2nd Drop Records release ‘Seven Lies’, the debut album by Felix Manuel aka Djrum (pronounced “Drum”).
Fans will recognise Djrum’s iconic tropes on ‘Seven Lies’: widescreen atmospheres, dub chords, dusty and melancholic strings, obscure film samples. But this time its spread over a bigger, more luxurious canvas that dips like an undulating terrain of sound; techno troughs, bumpy hip hop breaks, euphoric drum and bass, all filtered through the Djrum node.
Felix would admit himself he is a not a prolific producer. Preferring to craft and hone, often allowing music to mutate and diverge down different paths, his tracks often top the 8-9 min marks in length. However, each track is never at risk of becoming staid or boring, quite the opposite as ideas mutate and evolve, subtle differences and nuances are evoked and explored.
Inspired by the sounds of Ninja Tune’s Solid Steel radio show, Oxford born/London based Felix became involved with the free party scene and helped set up the seminal Yardcore nights in 2005. A night of wild extremes, it swept from acts as diverse as Hellfish, Andy Stott, Breakage and Various Production in one night. An aesthetic he still faithfully adheres to in his all-vinyl DJ sets, a seamless blend of techno, garage, dancehall, hip hop, old-school hardcore and jungle.
Just as the dominant dubstep scene was in a painful, if fertile, transitionary period in 2010, Felix made his production debut as Djrum with 12” singles on the On the Edge and Smokin Sessions labels. This would ultimately provide him with the perfect platform for his own hybrid sound. A sound that instead of reflecting the brash energy of his DJ style, turned inwards, almost ingesting and metabolising those sounds to create an introspective and more sensitive and tactile crossbreed.
The 2nd Drop label were lucky enough to pick up on his latent talent, drafting him to remix the wonderful lament ‘Explode’ by LV and Message To Bears ft Zaki Ibrahim, to widespread acclaim. In 2011 the ‘Mountains EP’ followed. A four track suite of music that captured the imagination of many: Francois K, Gilles Peterson, Craig Richards, Berlin’s highly respected T++, and featured in end of year charts across the board. The 3rd part of the ‘Mountains EP’ came the following year – as ‘Watermark’ b/w ‘The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn (Undercoat Pt2)’ – completing an epic body of music and setting up the realization of ‘Seven Lies’, this highly accomplished debut long player.
The wonderful, celestial artwork is by an artist friend of Djrum’s called Jaya Mansberger.