In the month since the release of Seven’s latest LP, its tracks have become inescapable in DJ sets and in the dance. The newest album from Uprise Audio has proven its title: 11:11 is a dubstepper’s wish come true.
The 8th full-length album from Uprise Audio delivers everything we’ve come to expect from the dynamic label, as well as from the label head himself. Breathtaking work with vocalists is Seven’s forte as a dubstep producer, and that’s where 11:11 begins: with “Praying For Fire,” a pensive note painted by the brooding voice of Polly Yates. The opening track’s melancholic production and wistful lyrics both repeats the theme implied by the album’s title, and twists it on itself with the ambivalent suggestions that we ought to be careful what we wish for.
“Praying For Fire” may be the defining gem of the release, but the moody moment is soon washed away by the melodic, upbeat energy unleashed by “Velvet”, my personal favorite song from the album. “Velvet” is the first of a string of dance floor-ready tracks that constitute the substance of the release. “Bangbadem” follows with irresistible momentum built by frenetic percussions and a singalong-worthy refrain.
Seven’s full catalogue reveals his uniquely cinematic touch on the buttons. In 11:11, he demonstrates that such a flair for drama needn’t be sacrificed for the dance. Driven by pounding percussions and atmospheric suspense, “Apparition” notably integrates Seven’s theatric signature into a DJ-centric track. The tune emerges from the dip in the album’s musical plotline created by the 90bpm “The Elephant In The Room” and continued by “Fire and Ice.” “Apparition” plays out as a thrilling intermission into the relentless banger session to follow.
11:11 includes three massive collaborations: “Temprement” with Juss B, “Sour Power” with Juss B and Truth, and “Pyramids” with Youngsta. Each track is climactic in its own way, and each is marked by the kind of depth and finesse that define the artists’ elevation within the dubstep community. The album also features one more vocal moment in “Top Rank” with J.Man. The grime-inspired tune is a well-deserved celebration on behalf of Uprise Audio, and it embodies the pure swagger that emanates from the album’s second half.
11:11 comes full-circle in its closing track, “Drowning.” Invoking the thematic dichotomy between fire and water established in the album’s opening, the subdued conclusion truly completes the release. It is this bottomless bit that qualifies 11:11 as a full album rather than simply a collection of songs. “Drowning” is the second and final tune that breaks from the 140 template; still, the LP feels diverse. As well as telling an emotional story, Seven leads a journey through dubstep’s surprisingly expansive terrain with his album. His sophisticated and imaginative composition reminds producers that creativity within the regimented genre is not a finite resource, and the possibilities presented by the musical realm are far from tired. 11:11 is laden with the very freshness that keeps Uprise Audio constantly on our radar.