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Survival Tracks: Drum & Bass #4

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We know it’s hard to keep on top of the floods of new music each week, so we’ve narrowed it done to 5 essential tracks, plus a tried and tested bomb, to help you survive!

Well, what a week it’s been. First up, news of that ‘Headz honcho (see what I did there!) Goldie, is collaborating with Steven Lee and none other than Macy Gray! Taken from a forthcoming album of Lee’s, ‘SuperHero’ is a bit too… bright, for my liking, however Goldie has taken it upon himself to whip up a gritty, little remix that’s definitely worth a listen. (Stream both here.) It was also announced that the alchemist’s Timeless (Sine Tempore) composition would performed once again by the Heritage Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall on July 22nd and 23rd. Considering this was acclaimed as one of the biggest moments in dance history the first time round, I suggest taking a look into tickets sharpish.

Elsewhere, one of my favourite producers, Italy’s Bayou, dropped a new number on BNC Express. Although perhaps not his best work, lacking the junglistic touch I’ve come to know and love, ‘The Cave’ is definitely worth a listen. And if you’re of the RAM persuasion, I can only imagine you’ve treated yourself to 30 tracks of pure madness in the form of Audio‘s RAMlife compilation. Anyway, that’s enough of all that; on with the matter at hand…

Quentin Hiatus – Chocolate Cosmos [Free Love Digi]

As luxuriously galactic as its name suggests, ‘Chocoalate Cosmos’ is the title track of the fantastic, new EP from enigmatic producer, Quentin Hiatus. From sparse beginnings, the song comes alive once infused with rich synthetics. Hiatus forms a microcosmic universe; a bubble of warped textures forming shelter from the mysterious beyond, where haunting sonics gasp for air in the vacuum. But then, coming from a man who (according to his biography) “cultivated the Solo System”, how could anything less interstellar be expected.

Sunchase – Kolo (feat. Blu Mar Ten) [Med School]

Sunchase returns in style with his debut EP for Med School, The Truth. Although usually quite a prolific worker, it’s been a while since the Ukrainian has put out an official release. Perhaps this is unsurprising given the ongoing turmoil in his home nation, but the point is, it’s good to have him back.

A collaboration with veteran trio Blu Mar Ten, ‘Kolo’ picks up right where Sunchase left off. The producer’s signature blend of light and dark offers a sonically fulfilling contrast; all driven onwards by mathematically precise percussion.

Conduct – Vanguard [Diffrent Music]

Switching Diffrent Music‘s trademark pink for pitch black, Conduct paint a scene of utter dread. Channeling Loxy, the UK duo invoke the wrath of the Dub God; hypnotic oscillations churn the muddy low end, unleashing grinding ghouls from the depths. ‘Vanguard’ is tough – ruthless in fact – yet never obnoxious; everything that makes this style of drum & bass so encapsulating.

Headread – Timmy [Depthwise Music] 

Each time this track is played it seems to reveal something new. What seems at first to be a simple jungle roller, in fact hides layers of intricately arranged samples. Percussion loops interlock and clamber over each other like one of those geometric GIFs you simply can’t take your eyes off. And, constantly bumbling away in the background, is what can only be described as a “cheeky geezer” of a bassline; the sonic equivalent of that mate who’s had one too many, but you don’t really mind as long as he isn’t sick on your shoes.

Red Army – Flatline (feat. P-Fine) [Turbine Music]

Plucked from across the pond by the Dust Audio off-shoot Turbine, Sacramento-based Red Army delivers a low-slung half-stepper infused with tribal juices. Taken from the Utopic EP – a collaboration with Spaniard Clima – ‘Flatline’ directly injects anticipation from the off. Skippy kicks burst through a wall of screwface-inducing tech noise, only saved from the brink of digital slavery by the inherent funk of bongos. The track’s only downfall is the underuse of P-Fine’s methodically delivered vocal, which is loaded with devastating potential. (Skip to 4.34 to listen.)

Tried & Tested

Gang Related – Who Are You (Dumb Dumb Mix) [Dope Dragon]

Taking you all the way back to 1998, ‘Who Are You’ presents a typically unstoppable cut from Gang Related, otherwise known as Krust. No matter how far drum & bass goes, it’s tracks like this that will still have DJs digging through their crates and crowds worshipping them for it. There’s even rumours of this track being used to test soundsystems pre-gig. Simplicity is the key here, quality over quantity. Who needs 50 layers of sound, when they already have the grimiest bass, the most killer break, and an infinite amount of flair.

‘Who Are You (Dumb Dumb Mix) dropped via Full Cycle‘s Dope Dragon imprint as a part of the Wayz Of The Dragon compilation. The album features tracks from 3 Way, Bigga Star and Mask (aka Roni Size), plus fantastic artwork and even a fold out comic.

 

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