Netsky Drops Highly Anticipated 3 LP [Album Review]

June 10, 2016 -

Matt Haun

The Belgian King of drum and bass Netsky has just released his third full-length studio LP 3, and it is the perfect soundtrack to kick off the summer season. 3 has been a year in the making, with the first single Rio having been released in July of 2015. Netsky dropped four more singles in between then and now, each one reaffirming the diversity and brilliance we were to expect on 3. Now that the album is finally here, we realize our expectations did not even compare to the final product. Here’s a little rundown on the 12 tracks contained on the instant-classic 3:

Thunder begins the album with a bang, featuring the powerful vocals of Emeli Sandé – winner of BET’s Best International Artist in 2013. Thunder demonstrates Netsky’s uncanny ability to combine emotional pop vocalization with the energetic grooves of drum and bass. Check out this video of Netsky performing the track live at Liquicity Festival last year:


The second track on 3 - Work It Out - was the second single released in anticipation of the album, and originally dropped back in January. The first of the two vocal features from Digital Farm Animals, Work It Out was followed up with an extremely innovative and interactive music video that went on to win numerous awards. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /]


Track three is the aforementioned Rio, the second of the Digital Farm Animal features on 3. The song is set to be the soundtrack of Netsky’s role as the official artist ambassador for the Belgian Olympics Team while he joins them on their 2016 Olympic Campaign in Brazil. Rio was also followed up with a music video depicting the animated adventures of Netsky in Rio with a personified pig (read Digital Farm Animal). [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /]


Track number four is the soulful Leave It Alone that features guest work by Nottingham artist Saint Raymond. Leave It Alone gives the first deviation from D’n’B on 3, existing somewhere in between glitch hop and future funk. It will definitely be an enjoyable addition to Netsky’s live performance repertoire.


We return to drum and bass for track number five with Who Knows. We are again given a passionate vocal feature performed by Paije Richardson, a former X-Factor UK contestant who also played a part as a Hogwarts student in two Harry Potter movies (random, right?)


The sixth track on 3 is Go 2, one of my top three favorites on 3. The first half of the song delivers an infectiously laid-back groove with some supremely sexy vocal work by an unnamed singer. Just after we pass the two-minute mark, Go 2 flips gears into a syncopated D’n’B beat that is sure to take you by pleasant surprise. I had to play it a few times in a row just to fully appreciate its loveliness.


Next up is track seven – High Alert featuring Sara Hartman. Here we see an awesome example of Netsky’s recent ventures into the sounds of future bass. Hartman’s clean vocals in the verses create the perfect setting for the processed vocal chops of the drop – a popular recipe for many future bass songs garnering success today.


Track number eight is TNT, the most recent of the pre-album single releases. Featuring Chromeo’s Dave 1, TNT offers up some expectedly groovy stylings. Resting its tempo in the mid-130s, the slower drum and bass beats here are verging on breaks. But to those who cannot tell the difference, it really does not matter. TNT is funky as hell and is guaranteed to have you grooving on the dance floor. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /]


Slowing down the tempo even further, track nine – Stay Up With Me – definitely hangs its hat in the realm of breaks. The combination of Arlissa’s expressive vocals with the epic string arrangement make for one giant tune. However, the highlight of Stay Up With Me is the wickedly bassy section that kicks in at around 2:15.


Track ten is my second choice for my top three of 3. It was also the third single released leading up to 3. Forget What You Look Like is another brilliant example of Netsky’s adventures in future bass. The trappy half-time drop pairs so perfectly with the four-on-the-floor groove of the post-drop verse, you can’t help but bounce your bod. And while the tune is musically uplifting, Lowell’s emotive lyricism details the modern aphorism of wanting to get high to forget about a failed love. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /]


Track eleven brings us back to Netsky’s roots in melodic drum and bass, sans any major vocal feature. Birds of Paradise is a beautiful presentation of fast-paced drum breaks, deep basslines, and a fairly classical instrumentation of piano and strings. Birds of Paradise reminds me why I fell in love with Netsky’s music so many years ago.


Last up on the album is probably the most well known of the bunch, and my third pick for my top three of 3. Track twelve is the massive collaboration between Netsky and American bass house beast JAUZ. The last of the pre-3 singles released on the album, Higher has received major plays since it dropped in conjunction with Forget What You Look Like back in March. The mix of breakbeat kick patterns and future house vibes combine in an undeniably catchy track. Admittedly, my first listen yielded skepticism on the grounds that it was not a sound I expected from Netsky. But continued listens ended with my having the track on repeat. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="150" iframe="true" /]

For those who share in the skepticism I experienced, Netsky has taken to posting The Prototypes’ official remix catering to all the diehard drum and bass heads. [soundcloud url="" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="125" iframe="true" /]

Netsky continues to push the envelope and break expectations with every release. His full-band live performances has placed him in the top acts of the dance music scene today. 3 further solidifies his position amongst legends, and the young Belgian producer has never showed any intention of slowing down.


Netsky's 3 is available to stream in its entirety through Spotify HERE


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