Another buzzing and continuously busy producer that should be on your watch this year is the Brazilian known as Nitri. While not necessarily dancefloor bangers, his deep and moody style is contemporary while still containing enough weight to fill a room. With plenty of releases on Horizons Music over the past year, his latest effort on the label – the Secrets EP solidifies him as one of Horizons top notch A-listers with his unique blend of grooves, melodies, and a no-holds-barred attitude in his basslines. Hauntingly beautiful, each bassline of Nitri’s hits the soul hard; uplifting, yet foreboding.
The EP kicks off with the title track, “Secrets.” Wind chimes and electric pianos lead up to an immediate drum track laden with the beautiful vocals of Grimm. We also get a teaser of the bassline in the intro phrase with a sawtooth synth reminiscent of a 1980s Scarface atmosphere.
After letting the drums go briefly, the drop comes in; reintroducing the deep, rolling, and sawtooth synth-line that increasingly builds tension as the track progresses. The rolling and sawtooth bassline of “Secrets” progresses without losing ferocity while the airy vocals and rides leave lots of room on the top end. The EP also offers a DLR remix which is something else, but I’ll tell you all about that in a little bit…
The Secrets EP continues with a heartbreaker featuring fellow Brazilian – Level 2 and another great vocal from Grimm. “Lies” is an emotional track with a lot of acoustic synths and a liberal use of hi-hat phasing throughout. Beginning with a relaxed piano riff that resonates deep down to your soul, “Lies” pulls on your emotions while attracting your ears.
The vocals by Grimm again, hit home for many, and as with any good emotional track; “Lies” tells a brief story of love lost. The drop is a gorgeous duo of deep piano and stand-up bass synths that add an immense amount of depth to the track. I appreciate the use of live instrumentation in drum and bass, and “Lies” only furthers that. With lots of soul and blues influence, “Lies” is a great, acoustic type of track that still booms in the bottom end. Upon first listening, many would class “Lies” as a Calibre production and thus is demonstrative of Nitri’s ability to create an emotional track that has lots of dance floor damaging potential.
Now about that DLR remix…it’s amazing. The intro of “Secrets” is changed up plenty; taking the vocals out aside for some warped samples of Grimm’s falsettos. Many of the synths are changed up and we get some saxophone in the mix as per DLR’s flavor. After we get a taste of DLR’s change up of the intro, the phasing drums quiet down and behind that phased veil of drums; a good chunky bass-stab right to the throat with some teasing reese basslines follow. Anticipating a massive drop, DLR doesn’t use much of the vocals in his remix, but when he does, it’s brief, tasteful, and accentuates the impact of the drop perfectly. DLR’s remix of “Secrets” leaves the original in the dust (respectively), and should come as no surprise for those that know of the Dispatch/Symmety/Metalheadz heavyweight.
The drop is ferocious, growling, reesey, and stabtastic (Fat Tony would approve.) The drums are constantly switching up throughout DLR’s remix of “Secrets,” with plenty of syncopated drum patterns that lead to additional bongo work as the piano keys are re-introduced; settling down for a lovely brief interlude with DLR’s sax work returning.
The Secrets EP is tied together with “The Map.” Starting off with a circus-type xylophone motif, we quickly learn that’s not the direction the track is headed. The drop of “The Map” removes any circus motif and lets the bassline do all the talking. Coming in constant waves, the arpeggiated bassline is loose and with some serious attitude behind it. The atmosphere comes from the sonar blips and drum switch-ups, along with a tasteful use of saloon woodblocks and synth pads.
There’s also a bit of IDM flavor in the high-end towards the middle of “The Map,” with tight, glitch/digital noises that are interlaced with the drum track; providing a franticness that the bassline just doesn’t have. “The Map” is another minimal track with pure mixing potential for the DJ’s and rounds out the Secrets EP nicely.
All in all, the Secrets EP is a great contemporary/listening EP that many DJs might overlook, but really should give a chance (especially for some really great bassline mixes.) In the grand scheme of Drum and Bass, Nitri might be considered a C-lister, but like I said, he’s among the best at the Horizons camp and is earning lots of love from every corner of the scene. DLR’s remix of “Secrets” is no sleeper though and is definitely a personal favourite of mine. Keep watch for lots more to come from all the artists involved in this EP and keep a look out for more great releases from Horizons Music!
Words By: Kyle Hall (Norwegian)