Mode B – Phantoms & Ghosts
Mode B is a project by two Ukrainian gents that focuses on melodic minimal house and ‘neotrance’. Neotrance is a niche genre that’s been used to describe the sounds of artists such as Trentemøller, James Holden, Nathan Fake, Ryan Davis and many others of that nature. The definition doesn’t really seem to be in concrete anywhere, but once you’ve heard a few tracks branded as neotrance, you’ll quickly understand what the sound represents. To me, it’s like a more melodic, eerie kind of techno-house fusion that focuses on creating an evolving soundscape of synths, often with heavy use of clicky and odd sounding samples.
This might not make a lot of sense to you non-producer muggles, but one characteristic that I’ve found is shared between a lot of neotrance is the faux brassy sounding leads, which by that I mean a more warped, bending and often fluttery version of a brass preset in a VST like Sylenth1 of Z3ta.
These leads are certainly apparent in the newest Mode B release, Phantoms & Ghosts. Recently released on one of Ryan Davis’ Klangwelt label, the three track EP features a very clear and distinctive sound that ties it together. I feel that all three tracks would work excellently on the dancefloor, whether it’s the moody, gently oscillating basses of Phantom, the more traditionally progressive stylings of the hauntingly beautiful, vocal infused Zentrum, or the ever building, overwhelming sound of the other title track, Ghost. Punchy, solid drum work is the glue that holds these tracks together, working in perfect synchronicity with the complex and ever changing bass and melody lines.
Though Mode B have only got a couple of releases under their belts, there’s definitely no shortage of talent. If what you just heard tickled your fancy, you would do well to take a look at the other releases on the Back Home Klangwelt Kollectiv, which is the two labels managed by Ryan Davis. The first, Back Home focuses on the more experimental, minimal side of house, and the other, Klangwelt hones in on the melodic, dancefloor oriented style of production.