It’s been quite some time since the world last saw a Pendulum release; nine years, in fact. Thus, their February 13 performance at Villa in their hometown Perth became a historic one when the trio decided to officially debut new music that’d been briefly teased on Instagram the month before. The vocal track, whose title has is rumored to be “Nothing For Free,” exemplifies Pendulum’s melodic, rock and electro infused aesthetic.
Excitement across the dance music community reached peak levels when Rob Swire confirmed in February, 2019 that new music from the drum ‘n’ bass outfit had been completed. A few months after Swire’s announcement came news of Pendulum’s return under a new live project dubbed Pendulum Trinity, with a headlining tour across a multitude of top festivals and venues to follow. A few of their next performances include stops at Rampage Festival, Boomtown, and Lovebox.
A Rob Swire vocal is a rare sound in today’s sonic landscape, but that’s exactly what he just threw up on his Instagram in a post with a caption that reads “30 second WIP demo.”
In this case, “WIP” is an acronym for “work in progress.” Considering Swire’s career, this work is most likely attributed to one of two projects.
Newer entrants to the world of electronic music will know him as half of Knife Party, the open-format EDM duo who were a non-stop hit machine on the other end of this decade. Such unforgettable tracks like “Internet Friends,” “Destroy Them With Lazers,” and “Fire Hive,” are a few of their most notable productions.
Seasoned scene stalwarts will know Swire as the frontman of the legendary drum ‘n’ bass/rock hybrid group, Pendulum. Releasing their first album back in 2005, the group helped to shape the future of music (not just electronic), and since their production hiatus began in 2010, fans have been waiting with ground teeth for more new music.
Aural quality (and fact that he literally tagged the group) would suggest this video is a new Pendulum track, but until the official release, speculation is well warranted—expected even.
This year’s highly anticipated edition of Ultra Europe will see the event brand’s return to Split, Croatia July 10-12. They’ve just unveiled the first arm of their 2020 artist ticket, and it’s clear UMF Europe means business.
Featuring some familiar faces from Ultra’s debut Abu Dhabi edition that was recently released, the genre-diverse roster includes DJ Snake, Afrojack, and Marshmello. Also present on the lineup is a rare, ultra-coveted sighting of the three original drum n bass dons of Pendulum. Plus everyone’s favorite cake boss, Dim Mak’s Steve Aoki. Ultra Europe’s commitment to consistently executing lineups full of chart-topping superstars is illustrated indisputably in its history, which includes additions like Hardwell, Above & Beyond, and Avicii, for starters. Knowing this, high hopes for the festival’s second wave are well warranted.
For tickets and the full phase 1 lineup head here.
One of the world’s premier bass festivals, Belgium’s Rampage, is coming off of a major 10th anniversary outing in 2019. The lineup boasted a thick cast of dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass heavyweights including Andy C, Excision, Sub Focus, Dimension, and more. Though now, as the festival preps for the 2020 iteration, Rampage has revealed their first headliner—Pendulum, performing their Trinity Live concept for just the second time. And judging by the festival’s lead off booking, 2020’s talent roster is already looking mighty fine.
Pendulum Trinity feature’s the group’s original three members: Gareth McGrillen, Rob Swire, and El Hornet, performing atop a pyramid of LEDs, making for one of the most sensory-overloading live electronic shows of the last decade. The trio have only performed together one time outside of Australia in the last ten years, debuting the Trinity concept at London’s South West 4 Festival in early 2019. Now, the group is locked in for a headlining slot in Antwerp next year for Rampage, which takes place March 13 – 14, signaling to a massive low-end lineup soon to follow.
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
There’s just something about drum ‘n’ bass that’s always spoken to my soul. I remember hearing my first Pendulum song a decade ago and thinking “what on earth is this, and where can I get more?”
The genre began making its way into the electronic music sphere in the early 1990s, right around the time I was born. Its rapid breakbeats took over London and Bristol, ramping up the jungle and rave scene to 160-180 BPM. While still more widespread in the UK to this day, the genre has slowly trickled into the United States EDM scene. We still have a long way to go before drum ‘n’ bass artists are regularly installed as main stage performers at major US festivals, but there’s so much to discover and embrace in the US drum ‘n’ bass scene (I see you, Flite and Boxplot). There’s also an endless stream of quality dnb being churned out overseas, with imprints like RAM Records, Hospital Records, and Liquicity Records as strong as ever in their supporters and fan base.
I regularly tell people that have never really gotten into drum ‘n’ bass to just try. It’s a diverse and ever-evolving genre, full of sub-genres and offshoots. I guarantee you’ll find something you like in some format. Dig through the 100-song playlist I’ve compiled to celebrate 100 installments of this series to see if there’s something there for you!
Thank you, drum ‘n’ bass, for your tireless energy, emotive vocals, and the ability you always have to yank me out of a bad mood and reignite my love for electronic music in today’s day and age. Here’s to you, and the brilliant artists who create you.
The anticipation for the Knife Party EP has reached a fever pitch. It was no mystery that Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen were cooking up new music —for both their Knife Party and Pendulum monikers— but now the forthcoming EP finally has a name and release date. Lost Souls will be the bass duo’s first solo release since their 2015 Trigger Warning EP. Despite the gap in Knife Party releases, Swire and McGrillen have been active hosting their podcast Knifecast, preparing for a new Pendulum live show and collaborating on music with Tom Morello and Pegboard Nerds.
According to the Billboard exclusive, the four-track EP contains “sonic shifts at play”, displaying both “a softer side of Knife Party” and “blood-curdling bass drops”. Martin Garrix has already given fans a preview of Lost Souls during his EDC Las Vegas set earlier this year when he dropped the EP’s hardest track.
Lost Souls is out on the duo’s Earstorm imprint, Friday July 19.
Since the inception of their Knifecastpodcast in 2018, Knife Party has treated those who tune in to some exclusive listening material—their latest exclusive gift being the duo’s forthcoming single “Ghost Train,” fresh off of Knifecast 13. The pair previously shared a demo of a track named “Ghost Town;” although bearing similar names, the tracks hardly resemble each other. Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen have used their radio show-style platform to play IDs, host guests, and share updates on new releases. Earlier in the year, they announced a forthcoming Knife Party EP on top of new Pendulum music as well.
The new single “Ghost Train” is tinged with the usual Halloween-esque elements of a standard Knife Party production, but has received mixed reception about its squeamish drop. Love it or hate it, one thing is for certain—new Knife Party music is on the way.