again recording Searchin’, Uplifter, Articulate and Simplicity after which they decided it would be a great idea to work on a collaborative album project. Over the course of the next 3 years they got together in London and Tokyo completing further collaborations up until January 2015 where they finally completed the album in Tokyo. The new label name was born from their own imprints A Sides Eastside Recordings and Makoto’s Human Elements, giving you Eastern Elements.
Flowing breaks and aquatic samples start the record in the best possible way, alongside Manos’s soulful singing. Feelings of release and freedom will grab you straight away, as A Sides and Makoto really hit the high notes. Night Flight and Uplifter follow, with rangy, deep vibes on the former and the latter being the producer’s ode to the old school hardcore jungle vibes. You know you are in good hands with A Sides and Makoto, each playing to their strengths and bringing the best out of the other. Riya asks Where Do We Go?, a positive, life-affirming ode to determination and seeking answers, before Articulate and Resistance take us further into the perfect, emotion-filled picture which A Sides and Makoto paint on Aquarian Dreams. Hurt My Soul takes things up a notch, with rolling piano, sharp hi-hats and a funky 70s feel to it. Back In Your Arms has Tali on vocals, with her words surrounded by a floating, dream-like soundscape. The beats are clear, the keys on point, and the whole track lifts you up and takes you away. You Sexy Beast is all about the breaks, while Breathe offer some space age flavour with rasping basslines and incessant drums.
Street Level Funk, as the title suggests, lays it down hard, before the warm, welcoming atmosphere of Simplicity, which is augmented by the vocals of Spikey Tee. The original version of Searchin’ comes next, and Envision is the perfect summation of the feeling of the album. The record finishes with the DJ Marky remix of Searchin’.
Aquarian Dreams, the new album from A Sides & Makoto is just what you’ve been looking for. Dive in.