CamelPhat unveil full 21-track debut album ‘Dark Matter’: Album Review
The name CamelPhat inspires lofty expectations amongst listeners, a fact which can be attributed to the weight of their infallible reputation within the scene, a reputation which has been built brick by brick, song by song, over the course of a decade. CamelPhat have firmly established themselves as one of the most visionary outfits in the industry, and rightly so. The pairing have continually reinforced their stature through adding to their expansive discography, which spans the vast spectrum of electronic music.
The Liverpudlian power-duo have earned the respect of the masses through a continual supply of faultless releases, from the genius of their early anthems including ‘Siren Song’, ‘Constellations’ and ‘Trip’ to their Grammy-nominated Elderbrook collaboration ‘Cola’. In recent years, CamelPhat have expanded their already-weighty discography to include stand-out sensations; ‘Panic Room’ with Au/Ra, ‘Breathe’ with Cristoph and Jem Cooke, and ‘Be Someone’ with Jake Bugg. Throughout the pairing’s illustrious career, the expectation of an album has been ever-present, and in October 2018, CamelPhat finally announced that their debut album was in the works. Since then, fans all over the world have been fervently anticipating its release, and now the time has finally come. Today, CamelPhat have unveiled their full 21-track album, ‘Dark Matter’, featuring a number of previously released hits alongside a plethora of brand new music.
CamelPhat – Blackbirds (feat. Leo Stannard)
The album begins with ‘Blackbirds’, which sees CamelPhat explore a brand new production realm, offering a more mellow atmosphere than the pair are primarily known for. Recruiting Leo Stannard to provide soulful vocals, this soothing track sees a seamless blend of elements provoke an aura of relaxation for the listener. Building the atmosphere, this track provides the perfect starting point, giving listeners a taste of what is to come while inspiring a sense of awe from the get-go.
CamelPhat – Be Someone (feat. Jake Bugg)
Next up, CamelPhat’s 2019 hit alongside Jake Bugg, ‘Be Someone’, marks the next step on a glorious listening journey. Bugg’s hypnotic vocals intertwine with seductive synths, building upon the track’s breathtaking atmosphere. As ‘Be Someone’ reaches its peak, the phenomenal bassline powers through, as the track evolves into an immediate club essential. Having already amassed over 27 million streams on Spotify alone, this anthem is already a certified fan-favourite worldwide.
CamelPhat & ARTBAT – For A Feeling (feat. Rhodes)
Putting a brand new spin on an already top-tier anthem, CamelPhat have delivered an outstanding Dark Matter edit of their ARTBAT and Rhodes collaboration ‘For A Feeling’. Aptly named, this track provokes a spectrum of feeling for the listener. At its pinnacle, ‘For A Feeling’ unfolds to reveal a power-driven bassline that gives the track an innate danceability. The melody delves deep, in synchronicity with the vocals, sparking an intense listening experience that is unrelenting throughout.
CamelPhat – Inbetween The Lines
The fourth track on the album, ‘Inbetween The Lines’, inspires brand new sensations for the listener, fusing influences from electronic and classical to create a meticulously crafted symphony. Exploring yet another dimension, CamelPhat expertly prove yet again that their masterful production prowess can be applied to any genre of their choosing.
CamelPhat – Hypercolour (feat. Yannis)
Next, it’s the turn of 2020 hit ‘Hypercolour’, which saw CamelPhat collaborate with Yannis Philippakis, frontman of Foals. Yannis’ serene vocals guide the listener through an intoxicating journey, harmonising with the track’s core elements. The build-up during this track is truly second to none, maximising the level of adrenaline felt by the listener before unraveling into a dance floor anthem that retains its emotive intensity until its final moments.
CamelPhat – Spektrum (feat. Ali Love)
‘Spektrum’ is another previously-unheard track, fusing the talents of Ali Love with the production prowess of CamelPhat. As with the preceding records, the core of this track is trance-inducing, with dreamy synths that complement Love’s vocals in true harmony. Although ‘Spektrum’ is one of the more mellow chapters of the album, it still delivers in every sense, providing a brand new production perspective.
CamelPhat – Dance With My Ghost (feat. Elderbrook)
One of the most desired components ahead of the album’s release was a follow-up to Grammy-nominated anthem ‘Cola’, and CamelPhat have certainly delivered in this regard. Teaming up with Elderbrook again, the musicians have unveiled ‘Dance With My Ghost’, a melodic symphony with an underlying hard-hitting bassline that intensifies the listening experience. Expectations were excessively high ahead of the long-awaited second collaboration between CamelPhat and Elderbrook, and the resulting track delivers on every level.
