In the early 2000s, Patrick Hawkins and Stuart Maxwell formed the New Zealand drum & bass outfit, State of Mind. They quickly gained popularity after taking home multiple awards at the 2006 New Zealand bNet Awards for their track "Aces High" produced with Concord Dawn. Throughout their career, State of Mind has released on Teebee's Subtitle Recordings, Black Sun Empire's label, and Total Science's CIA Recordings. In 2007, the duo formed their own record label, SOM Music, which has seen releases from the likes of Black Sun Empire, Borderline, and Dose (among others).
To promote their forthcoming album for Black Sun Empire's Blackout label, State of Mind has provided EARMILK with two exclusive tracks that are sure to leave you fiending for more. The first, "No-Operative", features the classic State of Mind atmospheric synthesizer backing combined with the granulated heavy dnb they've been known to include in most of their productions. "No-Operative" is a surefire ceiling-crumbler packed with enough punch in the buildups and breakdowns to provide a solid five-and-a-half minutes of consistent skanking. The grit of the verses are complimented by laser and growl samples treated with a subtle doppler effect. Since State of Mind is known for their weight and intensity, it is to be expected that the second track, "Response Signal", has just as much severity and ear-blasting maliciousness as "No-Operative".
"Response Signal" imparts the much darker side of dnb with the easily recognized low-end growl complimenting a clean bassline, layered even further with a grittier bassline to round out the foundation of the sound. After all, the low-end is half of the genre's name! The other half, the drums, are represented in the usual Amen fashion with fractioned kicks and other minor alterations to give it a new voice. Of all the dark sounds featured in "Response Signal", the Slipknot-style alarm sample is what roots it as sinister. Together, "No-Operative" and "Response Signal" leave us with high hopes for the upcoming album.