Electric Zoo ’13 Artist Spotlight: Chase & Status
On the approach to Electric Zoo festival next weekend, British duo Chase & Status have every reason to be ecstatic. Ten years down the line and boasting a global reputation that few London outfits could hold a light to, their reign as one of the evolved specimens of contemporary drum & bass is strong. While their output has scaled everything from 16-beat D&B, experimental b bass music and radio-friendly club fuel, their overall live demeanor has been matched with an ability to destroy the trail with high-grossing full-length albums. With North America finally showing the same enthusiasm as that which has kept them as favorites to the European market, there has never been a better time to inaugurate yourself to the heavyweight champions of commercially viable dance music done right.
While many will note the duo’s meteoric rise happened swiftly, behind the scenes lays a far more vast story. Now preparing their third full-length album, Brand New Machine, the apt title boasts of the leaps and bounds made by a duo as welcome on the American club circuit as they are the UK charts. Past years of solid gold drum & bass material and stints for Fabric and UKF alike, 2008 would set things into overdrive for the collaborative force of Saul Milton and Will Kenard.
Their debut album More Than A lot would break the mold considerably, distancing themselves from the likes of national peers Pendulum and Sub Focus with a genre-defying take on the burgeoning sound of drum & bass and dubstep with considerable force. By the time No More Idols hit double-platinum status, however, it was undeniable that Chase & Status had excelled all expectations – including their own. Not bad for the duo who claim to have almost scrapped what would go on to be one of the album’s lead singles, “Blind Faith” – a track indicative not only of their radio potential but their uncompromised stamina. The apple may have landed a long way from their underground roots, but with quality and consistency in tow, few have challenged their universal stripes.
On the live spectrum though, Chase & Status have reigned supreme. As one of the earliest British outfits to scope the full-blown live capabilities of their craft and take it to the mainstream audience, their meteoric rise would see them don a unique take on to festivals and high-end venues alike. Past headline duties at Glastonbury, Ibiza and their more recent North American stints, showmanship and refined musical aptitude have made them a force to be reckoned with on-stage. But for a duo that cut their teeth spinning at some of Britain’s more devout underground hot spots, the fluid of their own DJ sets remains wholeheartedly capable of turning heads.
With lead album singles “Lost & Not Found” and “Count On Me” stirring positive momentum, the road ahead looks unlikely to be a dull one where this ever-adaptive duo is concerned. If you are looking for evidence of British dance music’s supreme evolution to date, you need not look further than Chase & Status. As reminiscent of the heyday of rave culture as they are provocative of the vast footsteps modern drum & bass and its associated genre-peers have mustered over the years, their journey is one unlikely to be so retold with the same zest within our lifetime. As we patiently await album number three, all eyes and ears should be pointing eagerly towards a duo as wholeheartedly valued within British dance music as fish & chips, queuing and sarcasm is to its wider culture.
Catch Chase & Status headlining the Riverside Dim Mak stage on Sunday September 1 at 9:45pm.