ShockOne’s highly-anticipated debut album Universus has arrived on Viper Recordings, and it’s an enthralling journey through a diverse array of styles and sounds. Taken from the latin terms unus (“one”) and versus (“turned into”), Universus is a fitting album title illustrated by its disparate vibes and diverse styles happily living together on one album. Putting the existential connotations of Universus aside, ShockOne has succeeded in making an album where the universal appeal of an enticing melody or sound can carry a listener’s interest, regardless of genre and tempo. As such, the Australian-born producer has deployed everything from electro to drum and bass on his album, all combining to form one cohesive piece of art.
Featuring collaborators Reija Lee, Phetsta, Metrik, Kyza, and Sam Nafie, Universus is a conglomeration of brand-new material and previously released tunes, alike. Familiar songs Relapse, Chaos Theory, and the recently released Lazerbeam all made it onto the album, but were only mere appetizers for this meaty, 14-track, full-length LP.
While every song on Universus is writhing with energy, it’s the cinematic splendor of drum and bass track Light Cycles that leaves an indelible mark. This hyper-operatic tune is reminiscent of the early days of analog electronica, championed by acclaimed musicians Wendy Carlos, Vangelis, and Isao Tomita. The delicate balance of melodious arpeggiation and frenetic rhythms makes Light Cycles one of the most majestic drum and bass tracks since Marcus Intalex’s Celestial Navigation.
For a straigh-forward, dancefloor workout, load up drum and bass masher Harmonize. With waves of melodic overtones and a growling mid-bass, this tune makes for a turbulent, yet enjoyable thrill-ride. Electro-house fans should jump ahead to the track appropriately named Lose Control. This tune features a reckless arrangement replete with wobbles and ShockOne’s signature synthetic harmonies. All three tunes and the rest of the Universus album are available on Beatport now.