CamelPhat – Easier (feat. Lowes)
Next up is unquestionably one of the most remarkable tracks that CamelPhat have ever produced, ‘Easier’. The dulcet tones of Lowes’ vocals evoke a feeling of serenity, guiding the track through a series of piano chords. At its peak, ‘Easier’ explodes to reveal perhaps one of the finest moments of the entire album, a fusion of electronic elements that evolve into a spellbinding drop. Written by Florence Welch,‘Easier’ is a pre-destined festival-favourite, and will no doubt make a lasting impact on the electronic music scene.
CamelPhat – Panic Room (feat. Au/Ra) [Club Mix]
Following on from one masterpiece to another, the next track featured is the club mix of CamelPhat’s 2018 hit alongside Au/Ra, ‘Panic Room’. Despite ‘Cola’ often being hailed as CamelPhat’s greatest triumph, ‘Panic Room’ served to further solidify their reputation, connecting with listeners like never before. Upon its release, ‘Panic Room’ became an instant festival favourite, with crowds all over the world never failing to sing along to the unforgettable vocal.
CamelPhat & Skream – Keep Movin’ (feat. Max Milner)
‘Keep Movin’ sees CamelPhat combine their talents with Skream and Max Milner, resulting in an addictive hit with memorable, soulful vocals. This dreamy anthem puts emphasis on the lyrical element, while using abstract synths to add adrenaline. Designed for the dancefloor, ‘Keep Movin’ will definitely become a major feature on the events circuit post-COVID.
CamelPhat – Wildfire (feat. Lowes)
Moving on to another vocal-powered track, ‘Wildfire’ sees Lowes take the lead. The serenity of this track is undeniable, slowing the tempo to showcase the vocal element seamlessly. The harmonious piano chords accompany Lowes effortlessly, blending to create a track that is powered by feeling and emotion. ‘Wildfire’ is an example of CamelPhat’s ability to connect with the listener, not simply through dancefloor anthems, but with regard to intense vocal ballads too.
CamelPhat – Cola (feat. Elderbrook) [Dark Matter Edit]
Breathing a new lease of life into their best known single, ‘Cola’, CamelPhat have provided a Dark Matter Edit of the hit, alongside Elderbrook. This version builds the tension from the outset, utilizing dreamy synths alongside echoing vocals. The edit builds upon the original, adding intensity before delving into the recognisable chorus. With the original having racked up over 182 million Spotify streams, there’s no denying that this remains the most successful release CamelPhat have ever had.
CamelPhat & Cristoph – Phantoms
CamelPhat and Cristoph have already proven to be a winning combination, as was previously shown when the artists collaborated on hit single ‘Breathe’. Now the artists have fused their talents once again, this time resulting in a brand new sensational anthem, ‘Phantoms’. This instrumental track is intense from the outset, utilizing an ominous bassline alongside alluring synths. ‘Phantoms’ is a certified dance floor anthem, and oozes the atmospheric quality required to bring any venue to life. Designed for live experiences, this track brings a whole new meaning to the word hypnotic, and will have the listener entranced upon every single replay.
CamelPhat – Rabbit Hole (feat. Jem Cooke)
As the album moves into its second half, 2019 anthem ‘Rabbit Hole’ is a welcome addition to the tracklist. This captivating original features vocals from Jem Cooke, previously known for her contribution to the ‘Breathe’ collaboration. ‘Rabbit Hole’ has already amassed over 19 million streams on Spotify, and has truly earned its place amongst CamelPhat’s best-loved hits. With a melody that gives the listener the feeling of spinning, this mesmeric masterpiece is a welcome inclusion on the album.
CamelPhat – Not Over Yet (feat. Noel Gallagher)
Perhaps the most eagerly-awaited track on the entire album, ‘Not Over Yet’ sees the Liverpool natives collaborate with Mancunian icon Noel Gallagher, primarily known as the ex-lead guitarist from Oasis, and later as lead vocalist in the band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. In 2018, Gallagher mentioned CamelPhat in an interview, when he cited ‘Cola’ as one of the tracks that had blown him away around that time. Since then, fans have been eager for the musicians to collaborate, and now the moment has finally arrived, as ‘Not Over Yet’ has been unveiled. Expectations reached lofty heights ahead of this joint-effort, but CamelPhat have certainly delivered. Gallagher’s vocals intertwine effortlessly with euphoric synths. The track’s build-up is truly awe-inspiring, heightening the tension as it evolves. As each element unravels, listeners are treated to a devastatingly brilliant bass-heavy segment that gives the track an entirely new vitality. There can be no doubt that this will be one of the most celebrated tracks of 2020.
