Hundreds of millions of streams and two Grammy wins after the 2022 release of “Lights Out”, the UK’s most in-demand producer, Fred Gibson—aka Fred again..—has finally declared his rave-leaning work-in-progress album USB complete. Gibson adds two fresh cuts to the evolving tracklist, opening on “ItsNotREEAALLLLLLLL”, a reverberating downtempo groove elevated by underground R&B star Orion Sun’s hypnotising vocal refrain. Continuing the slow build, London-based rapper BERWYN and French producer Gesaffelstein bring a grittier edge to their clearly signposted collaboration, “BerwynGesaffNeighbours”, which boasts an urgent “fuck the neighbours, turn the music up” hook, anchored by a thudding bassline. Emerging from the shadowy tones of the new material into the optimism of “stayinit”, which brings rap star Lil Yachty and production outfit Overmono together on a UK garage-influenced beat, the remainder of USB is more energetic fare. “Baby again..” with Skrillex and Four Tet pops and fizzes with percussion, while “Admit It (u dont want 2)” flips a haunting Ariana Grande sample into floor-filling catharsis. The tail end of the record hands over the reins to some of the most exciting women in electronic music—namely Nia Archives, Rico Nasty and HAAi—for dynamic takes on some of the record’s standout hits. USB stands as a living journal of Gibson’s artistic progression, neatly capping a white-hot streak of success.

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