Effortless. Refined. Brisk. Smooth. The list of superlatives can grow quite large when describing the production style of German dnb producer Rowpieces. His style is a revitalization of a long dormant sound of liquid dnb–a sound popularized by the likes of LTJ Bukem and Roni Size. Rowpieces is able to successfully interface nu-jazz, soul, and disco with uptempo breaks to form an intelligent style that’s been missing from dnb for a while. Absent are the fashionable bass wobbles, Modern Talking waveforms, and squealing high-frequency synths.
With his EDM roots firmly planted in mid-nineties dnb, it’s no wonder Rowpieces’ throwback style bears semblance to the intelligent sub-genre of yesteryear. His passion for intelligent bass music is present in all of his tracks, but none more so than his two recent EP releases Abandon and Follow Your Senses. The Abandon EP features several stand-out tracks, but really shines with the liquid funk roller If You Want My Heart. The gospel-inspired vocal is steeped with reverberating feedback while its thick, blanketing bass casually pounds out a hypnotizing melody. Its filtered pads teeter between a lush soundscape and simple chord progression, adding additional sonic complexity to an already introspective track. Following suit with similar liquid soul flavor, the next big tune on the Abandon EP is called Life Can Be So Beautiful. This track has a full compliment of velvety brass, crooning vocals, and angelic pad phrases. The saxophone accompaniment and doo-wop vocal samples imbue this tune with a jazz flavor not typically found in dnb, but Rowpieces’ is not a typical producer.
Follow Your Senses is Rowpieces’ latest EP and is a bit more free-spirited than Abandon. The EP, issued by Celsius parent-label Fokuz Recordings, ramps up the pressure compared to Abandon, but still has the trademark intelligent Rowpieces’ flavor. It would be hard to designate a stand-out on this EP, but the tune The Same Feeling has an abnormally abrasive quality compared to most other Rowpieces tunes. The tune’s R&B vocal is slightly jarring, causing an anxiety that never really subsides. Couple that with the high-pitched strings and this tune really invokes some intense emotions.