Mazare craftily curates an assortment of rock-influenced drum and bass in the latest installment of Ophelia’s Advent series.
Founded by Seven Lions in 2018, Ophelia Records is known for both maintaining relationships with established scene shakers and simultaneously branching out into varying dimensions of dance. Sold-out shows at Echostage and Red Rocks alongside festival takeovers at Electric Zoo and Nocturnal Wonderland stand as testament to the imprint’s loyal fanbase. These diehard music lovers can often be heard screaming heartfelt lyrics to song after song from the label’s wide-ranging catalog.
The label showcases its forceful focus on emerging sounds and artists via the Advent series, released on a biannual basis. With recent editions of the Advent series featuring an array of trance, melodic bass, and house, it’s fitting that the newest compilation ventures into drum and bass for some variety.
Italian DJ and producer Massimo Pezzetta, better known by his stage name Mazare, has been steadily building an audience for the past several years. He boasts notable releases on both Ophelia Records and Monstercat. Features within compilations, remixes of hits from Haliene and SLANDER, and a short but sweet string of singles led up to the release of Mazare’s first EP, Paracosm, in 2022. Importantly, he also curated Advent – Drum & Bass.
Mazare and Skybreak kick off the collection with soaring melodies on “Icarus,” which has an intriguing accompanying anime music video from renowned artist Makoto Shinkai. Overall, the compilation spans further than ideas like genre or tracklist, deeply rooting itself in an emotional territory where one song balances another.
Listen to Ophelia Presents: Advent – Drum & Bass on Spotify or your preferred platform. Follow Ophelia Records for future updates and read on below for a deeper look at the compilation!
Stream Ophelia Records – Advent: Drum & Bass on Spotify:
While high-energy melodic lines on “Icarus” give a heart-bursting sense of positive nostalgia, “Where Are You Now” by Adam Pearce and Gabriel Eli harnesses a darker side of reminiscent feelings. “Lying to Myself” by LOCKBOX featuring Lexi Scatena scatters at a tipping point of despair surrounding complicated emotions. Conversely, “Treading Water” by Feint featuring HYLIA tackles strength in femininity through perseverance, utilizing bubbly synths and tougher instrumental breaks to drive a point home.
Delicate, piano-turned-synth refrains top off lyrical vulnerability while all of the remaining assets attest that love songs don’t have to be weak on “Worst is Over” by Caslow, Monika Santucci, and Maiyaka. Sadbois and glasscat immediately follow with a delicate entry on “Needed You Most,” which casually builds into a song about reclaiming personal strength and balance following disappointment. “Running Out” by VNDETTA with Wes Ayala brings a similar energy with a throwback, alt-rock flair to ultimately close the tracklist. The aforementioned singing fans will surely flock to this one.
havye and Laminar tap Josh Rubin for “Save Myself” which offers harder rock elements that both compete with and complement the vocals. The resulting emotional palette portrays discontent until the layers meet up to mesh toward the midway point of the track’s runtime. Excellent usage of natural vocal crescendos and decrescendos pierce with dead aim while wailing melodies and subdividing drum patterns provide Drvmmer and Maelle‘s song “Escape” a healthy measure of grit. “New Machine” from SYNTHYA shines as the most jam-worthy of the bunch, featuring recognizable dance sounds while dispersing atypical little gifts throughout.
This edition of Advent sends a mild shock to the system due to its range. Fans will nonetheless quickly find that it doesn’t sacrifice quality to accomplish as much.
Ophelia Records – Advent – Drum & Bass – Tracklist:
- Icarus – Mazare and Skybreak
- Treading Water – Feint ft. HYLIA
- Worst Is Over – Caslow, Monika Santucci and Maiyaka
- Needed You Most – SadBois and glasscat
- Save Myself – hayve and Laminar ft. Josh Rubin
- Where Are You Now – Adam Pearce and Gabriel Eli
- Lying To Myself – LOCKBOX ft. Lexi Scatena
- New Machine – SYNTHYA
- Escape – Drvmmer and Maelle
- Running Out – VNDETTA with Wes Ayala