Phace – Psycho (Album Review)

Label : Subtitles

by: Neil McCullough


Phace - Psycho

German Duo Phace, known to their mothers as Florian & Nicolas, land an album on Teebees top level Drum and Bass label Subtitles. Phace are one of a number of newer high profile drum and bass artists influenced by the likes of the legendary Ed Rush & Optical and Kemal & Rob Data (aka Konflict), pushing the sound that those artists developed into wider territory. Phace’s take on these influences is minimal, mechanical, robotic and deep.

The 12 main tracks on this CD are all pretty much in the same style and for the uninitiated, or not so hardened Drum & Bass listener, the whole album will be hard going in one sitting. To be perfectly honest there isn’t a great deal of variety here and the tracks are much more enjoyable when listened to separately in a mix next to tracks from other producers.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some great tracks here, because this is a very good album. Maybe not in the way of a ‘proper’ album project or variety, but the style they do, they do extremely well. In terms of quality, I find only one track really lacking, the penultimate ‘Rational’. Every other track oozes quality production, from two producers who are obviously right at the top of their game.


Whilst being similar in style all the tracks do offer something slightly different. They are all very linear, but progress nicely (don’t expect many big changes or switch ups) but all the tracks progress nicely, have funk and sound good in the mix. Two of the real stand-out tracks are the collaborations with Dutch stars Noisia on ‘The Feed’ and ‘Crevice’.

The album is book ended by two CD exclusives which serve as intro and outro and whilst fitting the vibe of the music, these do not a classic album make. It’s much more a compilation of tracks, the quality of which is rarely surpassed in present Drum & Bass, but the lack of variety and the one dimensional nature of the tracks mean that it doesn’t really stand out as an album project. DJ’s who like this sound will be drawing for tunes for this album for quite a while yet, but for the home listener there will not be enough here for repeated listens all the way though. The tracks will be much more enjoyable ripped to an mp3 player or your computer and listened to amongst tracks from other artists.

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