LP released: Nov 03, 2023

Side A
1. Euphoria 1:49
2. Soft Hallucinations 2:00
3. Sky Move 2:40
4. Destroyed Dreams 2:06
5. Horror Trip 1:39
6. Floating Illusions 2:23
7. Lost Chance 1:46
8. The Morning After 3:15
9. Random Thoughts 1:12
Side B
1. Heroin 2:44
2. Night Trip 2:54
3. Day Trip 1:21
4. Dealer's Corner 3:23
5. Sad And Hopeless 1:53
6. Riding Pegasus 3:32
7. Hopeless Chaos 2:15
8. Goin' Mad 2:06

Sven Torstenson's notorious Drugs is a loopdigga's fever dream, bursting with
breaks for days and featuring possibly the most iconic cover of all library
music's cult classics. First released in 1980, it's now a hyper-rare and
seriously sought-after electronic album full of experimental soundscapes and
samples just waiting to be flipped. It's both terrifying and terrifyingly good.
So much so, it's been brilliantly sampled by Kendrick Lamar and Chance The
The sleeve describes Drugs as containing "the newest dimensions of electronic
sounds. Dramatic underscores for all problems of today's life and society, at
the border between reality and delusion." That's pretty spot-on. The fast moving
"Euphoria" is an incredible, unignorable opener. It's loaded with disorientating
effects and really needs to be heard to be believed. It's followed by the
gorgeous "Soft Hallucinations", containing quiet, meditative and beautiful
sounds - as the title suggests. One listen and you'll want to live in the warm
embrace of this beatless, harmonic gem. Sinister squelchy synth stabs don't
distract from the sheer beauty of the track's main (gentle) thrust. They only
serve to elevate its trippy magic.
Next up, "Sky Move"'s agitated and repetitive rhythm makes it an intense listen
but with a broad melody that will appeal to many. "Destroyed Dreams" utilises a
muffled church organ and it sounds heavenly to begin with but it gradually
invites increasingly distorted elements. Yes, you've had trips like this, we're
pretty certain. Mental! Talking of bad trips, never have they sounded so good as
"Horror Trip"; this fractured drama-synth just needs some some dusty beats to
hold it up - get involved.
"Floating Illusions" almost sounds like a beatless Spiritualized bomb from the
early-mid 90s; melodic, synthy, church organ-drenched. The mournful, dramatic
"Lost Chance" pulses along on a bed of acidy synths whilst "The Morning After"
is the sonic equivalent of the extreme fear and doom experienced in the
aftermath of the previous night's carnage. Whilst somewhat uncomfortable
listening, again, it's pretty compelling thanks to the myriad effects being
expertly utilised. Fascinating. The sprawling, fragmented "Random Thoughts" is
described as containing "confused melody phrases" - yeah, pretty much sums this
one up.
The B-Side is ushered in by "Heroin" and it's as sketchy as you might think, all
mysterious minor chords with a dominating - but not overbearing - bass refrain.
Next up, the dream-like synthy fanfare of "Night Trip" climaxes after a few
minutes of dramatic, ecclesiastical sounds whilst "Day Trip" layers its melody
over a repetitive rhythmic base.
Next up, one of the *REAL* highlights makes itself known. Absolutely not to be
missed, "Dealer's Corner" is all shifting tenors from quiet to hectic and back
around again. The hectic parts are like a totally synthed-out-the-eyeballs
jazz-funk collective wigging out with the latest electronic toys from 1980. This
one totally SMOKES.
The dramatic "Sad And Hopeless" is appositely replete with dissonant, minor
church-organ chords whilst "Riding Pegasus" uses a creepy ostinato bass melody
to create irrational bleepy menace that's ripe for sampling. The penultimate
track, "Hopeless Chaos" is another disorientating trip, a bleepy confection of
sounds and phrases whilst closer "Goin' Mad" is all electronic percussion with
an unpleasant rhthymic feel and irritating melody. Music to annoy your partner
Established in Munich in 1965 by Gerard and Rotheide Narholz, Sonoton introduced
library music to Germany. Initially intended to cater to the country's new TV
market, the library also provided an avenue for Gerhard Narholz's astonishing
musical prolificacy, and soon became a haven for a wide range of European
composers and musicians. In 1969, Sonoton struck a deal with the British label
Berry Music for international publishing rights, exposing its catalog to a
worldwide audience; when Berry was bought out by EMI in 1973, Sonoton
transitioned into a full-fledged international label, with successes in the
library and commercial fields and many innovations to its credit. Now a
worldwide operation with hundreds of producers and composers under its employ,
Sonoton nonetheless remains an independently run business still helmed by its
founders - a remarkable achievement in an era when nearly every other major
library has been absorbed by a multinational conglomerate.
The audio for Drugs has been remastered by Be With regular Simon Francis,
ensuring this release sounds better than ever. Cicely Balston's expert skills
have made sure nothing is lost in the cut whilst the original, iconic sleeve has
been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue