Current Value has teamed up with two of the most distinctive new labels in drum & bass to release two albums this year. Entitled Senex and Puer, they both land at the same time this October and will be delivered via a unique collaboration between MethLab and Souped Up.
The albums will celebrate two distinct sides to the Berlin-based producer: Puer represents Current Value’s more playful side while Senex is a deep dive into his more experimental, technical signature. Together they highlight two of Current Value’s strongest signature traits – his high levels of proliferation (these will be his 11th and 12th albums) and provocative sense of diversity.
The collaborative project brings together two seemingly disparate imprints – both of which have won Best Newcomer Label at the Drum&BassArena Awards – and reminds us that, regardless of what camp or sound we align our tastes to the most, there are many more dots to be joined and parallels to be made.
“It was a pretty natural process really,” explain the MethLab team. “Current Value’s initial releases on Souped Up have been an astounding success, with his take on that sound finding a real home and audience there. It made absolute sense to continue and deepen the relationship with an LP, and as such an offer came from Mark Serum to do so. At the same time, Current Value’s sonic explorations tend to move down several threads at once, and a sizable stack of heavy or experimental tracks was building that suited MethLab’s audience. After discussions with everyone, it seemed to make a lot of sense to express the different sides of Current Value’s sonic character simultaneously, and also like a really positive thing to do, to show that labels with really different sonic and visual aesthetics can still find a way to collaborate and create something unique.”
Even the album titles are unique as they reference concepts by one of the most famous psychiatrists of the 20th century. Putting the Jung into junglist, Puer and Senex represent Current Value’s more playful and series sides respectively.
“Puer represents the explorative nature of youth and the range of imagination, and in our minds, quite a punk attitude, which fits the sound that Current Value created for Souped Up perfectly. Senex represents a tonally more serious note, journeying music that represents the kind of wisdom of a real pioneer. One is not better than the other, they are two halves of the same entity, two distinct but absolutely entangled sides of the psyche of Current Value.”
The build-up to the release starts today with the first single that comprises a tune from each LP; AVGR is a high voltage hair-singeing cantankerous romp from Puer, In Depth is a brutal Senex steam roller that tunnels with pulverising drums. They both come complete with beautiful intros…
The albums will also launch with Current Value’s upgraded CVAV 2.0 show where music from both LPs will be integrated along with many other CV releases from dubs to classics. It debuts at Rampage Open Air on July While the LPs are two distinct releases on 2 very different labels, the music from both parts merges in CVAV 2.0 – an all new season of Current Value Audio Visual, powered by the music of both LPs and unique CVAV dubs, and with new visuals. That’s going to be running from October onwards, with the pre-season debut at Rampage Open Air this summer.
Two albums that explore two totally different sides of your sound: this seems like a dream project for a man of your prolific reputation and musically split personality calibre…
Current Value: I am not tied to one direction. I like to get inspired when time, circumstances and mood are right. A bit like a “multi”-interface likely resonating with different compatible programs. Both directions are well worth exploring for me as each bring different challenges and demands to the table.
These titles are Jung references, right? Puer – playful boy. Senex – wise old man. Your music has always juxtaposed these two mindsets and contain elements of both spirits often within one tune; so has this album been a different challenge in terms of how you approach both albums?
Current Value: It might be the right time to say that the idea of two albums was a natural development that was based on the “flow” of tunes deriving from my production. Once the idea was settled, I bit into it and started dedicating new material to each of the directions with exactly those respective mindsets. But you are right in saying that at the same time one tune always still contains a bit of both.
I think it’s beautiful that you’ve brought together two labels that might not seem like they’d complement each other as much as they do…
Current Value: It is two complementing realities if you will: one featuring attributes such as: cheeky, hooky, ironic, hilarious, the other representing: technology, exploration, seriousness, pragmatism. One laughing and one frowning eye of the same face.
Souped Up… You’re the laughing eye. The eternal playboys. How about that?
Serum: Yeah that’s generally how people describe Ben and I, so I’d say it’s bang on the money.
Seriously though, this is such an interesting project that I don’t think has ever been done quite like this before.
Serum: I’ve always been about trying to push through boundaries in the scene both in terms of what I do as an artist and what types of music I release on Souped Up. Working with Tim for the first time last year was a perfect opportunity to do that and we managed to change perceptions about where Current Value and Souped Up fit into the scene. With this project we get to push that whole idea one step further.
Tim is an absolute machine in the studio and his work is always high quality so he’s very easy to work with. There were a few times where I suggested a certain type of track for the album just to see what he’d come up with and he’d have a full track ready to go the next day. I don’t know how he does it!
We’ve got plans for a very interesting products to go with the album which will play even more into the theme of the project so keep your eye out for that.
Nice. So how about you MethLab, you wise old Senex you…
MethLab: MethLab has always been about exploration, and the results of those explorative journeys carefully laid out in the various projects that we work on – so in curating the music for the Senex LP, there were really certain types of tracks that we were drawn to – the more heads down, technical, and experimental side of Current Value’s production. A label acts as a mouthpiece for an artist, but it’s also a kind of filter – in this case, this whole project has really filtered the right music into the right homes where it can be properly expressed and appreciated by each label’s audience, in addition to Current Value’s own huge avid fanbase.
It’s all about collaboration, right?
MethLab: For us, the concept of collaboration in the right context is always exciting – connecting very different audiences and groups of people for the benefit of an artist is an awesome thing, and also, there’s a certain sense of responsibility when our fanbase got to a certain size, where we feel an inclination to set a positive example. To a point it’s great that people feel that can belong to a certain genre tribe if they so wish, but there’s often a tone of condescension that people adopt towards different groups, entitlement, the feeling that they are better than another, rather than recognising that people just have different tastes and acutely focus on details with their respective areas in the same way, just the things that get them going are different. So we felt this project would be great to be a part of because it, hopefully, transcends such attitudes and shows that such projects are possible. Possibility ignites imagination and makes people wonder what else is possible, and that’s a marvellous thing.
Marvellous: AVGR / In Depth are out now on Souped Up and MethLab respectively. The full albums will drop October 2019