When you think about it, it’s not such a wild idea that there would be a collab track from Korsakov Music label manager AL/SO and the notorious imprint wanderer Tengu. It’s not just because Tengu’s Virtual Reality EP, one of his first drops after he switched from bass house to D&B, was released on Korsakov Music, either. Both producers love their bold, brash synths, both play fast and loose with their sound design and, above all elese, they both know how to make a track that kicks the dancefloor into high gear. Such is the case with their upcoming track, “Thunderbolt,” dropping tomorrow, in another unlikely pairing, on High Tea Music.
WIth a rapid-fire set of teaser singles releasing last week from Seventhrum, Falcon and Nelver, High Tea’s Jasmine comp album actually releases in full tomorrow, August 12. Known themselves for melodic, almost liquidy dancefloor as well as featuring newer artists, it seems the Dutch label is branching out this time with some more down-and-dirty tracks like “Take Me Down” by Cursed Sun and “LOCKOFF” by Drum Dad & Bass Boy. It’s also uncharateristic for High Tea to expand to more established names like Tengu and AL/SO, but “Thunderbolt” will likely give the series a nice boost, and in the scope of Jasmine and its more diverse vibe, the track just works.
If you felt the D&B genre’s dedication to synths might have dipped a bit in the past few months, “Thunderbolt” more than makes up for it. If this track were made in the 80s, one could picture AL/SO and Tengu surrounded by a massive rig of synths and mods like an old Howard Jones video. The layering here is compositionally classical, which is how they manage to fit so much melody and harmony in without drowning out the beat structure.
With the staff flooded as it is by sound, “Thunderbolt” also somehow has space for some really beautiful ambient and cinematic sound design, some actual Beethoven-inspired key work at the end and even a tempo change at the break. This is not your standard dancefloor power-synth though it will certainly be one of those tracks where people will be singing and stepping at the same time. That’s what happens when two good things get together: the result is greater than the sum of its parts and, in the case of “Thnderbolt,” a new level of dancefloor banger is achieved.