The Upbeats

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Drum n' bass duo from Wellington, New Zealand.
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Albums

LP018 The Upbeats — The Upbeats The Upbeats The Upbeats(CD, Album) Loop (5) LP018 New Zealand 2004 Sell This Version
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BCP002LP Nobody's Out There — The Upbeats The Upbeats Nobody's Out There (Album) Bad Taste Recordings BCP002LP UK 2007 Sell This Version
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NZNV009 Big Skeleton — The Upbeats The Upbeats Big Skeleton (Album) Non Vogue NZNV009 New Zealand 2009 Sell This Version
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VSNCD002 Primitive Technique — The Upbeats The Upbeats Primitive Technique (Album) Vision Recordings VSNCD002 Netherlands 2013 Sell This Version
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VSN027 De-Evolution — The Upbeats The Upbeats De-Evolution (Album) Vision Recordings VSN027 Netherlands 2017 Sell This Version
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NST001 No Sleep 'Til Japan & Iceland — The Upbeats The Upbeats No Sleep 'Til Japan & Iceland (Album) No Sleep Til NST001 Iceland 2018 Sell This Version
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VSN088 Not Forever — The Upbeats The Upbeats Not Forever (Album) Vision Recordings VSN088 Netherlands 2021 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

BCP 003TP Slit / Fill Me In — The Upbeats The Upbeats Slit / Fill Me In BC Presents... BCP 003TP UK 2004 Sell This Version
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HBT006 Late Night Frite / The Gospel — The Upbeats The Upbeats Late Night Frite / The Gospel Habit Recordings HBT006 US 2005 Sell This Version
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HBT010 Whitetail / Oiled Up — The Upbeats The Upbeats Whitetail / Oiled Up Habit Recordings HBT010 US 2005 Sell This Version
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TRON 008 Vodka Bender / Seduction — The Upbeats The Upbeats Vodka Bender / Seduction Subtronix TRON 008 UK 2005 Sell This Version
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BCP006 Bad Taste (Album Sampler) — The Upbeats The Upbeats / Body & Soul (2) The Upbeats / Body & Soul (2) - Bad Taste (Album Sampler) BC Presents... BCP006 UK 2005 Sell This Version
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hostile008 Monsta Mash / View From Inside — The Upbeats The Upbeats Monsta Mash / View From Inside Hostile Recordings hostile008 US 2005 Sell This Version
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RH066 Sacrifice / Dead Air — The Upbeats Noisia / The Upbeats / Phace / Cause 4 Concern Noisia / The Upbeats / Phace / Cause 4 Concern - Sacrifice / Dead Air Renegade Hardware RH066 UK 2005 Sell This Version
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P51-UK09 Ghobi Ghost / Stick Together — The Upbeats The Upbeats Ghobi Ghost / Stick Together Project 51 P51-UK09 UK 2006 Sell This Version
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VRS 016 Lost Once / Lick-A-Demon — The Upbeats The Upbeats Lost Once / Lick-A-Demon (Single) Virus Recordings VRS 016 UK 2006 Sell This Version
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HUMA8021-1 Le Mammoth / Piss Fiend — The Upbeats Upbeats* Le Mammoth / Piss Fiend Human Imprint Recordings HUMA8021-1 UK 2006 Sell This Version
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RL008 Universe / Rapture — The Upbeats The Upbeats & Bulletproof The Upbeats & Bulletproof - Universe / Rapture Red Light Records RL008 UK 2006 Sell This Version
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P51 UK 011 Poison / Take Away Soul — The Upbeats The Upbeats Poison / Take Away Soul Project 51 P51 UK 011 UK 2007 Sell This Version
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CYAN023 Camouflage Re-Lick / Antisocial — The Upbeats Bulletproof Vs The Upbeats Bulletproof Vs The Upbeats - Camouflage Re-Lick / Antisocial (Single) Cyanide Recordings CYAN023 New Zealand 2007 Sell This Version
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soulr 030 Archive / Four — The Upbeats The Upbeats Ft. Teknik / Duo Infernale The Upbeats Ft. Teknik / Duo Infernale - Archive / Four Soul:r soulr 030 UK 2007 Sell This Version
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BCP002LPS Nobody's Out There (Sampler) — The Upbeats The Upbeats Nobody's Out There (Sampler) Bad Taste Recordings BCP002LPS UK 2007 Sell This Version
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VIO 021 Nothing's Sacred / Dresden — The Upbeats Hive & The Upbeats Hive & The Upbeats - Nothing's Sacred / Dresden Violence Recordings VIO 021 UK 2007 Sell This Version
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GTEK009 Masked Warrior / Tear Down — The Upbeats The Upbeats Masked Warrior / Tear Down Ganja-Tek Recordings GTEK009 UK 2008 Sell This Version
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RISE 015 Tin God / Deviants — The Upbeats The Upbeats & State Of Mind (8) The Upbeats & State Of Mind (8) - Tin God / Deviants Uprising Records RISE 015 New Zealand 2008 Sell This Version

Add Review

jdh468

jdh468

July 21, 2022
The Upbeats are one of the most incredible and distinctive acts ever to emerge from dnb, and a shimmering jewel in the legendary New Zealand scene. Initially merging the cheekiness of a young rock band with the clarity of their genre's ever heightening production standards, Jeremy Glenn and Dylan Jones blazed a path of rabid energy: tech dnb with a wild soul.

