Premiere: Dust~ & Katja Captivate With New Collaboration “Hold Tight / Too Much”
Since 2020, electronic producer Dust~ has been perfecting his striking approach to electronic music, specifically the frenetic drum’and’bass style. Rising in stature with each release, the industrious musician has cultivated an enthusiastic audience worldwide, most notably across the Atlantic where D’n’B first grew out of the UK breakbeat hardcore scene in the early ’90s. Songs like “Je Ne Sais Quoi” show off his crisp production style, allowing each element to pop out of the mix with rich clarity to leave a lasting imprint on the listener’s auditory senses. Recently, Dust~ has begun to supplement his musical creations with curated mixes broadcasted on stations like Subtle Radio in the UK and RVA’s own WRIR. Despite this additional venture though, his ear remains fixed on the potential of his electronic explorations, chasing those elusive sounds that fill the headphones with excitement and anticipation. His latest release is another chapter in that musical expedition, though this time he’s not alone on the journey.
“Hold Tight / Too Much” is a two-song release from Dust~ alongside London vocalist Katja which offers the listener a different way in which to feel the pulsating heart of his sonic universe. A neurofunk compound, these songs temper the tempo of a typical Dust~ release to a gentle range of 130-140 beats per minute, allowing much more space to creep into his expansive textures. Out everywhere on Friday, October 13th via Nomine Sound, The Auricular is proud to offer a premiere of these two songs one day early with an exclusive stream below.
Described by Dust~ (real name Chris Farmer) as his most accessible release to date, both songs showcase the wonder and awe electronic music can offer. “Hold Tight” opens with an inviting allure, a pulsating beat and crooning vocal that peers down into the welcome abyss of emotion. The melodic and rhythmic progression that follows is both haunting and uplifting, a delicate dance that Dust~ and Katja orchestrate masterfully. As the verses begin, hesitant drum snaps crackle around the beat as though testing the waters before fully immersing the listener into the sonic journey. Sure enough, the breakbeats enter upon the first vocal pause, injecting urgency into the spacious soundscape for a sense of astonished admiration.
Katja’s voice is delicate yet forceful like a shifty aural talisman the rhythm boldly pursues. A spoken-word interlude only adds to the mystique the duo has built here, akin to a cosmic incantation. The production is spruce and slick, allowing the bassline to throb with a hypnotic cadence while the percussive accouterments dance in the periphery. The result is a penetrating ethereal song, one that’s simultaneously grounded and celestial in its piercing atmosphere.
“Too Much” begins more animatedly, foregoing the patient sprawl of “Hold Tight” with a pressing approach to beat and melody. Katja enters later in the song here, offering a different shade of her vocal prowess, this time with an intoxicating allure that’s enhanced by the bustling tapestry underneath. With half the runtime of its predecessor, the spacious glamour is condensed here, still offering a rich auditory experience, but with a more immediate and intense impact.
If “Hold Tight” was the journey, “Too Much” serves as the triumph, a moving crest that solidifies the emotional and sonic exploration initiated in the first track. The sense of accessible wonder that Dust~ promised in this release is not just delivered; it’s elevated. Katja’s voice is forceful yet playful, bounding off each bass ripple and hi-hat click with effervescent energy. Step back and you’ll see the wonderful dynamic interplay, where the free-flowing vocal grace weaves in and out of a vigorous rhythmic collage that showcases their individual musical strengths and their stunning artistic chemistry.
Farmer has been a mainstay within the Richmond music scene dating back to his days as the drummer for Breadwinner, a beloved math rock band that helped electrify and inspire with their instrumental prowess and progressive ethos. Within the world of Dust~, that enlightened expertise and potent passion manifest in a different form – an examination of electronic landscapes that captivates audiences with its emotive depth and sonic intricacies, something Katja only bolsters with her own signature musical expression that’s been honed and refined over the last decade over in Europe. Hopefully, this is the first of many collaborations between both artists, as their respective styles beautifully align on these two songs to create something thrilling and captivating. But until that next sonic symbiosis gets announced, both artists still have more than enough to keep our ears full and our souls inspired.
“Hold Tight / Too Much” is out everywhere on Nomine Sound on Friday, October 13th. Make sure to follow both Dust~ and Katja on social media in order to keep up-to-date on their future releases as well as other ventures across the globe.