Visages Continue to Pave Legacy with Exploratory EP, ‘Dol Guldur’

Visages Continue to Pave Legacy with Exploratory EP, ‘Dol Guldur’

Throughout the development of modern and new aged DNB, we’ve seen quite a few  arise, but none quite like the Toulouse-based quartet that is Visages.

If you were wondering why Toulouse rings a bell, it’s most likely because it’s home to 1985 label-mates Monty and Trail. Known as one of the hubs for drum and bass in France, it’s only natural the group met in that respective scene.

Visages is the collective of four minds, Valentin, Etienne, Tom and Kévin. While the four continue to actively write music together, the roles have slightly changed over the years. Etienne and Valentin tackle basically all of the music production at this point while it’s a bit tougher for Tom and Kévin to put equal amounts of time in with full-time jobs.

Nonetheless, the vision and art remains the same; emotion driven, calculated, and unique. This last year saw some big moves made by the group including a plethora of 1985 events, multiple releases on the 1985 imprint, their collaboration with Monty on the Démon EP, as well as plenty of sought after, unreleased tunes making their way around the dance. Their hit tune, “Hardware,” even ended up in FIFA 23. Visages first release of 2024, Dol Guldur, marks their return to Alix Perez’s label with four tracks exploring the 140 and 87 BPM spaces.

The self-titled opening track, “Dol Guldur,” starts on an almost cinematic note. The first of two drum and bass tunes begins with an intro that makes you feel like you’re engulfed in a theater. The ambient intro closes in on some distorted vocal samples and into some foggy territory that made me brace myself for the upcoming drop. A true late night drum and bass renegade vibe was immediately felt. My energy skyrocketed and the velocity of the drums took over.

Second on the EP is “Evidently.” This track features a verse by Snowy and switches up the tempo a bit. The first of two tunes in the 140 range, “Evidently,” makes its aura clear from the get go. Beginning with a murky intro you can start to hear Snowy’s signature cadence rip through the darkness leading up to the drop. Once the bass hits Snowy absolutely destroys the trappy 140 beat. The latter half of this one is without vocals but still packs a bassy punch.

“Panacea” runs us back to the drum and bass side of things and lives up to its title. This track comes in calm and cool with a jazzy and Lo-Fi type of vibe before slowing down a bit pre-drop. It begins to feel soulful and the drums hit. Suddenly your wings spread and you’re flying high in the sun. The vocals and overall flow of the track really tie everything together neatly. This has been on repeat since it was released as the first single off of the EP. If you’re a fan of liquid drum and bass, this is heaven.

Rounding out the EP is “The Most.” The second track in the deeper 140 range is a collaboration with Monty and features two verses from legendary UK grime rapper Killa P. This one keeps things rowdy and is sure to shake speakers. Killa P is a consistent source of high energy and backed with the production prowess of Visages and Monty, this track feels like it was meant to be.

With a steadily growing fan base, a solid release schedule, and backing from some of the biggest artists in the game, Visages will only continue to grow. Along with a few planned performances at some festivals overseas, you can also catch them at the 1985 day parties, as well as any of their stops on their freshly announced US tour.

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