CamelPhat – Waiting (feat. Eli & Fur)
Next up, CamelPhat have joined up with Eli & Fur, combining their talents to unveil ‘Waiting’. This sultry track is centered around exquisite vocals, which blend wonderfully with the subdued yet hard-hitting undertones. Though this track is more soothing than others featured on the album, it is equally if not more unique, and more memorable. ‘Waiting’ is yet another example of CamelPhat’s dexterity in production, no matter which style they choose to pursue.
CamelPhat – Carry Me Away (feat. Jem Cooke)
‘Carry Me Away’ is another vocal-centric anthem, hitting the listener straight in the soul with the serene voice of Jem Cooke. Another stripped-back anthem, ‘Carry Me Away’ uses heartbreaking piano chords to build upon the emotion portrayed. Towards the end of ‘Carry Me Away’, strings are used to add drama to the listening experience, making this one of the most masterful creations in CamelPhat’s history.
CamelPhat – Reaction (feat. Maverick Sabre & DEL-30)
‘Reaction’ sees CamelPhat combine forces with DEL-30 and Maverick Sabre, resulting in a thundering underground floor-shaker with a compelling bassline that will have the listener hitting replay indefinitely. This track is undoubtedly destined to wreak havoc on the clubbing circuit as soon as circumstances permit.
CamelPhat – Witching Hour (feat. Will Easton)
Recently-released single ‘Witching Hour’ sees CamelPhat surprise listeners by venturing down an unexpected path. In collaboration with Will Easton, the pairing have unveiled perhaps one of the most lethal kick drums to ever see the light of day. It is difficult to listen to this track without being overwhelmed by the sheer dexterity with which it has been created, exploring brand new dark realms effortlessly. Beyond question, this is one of the most high-power releases that the duo have ever put their hand to, with lively synths bouncing along the thundering lower lines, creating a symphony of power that is predestined to become a festival staple.
CamelPhat – Expect Nothing
‘Expect Nothing’ has been an eagerly-awaited ID for some time now, and CamelPhat’s global fan base will be thrilled to see this festival anthem see the light of day. The addictive vocal repeats the mantra “house is a feeling”, a phrase which will no doubt resonate with many. The uplifting undertones of ‘Expect Nothing’ make it the perfect day party essential, ideally suited to a summer afternoon, delivering a taste of the atmosphere that was missed so dearly this year.
CamelPhat & Cristoph – Breathe (feat. Jem Cooke) [Dark Matter Edit]
Finishing up the album in phenomenal style, CamelPhat have brought brand new life to their iconic Cristoph and Jem Cooke collaboration, ‘Breathe’. This Dark Matter Edit lengthens the original, building upon the orchestral intro and intensifying the atmosphere created by the string and vocal elements. Fans will recognise those familiar haunting vocals, but will be captivated by the adaptations that have been made to other aspects of the track. The pinnacle of ‘Breathe’ has been stripped back, and the melody has been developed to create a brand new experience for the listener. Though it seemed impossible to improve upon perfection, CamelPhat, Cristoph and Jem Cooke have achieved the unimaginable, putting a brand new spin on a universally-loved classic.
Within the music industry, CamelPhat are known as visionaries, having garnered widespread respect for every single one of their releases. Thus, the expectations ahead of this release were sky high, and it’s safe to say that the duo have delivered beyond anything thought possible. ‘Dark Matter’ is the culmination of over a decade of contributions to the music industry, from both Dave Whelan and Mike Di Scala, who have proven beyond doubt that they are two of the most gifted musicians out there. This album is the product of their talent, their unique, raw take on electronic music, and their ability to continuously delve into new realms and deliver timeless anthems that represent the genre in the greatest possible light. Although 2020 has marked a dark year for the industry, this record is exactly what the world of electronic music needed, symbolizing exactly what we have to look forward to when the live events industry can reopen fully. This is a record that deserves to be played in a live setting, and we hope that 2021 will provide such an opportunity.
Stream the full album below.
Image credit: CamelPhat