ROTW: Dennis Sheperd - Onwards // Upwards

Just one year on from his 2021-released ‘Find The Sunrise’ LP. Berlin-based trance and progressive producer Dennis Sheperd returns to releasing long players. The beginning of this month saw the German artist drop his brand new ‘Onwards // Upwards’ LP, once again on Dutch-imprint Black Hole Recordings. At 14 tracks in total, the record brings a generous amount of content, and goes a pretty long way in terms of collaboration, having 16 different names credited alongside Sheperd on the track

ROTW: Dennis Sheperd - Onwards // Upwards

titles. A large majority of the features come by way of vocal contributions, with Diana Miro, Cid Sedgwick, Elliot Johns, RELEJI, and a bunch more included. From the outside it seems like your standard trance meets progressive project, though when you get beneath the surface, it’s quite a unique approach. The core of the record is straight forward trance, but throughout the tracklist you’ll experience a wide spectrum of influences. The opening inclusion ‘Intouchable’ delivers on the supersaw-loaded breakdown and rolling trance basslines, ‘Denials’ falls toward the progressive end of melodic club music, and is finished off with a heartfelt vocal from Diana Miro. ‘Hearts’ is perhaps the most leftfield track on the entire album, combining upbeat breakbeats with bright synth melodies and a softened topline. And elsewhere you’ll find tech-trance, uplifting-trance, and house. It doesn’t really do anything overly fancy or out-of-the-box, but what it does do, it does well, and out of the 14 tracks included, we only really felt ourselves wanting to hit next on maybe two. If melodic music is your thing, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here.

Where to start:
Denials: Uplifting & harmonising chords layered with a chilling vocal
Sugar Coat: Emotive melodies stacked over synth pads and filtered basslines
The March: Powerful low end matched with hard drums and gliding synth melodies

Previous from Dennis Sheperd:
Find The Sunrise LP (2021, Black Hole Recordings)
Fight Your Fears LP (2015, A Tribute To Life)

If you like this then check out:
Activa – Origins LP (2021, Black Hole Recordings)
Will Atkinson – Last King Of Scotland (2020, Black Hole Recordings)

Dennis Sheperd – Onwards // Upwards LP is out now on Black Hole Recordings.