Graduating from his ProgRAM label debut and a pivotal secondary release on the same label, Ram Records artist Frankee deservedly earns an exclusive spot on the acclaimed label with his latest offering “Black Heart/Wonderland.”
A tune that’s been making the rounds and doing damage all over the globe thanks to label head Andy C, “Black Heart” opens with throaty synths and jabbing drums that build-up in anticipation to a crisp crash of reverberated white noise and vocal hymns.
A serrated-like bassline follows, sawing along as the vocal sample continues to echo and increase in pitch while the bassline speeds up in oscillation and cleverly dissipates, building an immense amount of tension. Upon the drop, Frankee unravels a clean roller that bounces and stabs along in addition to croaking bass stabs, lashing drums, and haunting vocal whispers that build back into the original sample as the song progresses.
To keep things fresh and interesting, Frankee cleverly doubles the speed and winds the bassline up as the song progresses; racing through the depths of bassline darkness to create an aural frenzy that does serious damage. Overall, “Black Heart” is an outstanding bit of drum and bass and is the mark of Frankee’s advancement as a producer from his Turning Point EP.
The B-side “Wonderland” decides to flip the darker vibes of “Black Heart” in favour for a more euphoric feel. House-like pianos and synths combine with whale cry samples and a powerful lead vocal that all just come together so…wonderfully.
As the synths float along and the underlying bassline continuously builds, a clean think-break sample in combination with a captivating piano-line take the lead and build upwards to a nice jungle-infused bassline. “Wonderland” is a laidback and funkier track in comparison to the lead single, but by no means lacks energy or depth. The warm and wobbling bassline rolls smoothly while the vocal sample rises up from underneath and reverberates over the crisp and addictively clean Lyn Collins sampled drum-break.
“Wonderland” has less going on in comparison to the lead single, but what it lacks in engineering content it makes up for in emotional content. Although “Wonderland” contains a heavy bassline and clean drums, it isn’t a pure demonstration of technical ability but rather is demonstrative of Frankee’s ability to be both dancefloor heavy and musical.
Many had spoken about “Wonderland” prior to release due to the inclusion of neuro-infused synth stabs that gave the tune an edgier and heavier feel. Although many of us wouldn’t be opposed to the original version being offered as a VIP in the future…it’s wishful thinking. It’s understandable why the final version was released instead, because “Wonderland” is a tune that has widespread reach and captivates both regular drum and bass listeners along with those that would catch it on the radio. So, don’t be surprised to be hearing “Wonderland” more and more in the near future.
Overall, “Black Heart/Wonderland” is a great introductory offering for Frankee’s debut as a Ram Records exclusive artist. Both pieces of music have already gained huge amounts of attention and for a reason. Frankee continuously is elevating his production and this lethal 12” is not only a strong contender for being Ram’s top release this year, but also has us keen to hear future music from his young London-based producer.