Throughout the 2000s, their signature percussion and warbling basslines set them apart from their contemporaries, yet they could smash a club to bits as well as any tech heavyweight with their unmistakable, brilliantly quirky bangers (Werewolf, Whitetail, Antisocial, Binge Drinker, etc etc!). That said, Snake & Wolf have always been capable of transferring their mad energy to an understated work of atmospheric beauty (see 'More than One' on the late great Marcus Intalex' Soul:r label), as well as through their many incredible albums.

Oh yeah, the albums...

The Upbeats execute the oft-fumbled drum and bass LP with unparalleled finesse. Whilst their good friends and long-time collaborators Noisia most certainly taught them a thing or two in the studio, I've personally found their long players to be somewhat overwrought, unfocused, and inconsistent.

The Upbeats, however, delivered us four immaculate records within the span of a decade – with the initial two birthed from a humble tin shed!

Their first offering, simply titled The Upbeats, was a powerful mission statement indeed. Passing deftly through blissful vocal tracks and downplayed numbers into those classic Upbeats warbles, the entire work holds an earnest playfulness without compare. View From The Inside is still a ginormous hands-in-the-air moment, whilst cuts like From The Deep and Sand Bar let you dream away before a monster like Late Nite Frite hits you square in the face! Binge Drinker also features in its original form as a blistering live performance, whilst the twin Wayhays take you deep beneath the waves of the pacific. Aquatic and dreamy yet ballsy and unpretentious, this record laid the blueprint for The Upbeats’ evolutionary course.

Approaching each project with a fresh sound, The Upbeats’ records often oozed the kind of conceptual grandiosity far more common to avant-garde rock than upfront dance music. After a whimsical yet solid debut, Nobody's Out There went all in on this trait, breaking new ground for the dnb genre.

An elaborate neuro-goth fairy tale, this masterpiece grouped fantastically angry bangers such as Black Swarm alongside hypnotisingly ethereal cuts like Cascade and Girl Gone. Floating through the mist as our vocal guides came NZ's Georgie, techstep god Ryme Tyme and the Wolf Dylan Jones himself; his first of many features throughout their music. The Upbeats even structured each track to play alongside a beautifully illustrated short story included with the CD, going lightyears beyond the barrage of shallow club music which all too often passes for a drum and bass album. It would be folly to even attempt to describe how important this record is to me, so I shall simply say ‘IT’S A PERCY!’ and leave it at that.

Next, Big Skeleton followed in a similarly spooky vein, albeit with a markedly more 'Upbeat' vibe (sorry). This time, the gothic aura would be delivered with a smile and a wink to the dancefloor. Leading on from the previous LP’s brilliant yet gloomy atmosphere, Big Skeleton was a savage romp through spooky b-movie weirdness. With Bury Your Head, Under the Sky and Noises representing the continuation of NoT’s wistful atmosphere, quirkier cuts such as the Cardz featuring Ki Ki Kai Kai, dubstep trip Macabre and the twisted, carnivalesque Carousel with Kemo hinted at hip-hop flirting and genre-bending to come. Meanwhile, The Unearthly, Laser Crypt and the album’s titular opener treated us to a full-force punch in the gullet like only the Upbeats know how.

By 2013, The boys from NZ were soaring. As the first outside act to release on Noisia’s iconic Vision imprint, the arrival of Primitive Technique was a much-anticipated affair. Featuring the long-awaited dubs Diffused and Undertaker, Technique would exhibit a shinier, more expansive sound. Delivering plenty of rattling percussive madness (Thrasher, Tangerine, Retrograde!), the dreaminess was still well and truly intact courtesy of the hypnotically rolling Monogram, Tasha Baxter’s sky-scraping refrains on Alone, the trip-hop floating of Castles and breathtakingly tender Falling Into Place. However, it was the screeching synths of opener Beyond Reality which telegraphed where The Upbeats would go next.

During these years, hard drum and bass had become a festival-ready affair, and it was of little surprise that the rockstar-styled Snake & Wolf would spearhead this sound. Dominating the mid-2010’s with their Noisia buddies on the infamous Dead Limit EP, the three-part De-Evolution project followed soon after. Easily their most brazenly dancefloor-focused album, there nonetheless remained everything we’d come to expect by this point…fantastically stupid bangers (Dr. Kink), moments of emotional transcendence (Veiled, Elevator) as well as some very probable mosh-inciters with DOOM and Babylon, the latter featuring Foreign Beggars’ Orifice Vulgatron on track. Liquid brilliants turned halftime dons Ivy Lab even made an appearance on the silky Pharoah.

In more recent years, Drum & Bass has evolved significantly in terms of style and production trends. With pop and hip-hop vocals (though long featuring in the Upbeats work) now more prevalent than ever throughout the genre as well as on the latest Upbeats LP, it feels like the grit and rocky aggression of Out There/Skeleton are far behind us. Tracks like Realm, Divide and Horizon give a firm head nod to the new school of dnb producers who fill headline spots these days. Evolution, however, is healthy and natural, and I know the Upbeats have it in them to maintain their unique spark whilst many of their 2000s contemporaries shift with the times.

Anyway! For the TLDR crew: The Upbeats may have evolved over the years, but they can still absolutely smash it in any style whilst easily standing as tall as the mighty Noisia (RIP) ;)
ante00

ante00

January 28, 2022
The Upbeats are reminiscent of Noisia, only much less interesting and with quite a dull sound design palette.
soundbound_88

soundbound_88

June 28, 2017
I love these guys sound. Their albums are great i think, from the harder hitters towards the more emotional songs. You cannot go wrong with Snake and Wolf if you like this kinda music/sounddesign.

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