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Stories… Young UK drum & bass artist Virtue has plenty to share.
Firstly there’s the tale of his album. A tailored narrative throughout his debut long player; each cut is a short vignette. Pieced together to take you through an all-too-familiar relationship hurricane from first sight to last fight, Virtue understands the essential album equation: 12 bangers do not equal an album with longevity or substance.
Instead, he guides us through the emotional twists and turns of a relationship cycle with subtle sonic twists, subgenres, melodic motifs, detailed drumwork and silky mixdowns on each track: from the sweet liquid love story opener of ‘Blow My Mind VIP’ right through to the poignant piano-laced post-split future-gazing ‘Of Winner Takes It All’ by way of the full-pelt dynamic bass guilty bitterness of ‘The Secret’ and every emotion in between. All the while keeping a stern eye on the dancefloor, ensuring each production’s purpose and direction isn’t lost in the concept.
Second is the story of how he was signed to John B’s Beta. After a clutch of releases on labels such as Multifunction, E-Motion and Influenza, he blindly sent ‘Blow My Mind’ to John B knowing the lilting pianos and warm soaring bass would resonate with the Beta Recordings founder. John loved it so much he opened one of his heavily-subscribed podcast episodes with it… Leaving Virtue a surprise AIM the day the podcast dropped. They started talking albums straight away.
Finally we have the story of his roots: following the well-known likes of Callide, Voltage, Decimal Bass and Konichi, Virtue is yet another successful alumni of Gloucester’s thriving D&B scene. Collaborating with local agenda-setters, he was part of the not-for-profit label Stilla Audio and regularly representing on the city’s community radio station GFM since 2009, 25-year-old Virtue’s rise is classically informed and old school: from passionate DJ to skilled producer with a real understanding of dancefloors, he’s developed his way through the local ranks and is now ready to take on the world. It’s already happening…
His life-changing off-chance Beta demo didn’t just make it to John B’s podcast, it also made number one on the 1Xtra Drum & Bass chart for two weeks running.
Virtue: a man with a real promise, an album with a real purpose, a sound with real dynamism. ‘A Soundtrack Of Two Lives’ is the tale of an aspiring, highly talented artist who’s spent years waiting to tell his story… Are you listening?