Reviews of new releases and fresh promo’s.
Vroom – For The New Dawn (Cosmic Bridge)
First time I heard “For The New Dawn” I was reminded of “Universal Love” by 4hero. Blending live keys, horns and reflective vocals courtesy of Agama the title track is a wonderful example of space jazz fit for bass lovers. The flip side features the mesmerising opus “Stargazing” featuring label boss Om Unit. Coming in at almost ten minutes imagine a modern drum and bass collaboration between Weather Report and Autechre and you should get an idea of what to expect. If you like your jungle experimental and expressive I can’t recommend this EP enough.
Innervisions – Absolute Zero (Infrared Records)
The first release on the relaunched Infrared Records sees label boss J Majik drop an unreleased dub from the nineties under his Innervisions alias. “Absolute Zero” is a masterclass in the golden era of drum and bass. Frenetic amen edits and a weighty bassline underpin jagged atmospherics and ghostly echoes. Subtle bleeps and ethereal chords overarch the rugged drums resulting in five minutes of cosmic bliss. Reminiscent of pivotal Photek and Source Direct “Absolute Zero” harks back to a time of dark rooms, mysterious unlabelled dubplates and getting lost in the moment on the dance floor when an amen dropped.
Adam F – The Undertaker / Future Sound (Infrared Records)
The second release on the relaunched Infrared Records sees a further two unreleased tracks rescued out the DAT Archive from 1995. “The Undertaker” is classic mid-nineties jungle that would have been hailed an anthem if released back in the day. Featuring an instantly recognisable bass line loop, reggae vocal samples and amen edits this track will undoubtedly ignite dance floors. “Future Sound” reflects the deeper side to Adam’s production, sci-fi chimes and dark plunging chords ride a tough beat and energetic b-line to create a perfect example of nineties underground drum and bass.
2 Bad Mice – Remixes (Sneaker Social Club)
Man of the moment Sully takes on “Gone Too Soon” replacing the euphoric piano from the original with reflective pads, distorted bass and deft Apache edits. Whereas the original was traditional Moving Shadow this is vintage Metalheadz. On the flip side FaltyDL remixes “Limit of Paradise” throwing in as many melodies and ideas into one track than you’d find on most modern drum and bass EPs. The result is a fitting tribute to the halcyon days of 1992.
Justice – Index (Ortem)
Original jungle pioneer Justice pushes the boundaries of what’s considered drum and bass with this four-track EP on experimental label Ortem. Featuring a half time glitched beat and three anarchic techno grooves (overall three around 170, one at 130 beats per minute) this release is for those who like progressive electronics from artists that aren’t afraid to take risks.
Philip D Kick – Pathways (Astrophonica)
Cosmic Bridge boss and Metalheadz producer Om Unit revives his Philip D Kick alias for five dance floor based tracks blending breaks, jungle and footwork. A departure from Jim’s more experimental style this EP throws back to the anything-goes attitude of the early nineties where tracks were unpredictable yet constructed to move a crowd.
Enjoy – Switch (Criterion Records)
Simple yet effective “Switch” starts out with melodic pads and Humpty beats before breaking down to silence. An Amen then slowly filters in before fully unleashing the main drop. This switch between styles is executed flawlessly and gives the track character and its name. Drum and bass for purists with an Amen chopped so rhythmically it takes on its own personality.
Words: Dave Sector
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