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Album Review: Author – Forward Forever

On their second collaborative full-length as Author, Forward Forever, the dubstep duo – made up of Jack Sparrow and Ruckspin – draw on a variety of sounds that range from jazz to funk fusion.

After Time’, which features Quark, has a bit of everything in its sonic DNA, from sophisticated and laid back lounge jazz to complex EDM; its saxophone toots and slow snare hits putting the mind to ease. It is an impeccable merger of classical orchestral sounds with a modern twist.

In the Sky’, meanwhile, is a mixture of old school hip-hop storytelling and DnB. It brings to mind the 2004 collaboration of The Alchemist and R&B twin force Nina Sky, ‘Hold You Down’, but with more of an underground 90s rap atmosphere and a tonne of bass.

‘Innovate’ follows: a track that fuses dubstep beats and spoken word poetry. The bongos and trombone in the beginning tied to the industrial soundscapes recalls early Gorillaz, which is mind-blowing. ‘My Only’ is, without a doubt, a perfect example of the deftly applied genre fusions on offer here. From the whining phasers that ring out over the piano and heavy bass drops, the amount of influence that is heard throughout Forward Forever is certainly impressive.

‘Chant’, featuring June Miller, is yet another wonderful collaboration. The beat is unforgettable and actually overshadows the lyricist, Rider Shafique. Beginning with a ticking sound similar to a metronome, it eventually grows into a bevy of intricate beats and low bass, while Shafique delivers an uplifting story for the future generations to overwrite the wrongs in history.

Gathered’, a joint venture with Quantum Soul and Ben Glass, features echoing bass with helicopter-esque effects that transcend the track’s saxophone figures and subtle turntables scratches. There’s also an element of scatting present that appears in ‘Gathered’, paying tribute to trad jazz influences. Author’s ability to draw on such a wide range of influences makes Forward Forever an enticing prospect; the fact they can construct such exceptional and well-produced tracks in the process makes it a masterpiece.

- Jess Edwards

Forward Forever is available now on Black Box.

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