Delta Heavy had a breakthrough year in 2012, performing in some of the year’s biggest tours and releasing their most significant EP to date, entitled Down The Rabbit Hole. The 6-track EP featured the ubiquitous summer anthem called Get By–a savage tune accompanied by what was arguably the most creative video of 2012. The London duo also notched one of the year’s rawest remixes with their edit of Excision and Downlink’s Crowd Control–a retooling that proved to be just as ill-mannered as the original mix. With a massively successful year behind them, the RAM duo kicks off 2013 with a charitable contribution in the form of a free track entitled Empire, available for download via the Delta Heavy Facebook page.
Empire represents a slightly new take on the guttural sound that is Delta Heavy. The tune clocks in at a modest 110bpm, but the relaxed tempo allows for tons of low-end brawn and sophisticated electro sequences. Even with the slower pacing, the Delta vibes are in full effect as the tune unloads copious amounts of chomping mid-bass and pitch-bending shrieks. When asked about the motivation behind Empire’s slower tempo, Delta Heavy responded, “we’d already visited the 110bpm tempo with our Nero remix at the beginning of last year, which has probably been our most successful production to date. We played a lot of 110bpm stuff in our sets over 2012 and really enjoy working at the tempo.” After one listen to Empire, it will become apparent that DH not only enjoys working at the slower tempo, they thrive in it.
Dubstep and drum & bass fans can rest assured that despite Empire’s relaxed tempo, its energy quotient is blisteringly high. Fittingly, the group commented about the tune’s drum & bass influence and the inspiration behind it, saying “we wanted to write a intro track for our sets that captured the epic, cinematic style of some of the old d&b tracks we grew up with up; the speech at the beginning was inspired by an unreleased Pendulum track.” Referring to the cinematic style of decade-old d&b tunes like Hive’s Neo and Pendulum’s Another Planet, DH will undoubtedly have festival-goers tweaking in anticipation of Empire’s huge drop with its lengthy, stylized intro.
Speaking of festivals, Delta Heavy performed at some of last year’s most notable events like South West Four, the Origin Festival, and Datsik’s hugely successful Firepower Tour. This begs the question: what marquee events does DH have planned for 2013? While details surrounding their tour plans have yet to be revealed, the group offered “there are a few things in the diary that we can’t mention just yet, but we can confirm that we’ll be touring the US in March and Australia/New Zealand in May. We’ll be playing a few festivals for the first time in 2013 such as Hideout in Croatia and we’re really looking forward to that.” With rumblings of their debut album on the horizon, we are likely to see the Londoners ramp up their event schedule to support its release. Contrary to what some might think, Delta Heavy hasn’t let their busy tour schedule slow their output in the studio, which bodes well for a 2013 album release date. The group revealed, “our touring schedule was fairly manic over the second half of 2012; we played something like 70 shows between September and the end of the year. We are generally very disciplined with getting in the studio; we treat it like a 10-6 day job Monday to Friday and rarely take days off.”
With so much anticipation for Delta Heavy’s debut album in the air, we have to wonder how far off the beaten path they will take it. Considering their recent releases, these boys have proven they can bring the heat at any tempo, so we’re not too concerned. Regarding what we can expect from their forthcoming album, they said, “in some respects it will definitely be a departure from the sound we have been known for over the past year or so. We are looking to work a lot more with original vocals and the overall sound of the album should be a lot more musical and a bit less aggressive than a lot of the stuff we did in 2012. It’s a bit of cliché to say this but we don’t want it to be merely a disparate collection of dancefloor tracks. Genre-wise, anything goes!” Still under wraps for now, when asked to define the sound of their yet-to-be-released album in LessThan3 words, they replied: “not finished!”