“After discovering Noah B’s Heavy Armor LP last year, I knew we had to pick up a track from him…” – UKF
By reading these words, ladies and gentlemen, you’re witnessing history. Seeing wave featured on UKF needs to be considered an epochal moment in its own right. It seems to me that I am assisting in first person to one of those stories I read years ago. Stories of some talented but still little known producers like Tim Bergling or Porter Robinson that, found by the right people on some channels had their opportunity to change the world. The rest is history. Leaving aside the comparisons, which often risk doing more harm than good, what I’m writing about is exactly one of these tales. The story of a bright talent, whose growth has been constant, solid, unstoppable. He grew from being one of the producers trying out this new genre called wave to a widely respected ambassador at the forefront of the scene to a true pioneer that, like few others, pushed its border to new heights. The producer is: Noah B.
I believe the merits of this pivotal milestone need to be split among all the parts involved. Noah B of course, who has been steadily producing some incredible music during the years, achieving incredible results as Heavy Armor. Secondly, the movement. Internal conflicts aside, I think the wave communities are doing a good job supporting each other, pushing their artists and spreading the word to new followers. Last but not least, UKF and Pilot. They didn’t get early on wave, but they masterfully set up this debut. There are several artists that I believe would have had the potential to be featured on the label, but this was not just a matter of raw talent. Being such an institution with such a wide and multifaceted reach is a double-edged sword. Especially when it comes to introducing something new to the general public, the first step needs to be considered very carefully. A wrong choice can sabotage from the beginning what could be a long and successful story. You need the right person at the right time, and honestly, I can’t really find a better name than Noah B. He’s in a league of its own, his repertoire is filled with gems, he has proven over and over to effortlessly blend genres and in particular, he has a very golden touch for drum&bass (not a secondary detail when it comes to UKF). He’s simply the best.
I’m done with this endless preamble and I’m finally here to dive into this double release titled Remembering Home / Judgement. Since we’re celebrating wave’s debut on UKF, I’d like to start with the latest one, which is the actual wave cut in the release. First of all, I have to say I’m delighted that ‘Judgment’ brings back the “cozy cosmic beats” I madly loved in ‘Endless Sky‘. The drums in the beginning really fooled me to think this was another D&B cut, but when the beat dropped well, my jaw dropped too. This is my church. This is food for my soul. These are the moments when I really get to think music is the finest and most powerful art of all. The production here is so polished that if there’d be a sonic equivalent of satin, ‘Judgment’ would be undoubtedly made of that. You were expecting a proper technical analysis? Come on, you should know me at this point.
When it comes to ‘Remembering Home’ instead, I can’t help to become a little nerdy. Honestly, I don’t really get why some people label this tune as wave. I’m no genre-maniac, but we already have a way to define electronic music characterized by fast breakbeats, heavy bass lines, and synthesizers: drum&bass. I’m not pointing this out because I like to nitpick but because I can picture hordes of people losing the focus of the situation here only to start a genre war made of useless disquisition based on wrong premises that will never find an end. Focus that, instead, should remain on ‘Remembering Home’ which is one hell of a track. Liquid D&B at its finest. A soothing eargasm. Noah B made it dynamic like the wind that heralds a storm but light as a leaf. The groove is incessant but flows through us like a purifying English drizzle without hammering the eardrums. The amen breaks are the only elements that dare to disturb this balance for a few seconds, but even this choice is functional as it makes us appreciate the rest of the track even more.
The airy melodies and otherworldly chords Noah B puts on top of this classy groove are masterful as always and don’t resent the lack of vocals at all. Not that it’d be bad to have someone singing over it but I like how this states loud and clear that emotions aren’t tight to words. If we want, if we need, we can shut up and still be able to convey emotions in many other ways. With a look, a hug or, if you’re lucky, by composing a song. In this regard, Noah B stated: “I’ve always used music to express feelings I have a hard time articulating in my day to day life. With Remembering Home and Judgement, I wanted to convey a feeling of hope & optimism. Over the last two years I’ve experienced a lot of changes and ups and downs in my life, but through all of it I’ve been able to remain positive and motivated by the support of my fans, friends and family. Their support is what keeps me going and these songs are a reflection of the hope they’ve instilled in me.”
The last thing I’d like to point out about both the tracks is how much I love that they open and close with the same arpeggios and chords, in almost a perfect loop. Now I’m only waiting for someone to upload a Noah B – Remembering Home / Judgement (10 hours) video on YouTube. Meanwhile, you can stream this historic release below, on UKF’s YouTube channel, or on your favorite platform here.