Exept is a fresh-faced drum & bass duo based out of Rome, recently discovered for their hard-hitting, no-nonsense beats. Their first single, “Kinshasa,” was released on Invisible’s Outlines 2 compilation back in January. Since then, many D&B heads have been wondering what they’d do next. MethLab has the answer in the form of their Stronger EP, out today on the imprint’s BNKR series. BNKR is meant to shed light on deep and against-the-grain bass music, and Exept definitely falls into that category.

While they may already be known for their lean but highly technical darkstep beats, their collaboration with Joanna Syze on the EP’s title track shows the duo definitely knows how to flesh out a track. Complex drums and gritty bottom-end winds around a classic, snare-heavy beat that props up Syze’s vocals.

Exept’s intricate drum programming is a front-and-center feature on the other tracks from the EP, but with “Stronger,” the duo has ingeniously made it more of an ornamental fixture. They create an ambient swell of synths over the top registers, flowing with the vox as they swell with ambient fades. This makes for a dramatic yet no-less-heavy drum-centric offering which, with the addition of Syze’s poignant and ominous vocals, is likely to cause more than a few goosebumps, both on and off the dancefloor.

With a clean, polished, and fresh style—on top of endorsements from MethLab, Invisible, and Syze already under their belts—this Stronger EP is another indication that Exept is definitely one to watch this year in the hard drum & bass and neurofunk worlds.

Available May 10 via MethLab.

Buy Exept’s Stronger EP here.

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