Pyxis is a UK based artist who made her Truth EP debut on Goldfat Records late last year after more than 20 years in various support roles in the drum and bass scene. Since then, in less than a year, she has had an impressive number of releases on labels like Beats in Mind, Liquid Drops, Wiggo and now Chris Inperspective’s nascent new project Eloisa. So far it makes sense that Eloisa would be interested in an artist like Pyxis because of her jazzy, esoteric liquid style, and this indeed fits well with releases that are atypical of the usual D&B categories.
Pyxe’s debut EP on Eloisa is called XX and while it is based on fluid and fluid sound design, it’s not your standard fluid EP either. With a different singer on each track, the EP is also based on female vocals but not on pop art. Pyxis incorporates elements of many other styles and genres into the work. The EP starts with “Aura” with Ella Sopp. She has a jazzy, soulful taste that goes with Sopp’s Mary J. Blige-esque vocal timbre and R&B style. The sound design with its electronic harp notes and echo-like background melodies is really crucial to this track as it evolves “aura” beyond Liquid, Jazz, R & B and even D & B as a whole to a completely different genre.
After “Aura”, “Senses” with Colette Warren takes the EP in a different direction. Warren’s voice is pretty eclectic, so Pyxis put her on one eclectic track. “Senses” has a similar ethereal background to “Aura”, but its sine bass synthesizers flowing in and out of the track will surprise liquid fans. Warren’s vocals also move with the track, sometimes in the foreground and sounding a bit of R&B or pop, while sometimes they are in the background and set to echo and chug with the deep bass line. In two tracks, Pyxis has already explored wildly different ends of the liquid spectrum.
“Timepeace” with SOFi MARi goes into another realm of fluidity, a name-heavy stepper that surrounds the edge of the jungle and other old-school styles while maintaining the lovely, spacious sound design. There are some fun rave elements here too, as “Timepeace” really takes the listener along the timeline of jungle and D&B.
XX closes when it opens with a snare heavy, jazzy liquid track with Sydney called “Zen”. Slightly ravey as “Aura”, it highlights the versatility of Sydney’s voice in a similar way to Collette Warrens in “Senses”. “Zen” is an interesting, chilled-out infusion of all the elements in the other tracks on the EP. This is the same kind of trajectory that Pyxy’s exclusive YEDM guest mix takes. It starts with jazzy vibes, slides a little deeper (there may even be a foghorn in it) and ends with optimistic, snare-heavy vibes. At almost a full hour, the mix takes the listener on a journey through dilute air and many as yet undiscovered tracks.
EPs like XX are a sign that Liquid Drum and Bass is not only alive and well, but that artists like Pyxis are treading a new, expanding path for this and really all subgenres. Mergers are the future and both Pyxis and Eloisa are leading the way.
XX is available now at Eloisa and can be streamed or purchased here.