So it’s that time again, these are my picks. With tracks from Current Value, Emperor and Subzero to name a few…
Rune, Kaiza and Seibel – Firestorm [Druid records]
The Druid camp, have caught my ear a few times already and again with this release show they are pushing in the right direction. Following on from recent success with Aggresor Bunx’s releases, the trio of Rune, Kaiza and Seibel come with some fire. Kaiza remixes Seibels – dislocation. Adding a chugging heavy Tech vibe, rolling out nicely. Seibels -Takeover is remixed by Instinkt (Rune+Kaiza), with a full Neuro vibe. The title track Firestorm, with all 3 artists involved is the best. Aptly named this is a banger. Lively and with some twisted Mentasm, this is a big tune. The way the trio work the bass in this keeps it interesting and I look forward to any future collaboration.
Borderline – Complication/Prolix-Who run it(Borderline remix) [Trendkill]
Trendkill bossman Prolix, has some serious beats up his sleeve. This time its Borderline with his own track Complication and his rework of Who run it. Complication starts with an eerie signal intro, but you know that’s a prelude for a Bass heavy Tech track. My favourite of the two is his remix of Who run it. I loved the original, so am always worried when a remix comes out. My fears were unfounded and Borderline… well he works the track to blistering effect. I love a Bass drop that’s both large but retains the Funk, this tune does exactly that. Plenty of progression and switches in the Bass make this a great track. Trendkill again, all about quality.
Bensley – Next Generation [Ram]
Bensley caused quite a stir at Ram, his Demo was enough to get Ram to sign him exclusively and certainly for me aroused my interest immediately. Now I have his LP I see why. For someone to be held in such high regard so quickly is testament to him. Next Generation has 10 tracks, all with his style and sound. But if I were to make a comparison, it would be of say Frederic Robinson or Camo & Krooked’s Zeitgest. So you know production is right up there. Tunes are melodic and uplifting but not cheesy!!! When writing this a particular Genre came to mind, it’s not well known and it’s not D&B. It’s also stupidly named, but I was thinking of Shoe Gaze, yeah haha. In short check this out, its worthy of the hype. Stand out tracks for me are Nocturne, Rain Dance and Next generation.
Current Value – Force Black EP [Bad Taste]
Current Value right now for me is setting the bar for D&B, coupled with Bad Taste a Label that pushes D&B forward, you know it’s going to be a bit special. The EP comprises of 6 intricate, yet insane tracks. With releases for Critical and the Airlock EP (Machine Code) before this, Bad Taste have got the best out of Current Value. Current Values distinct style, Energetic and infused with Techno, with Bass that just messes with your head, is in abundance here. I cannot rate this EP highly enough. Ngine, is just fierce! Force Black is an excellent Techstep affair and leaves only Happy mode to finish on. As the title suggests there is an element of uplift in this track, but do not expect it to be in anyway a Cheesefest! This is such a great track, excellent use of the vocals, intricately produced and as with everything Current Value does, insane energy!!! Get this.
Philth – The Cosmos EP [Dispatch]
6 tracks, Collaborations with Bredren, Agman Gora and P Fine. If you’re not yet familiar with the outrageous foodie that is Philth, what are you doing?! This is another excellent accomplished release. I personally think this is some of his best work, working with Bredren is clearly something that churns out great tracks and has previously. Both Agman Gora and P Fine contribute to their tracks equally well. This is packed with some serious artillery. Cosmos lures you in with a soundscape only to destroy that with huge array of Bass. This builds and progresses, something I love and not enough do. Greed another personal, has a Sub on it that could very well kill you and if not you, your speakers! Generous as well, they have thrown in Souzou VIP, a lovely Techy track. For the heads and ravers, this one is you! Check it out.
Emperor – Into the Black EP [Critical]
Critical have been prolific in its quality of output of late. This continues with Emperor’s Into Black EP. The no nonsense artwork is fitting, because this is no nonsense Drum & Bass. 5 tracks, unless you buy direct from Critical. That entitles you to the epic She said VIP as a 6th, so guess where you should get your copy?!? This is as I said earlier, a no nonsense peak time assault of bangers. Each track is excellent in its own right. The tracks are twisted, heavy and will have the dance losing it. Passed up is one of the better, serious weight on this track! The way the Bass changes leaves you wanting more. If you listen to one track today, make sure its Mind games. It’s likely to give you a prolonged case of Bassface. This track has a blender style Bass but it’s not that simple, its intro lulls you into a false sense of security and then the drop. I will just call it THE drop, because it’s that mad. Insanity levels high on this.
Signs – Naked Lunch EP [Eatbrain]
Pretty sure that Eatbrain have featured heavily in my picks and mixes for some time now. Jade really has taken his label to forefront of the Neuro genre. But not content leaving it there, he appears to challenge the artist’s to add that little bit more madness to a track. I love that. Signs have their own distinct style, sparse yet hard but maintain that drive. Jade adds his magic to Vermin, hypnotically rhythmic. Percuss, the tune of the EP. The track I have heard mentioned most on social media is excellent. It’s another personal for me, the Subs on this track coupled with the mentasm sounds, will slay the dance. You need this.
Mind Vortex – Against the Grain EP [Ram]
This could be a little precursor to an LP maybe. Again following the winning formula of the Colours EP, Mind Vortex are back. Each track is good in this release, 2 huge bangers, 1 uplifting track and 1 Intelligent Stepper. Title track is an Andy C special, set opening intro into a huge Bass drop. Curve ball is a track I wasn’t expecting to hear on this EP. It’s the intelligent stepper I mentioned. You really should listen to this track, has influences of Trance/Techno but used really well. Stand high ft Daniela is a Festival track, plenty of vibes likely to induce drunken ravers into singing along. Complimenting that track well, is the beast of the EP. Bigger than that ft Evil B, Evil’s bars on this set the tone. This is another personal of mine right now. It’s a big big tune, the track is on steroids and will fuck you up.
VA – Various Artists EP [Invisible]
Noisia’s imprint Invisible, synonymous with forward thinking Drum & Bass, opted for a VA EP this time round. Comprising of some of the hottest talent right now in Lockjaw, Subtension, Current Value & Survey. As you would expect this is not your run of the mill D&B. Expect some Neuro sounds, coupled with the high production values that Noisia demand. Cotton punch by Current Value, is an intense track, unrelenting and uncompromising. The Hunter by Survey, is the more deep of the tracks, but still Techy. Subtension’s sound is prominent in Midnight flush, well crafted and futuristic. The pick of the EP, has to be Lockjaw’s Obsidian. Complex enough for the connoisseur, but still packs weight.
Subzero – Inside the Beast EP [Playaz]
I am really impressed with this EP. Subzero has crafted 6 tracks including Jump up and Bangers, but not content with that, has made something outstandingly emotive. I don’t mind admitting Jump up is not for me mostly, however Straight in & Something for the weekend has changed that. Back yard Skank is pure vibes, all bounce & Bass. 2 tracks stand out for me, Inside the Beast and Heart’s on Fire. The title track is a pure peak time hammer of a track, high energy, heavy beats and Bass. Subzero’s stepping game is strong in this track. To round off the EP, is my pick of the bunch. When something Vocal or Liquid in style, is beating the banger, it’s got to be good. Lucy Kitchens vocals are hauntingly good, the production and her vocals create a fantastically emotive track which I love and you need to hear. This whole EP brings a huge smile to my face. Love it.