ALBUM REVIEW: Sigma – 'Life'

These days everyone can associate something with the name Sigma. Nowadays, “Nobody to Love” is not uncommonly played several times in one night out, resulting in everyone trying to dance to the drum ’n’ bass sound by hyperactively jumping around.

As I have been a drum ’n’ bass listener for almost 10 years now, I knew Sigma before their mainstream phase (yep, I know I’m being a hypocritical hipster here). The 2009 released track “Paint it Black” was an often played song when hanging out with my friends. We just loved the pure d’n’b, not featuring any famous singers or cheesy lyrics. But today, more and more DJs turn to mainstream electronic, making an underground genre suitable for the masses. Skrillex lead this commercialisation with dubstep a couple of years ago and has now produced Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”, and it seems like now many of DJs like Sigma and Netsky want to do the same with drum ’n’ bass. Nonetheless, calling Sigma’s first album Life a drum ’n’ bass album would be ridiculous as it only features one true d’n’b song.

“Beyond The Wall” is a pretty decent track, so I’m wondering why they didn’t put more of these on the album. The other songs are pretty much like hit Paloma Faith collaboration “Changing”. The not really unique lyrics are pushed in the foreground while the drum ’n’ bass sound becomes the background melody. Too often cheesy piano music is used for the intro of the song, making it sound like every other pop song in the charts. The duo found a method that works: take some famous guest singers, a piano and mediocre sounding electro melody and mix it together et voilà, an economical valuable dance-pop hit. Most of the album’s songs sound the same, with the same structure of lyrics with a building beat that ends in a droppingdrum ’n’ bass sound. This results in an album full of unoriginal songs, only produced for the charts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate a drum ’n’ bass track immediately when it becomes successful. I was always over the moon when between  horrible r’n’b songs, a DJ played “Nobody to Love”. But DJs who are jumping onto a train and just recycle music over and over again, only because it made money once, are bothering me (not to mention all the people who suddenly ‘love drum ’n’ bass like Sigma and DJ Fresh’).  In conclusion: if you’re a fan of pop ’n’ bass, take a listen, you might like a couple of tracks, whereas if you are someone like me who enjoys the sound of pure d’n’b, I advise you to avoid the mainstream drum ’n’ bass in the charts, it’s not worth it.

Review by Carolin Wolfsdorf