Eclectic producer Srge_ starts 2024 with his new project entitled Really, I’m Not Sure which is the follow-up to his last release Crawl. This new project is a 23-track body of work that fuses classic retro hip-hop soundscapes with the producer’s dark synth-driven style.

The opening track “Psychedelia” is an aptly titled piece that oozes trepidation with its dark haunting pads, soft sparsely arranged keys and drums. The snares also have a slight reverb that adds depth to the overall feel. The track switches up in the halfway section into a scenic, psychedelic vibe with boombap drum grooves. “Cavern Acoustics” had a dubstep-like drum but for the most part uses a simple melancholic string synth while “KNDY” benefits from its brooding pads but doesn’t change up in terms of progression. “Eve” continues the producer’s dark theme and is similar to the preceding track with its singular production style. “Waddle” is made up of a throbbing bass synth, boxy drums and a weird synth sound design that sounds like a reversed sample.


The title track “Really, I’m Not Sure” drums are crunchy and the fusion of moody synths, and solemn strings come together to create a somewhat terrifying ambiance that comes straight out of a sci-fi horror flick. This is followed by “Vinyl Track” with its off-beat drum pattern and discordant synths and choral textures. It’s quite off-kilter and doesn’t quite feel like it’s finished. In the “Ritual Of Crickets”, the producer opts for a gripping aural approach that uses weird effects that weirdly tingle the ears. It draws listeners deep into the mix of the action with its engulfing textures for sure.  “Jacob’s Ladder” employs a slowed-down grime-inspired drum groove and the piano loop forms the focal point of the beat while the trailing synth-pads add the low-end vibration to it. Not so into “Liquid Buzzer” as the choppy drums go off-bit just an inch and the sublime pads don’t do much but leave listeners in a trance-like state. “London & The Dead” reminds me of a clip from the classic 28 days later. The dystopian feeling this beat gives is undeniable. The minimalism on this one is what makes it engaging. “Sweet & Sour” has a moody and rich downtempo feel while “Conejo” switches it up with rapid-fire drums and cinematic strings to boot.


The last three tracks showcase Srge_’s sound design to the fullest as he varies his use of layered synths, pads, leads and subtle aural effects. For example, “The House Doesn’t Chime In” is a drumless score made up of low tones, ethereal chimes with sparse bell synths and mellow pads while “I Think Mary Had A Lamb?” is an unhinged rousing industrial rock-infused piece with punchy drums, high pitched synths and pulsating low ends. The final track “An Exit” is a solemn and reflective piece that serves its true purpose with its soft bass tones, sad strings and overall farewell feel. Other interesting tracks include the rock-infused “Norwegian Song”, the minimalistic “Exhalation” and  “Zap” with its vibrating bass tone and machine gun snare-driven drum.


Overall, Really, I’m Not Sure lives up to its title and presents rich and non-conformist musical soundscapes to its audience. There is quite a lot to unpack and it will be an acquired taste for most and won’t be strange for those familiar with this type of sounds.






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