Whilst many look to the US for their fix stadium-filling Post-DnB Madness, Australia too have been quietly joining in the battle for noise (uh, ed?), importing a number of US-brand EDM Festivals that appear to be plugging a gap left by the withdrawal of breakbeat & fidget house - both formerly popular genres in the Bogan Bass movement. Step forward Karl Thomas, aka ShockOne. Recognise the name? He was the man behind the stonking remix of Netsky's - I Refuse back in 2010. 3 years and Radio 1 et al's backing later, Karl's moved off of beefed up liquid DnB and onto something altogether quite different, as shown in his debut album Universus, on Viper Recordings.
At 14 tracks, ShockOne's debut has plenty of time to lay out ideas and this he does in force, opening with the vintage movie vocals of Singularity, before mellowing mildly with the vocal-driven Home, eventually settling into a brostep esque sound through the likes of Lazerbeam. Fans of earlier ShockOne will like Infinity's Silence - every bit the classic liquid roller with female filtered vocals and muffled builds - displaying muscle grown with collabs between the heavyweights over at Hospital.
As for the rest of the album: ShockOne isn't looking to push boundaries here. There's no experiment into redefining what DnB is, no attempt to find that perfect complexity of a drum machine with more layers than the human genome - which will be welcome news to many. Instead, ShockOne seems preoccupied with taking classical elements of DnB - old film snippets, MC stabs, emotive lyrics interspersed between drops and big fat loose synths that smell of hot studio.
Fans of envelope-pushing WTF-step may opt out, but for the rest of us, this is over the top, bass face, head nodding main-room music at its best. Go buy.