Nineteen year-old UK producer Benjamin Brown, Aka â€śBrown Eyed Boyâ€ť has just begun making a name for himself as a new and innovative artist in the Drum and Bass scene, and is only just starting to be noticed by DnB listeners from across the internet on SoundCloud, Youtube and other popular music sharing mediums. Precocious and progressive, Mr. Brown is on the vanguard of modern electronic music, and has blazed his own trail through the ever-winding maze of the modern music industry. His first iTunes release, Come Back To MeÂ was met with full support from his loving fans and followers, and while that group remains humble in size, it seems Mr. Brown has stepped onto the bottom rung of a ladder that can only go up.
Brown Eyed Boyâ€™s new single,Â ’Let Go / Nothing To Say’ is a reminder to longtime breakbeat fans such as myself that Drum and Bass as a genre and a musical style hasnâ€™t yet strayed too far from itâ€™s roots. Itâ€™s refreshing to hear music that stays so true to its inceptive origins, and yet plays off of so many modern influences at the same time. You canâ€™t listen to Let Go without hearing trace elements of BCee, and to the attentive ear, Nothing To Say has a distinct resemblance to Omni Trioâ€™s Byte Size Life. The combination of these elements, and Brown Eyed Boyâ€™s mere nineteen years of age blows my mind every time, as it should yours.
The A track of the release, Let Go, is definitely the bigger, bolder track of the two, and opens the single with a power and velocity that instantly captures the listener’s attention. The beat is big, and the snare loud, carrying the track with a relentless, driving force that doesnâ€™t loosen its grip until the very end. Drum and Bass has long been the music of movement, but Let Go takes this to a whole new level. While the beat itself may feel repetitiveÂ Let Go, to me feels like acceleration. Itâ€™s like the moment a tortured actor onstage steps forward into the spotlight to take a solo. The passion behind the track is so elevating, so illuminating it really makes the listener want to stand up and do something bold, not unlike what Brown Eyed Boy has done with his music.
The DnB of 2012 has been characterized by critics as light, airy, and insubstantial. Brown Eyed Boy breaks loose from this archetype in Nothing To SayÂ and takes a more traditional approach, infusing an unparalleled emotion that gives his work a unique flair. The track features vocalist Caz Smith, a name Iâ€™d never heard of before, but a voice that lends a haunting human tonality to the piece that very much completes it. It opens with Smithâ€™s vocals playing over smooth piano, a chilled lead and a light amen rhythm that only hesitates slightly before becoming enveloped in a buildup that overtakes your senses completely. While it might not have the same kind of power as Let Go, Nothing To Say has an infectious edge to it that permeates the piece in its entirety and will find you humming the tune late at night in bed when you canâ€™t sleep.
True to form, Brown Eyed Boy leaves the listener feeling contented and at peace – as though having experienced something divine. The breadth of his skill and the depth of his understanding of a style so complex and a culture so rich are both shocking and inspiring. And the Let Go / Nothing To Say single certainly exemplifies this. While often times his tracks may suffer from the excessive repetition that typifies the inexperienced producer, and even though sometimes the mastering of his tracks feel rushed, I think Drum and Bass might be looking at its future as genre. Producers like Brown Eyed Boy are something we all have to look forward to.
Hereâ€™s to unacclaimed skill, and an artist who deserves a little bit more attention.