Saul Milton and Will Kennard have been performing as Chase and Status since 2004. In between relentless remixing, producing, and DJing, they released their debut album More Than A Lot in 2008. From all this activity they cemented their mastery of drum and bass and won fans from Snoop Dogg and Pharrell to DJ Hype and Pendulum. And now comes their sophomore effort, No More Idols.
Clearly this duo wants to bring techno music into the mainstream. We find elements of pop, R&B, reggae, and hard rock in each song, and a strong melodic sense permeates the album. While the frenetic drum and bass beats ground the album and provide consistency, each song features a different singer and its own mish-mash of styles. Their singles from this album are the soulful anthems “Blind Faith” and “Hypest Hype,” which sample The Doors’ “Been Down So Long” in a frenzied blues-reggae dance track with a heavy metal guitar riff. This stuff is coming at you so fast you don’t realize how many genres of music you’ve just heard until the third or fourth listen.
One of the great pleasures of this album is the duo’s mastery of dynamics. They never let you get tired of a particular beat, vocalist or riff. The record moves seamlessly through different BPMs and levels of energy. It feels like you’re driving through London from club to club late at night, picking up interesting strangers along the way.
While the absence of a consistent vocalist and style may cause long-term identity disorders (what is the Chase and Status sound?), this album is a virtuosic tour de force through the international club scene and modern urban life itself. No More Idols sounds like 2011.