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Ok so you know the drill by now right? Survival Tracks compiles the five best releases of week plus one golden oldie (although not necessarily that old), that’s guaranteed to dominate the dancefloor.

Last time we spoke I began with the phrase “Well, what a week it’s been,” and I’m already considering that a huge exaggeration when looking through this week’s news. Kicking off, Critical shared the video to ’20 Questions’, the title-track from the label’s upcoming EP by Ivy Lab (out April 9th). For those of you not familiar with the name yet, firstly, what have you been doing for the past 2 years? And secondly, Ivy Lab is a trio formed of Sabre, Stray and Halogenix. Usually I’m not the biggest fan of drum & bass videos, tending to find them a little unnecessary, however the clip is shot with class and adds a new dimension to the track. Watch the video here and keep your ears open for more from the EP.

Switching over to the ever-growing empire of Geoff Presha, this week saw Samurai Music tease at the formation of “a new label or 2” via Facebook. No more details have been shared as of yet, however the post does reveal new material is forthcoming from Erkiu, DiNT, Theme and Homemade Weapons. Speaking of the latter, head over to his SoundCloud now to grab a free download of ‘Hotaru’, which the Seattlelite is giving away “just because”. Cheers!

One final thing of note before it’s on with the show; Dispatch have announced a new project is on the way from Xtrah. This will be the Londoner’s debut outing for the label founded by Ant TC1, and if his previous outings on the likes of Symmetry, Subtitles and Critical are anything to go by, we should be in for a treat.

Om Unit & Sam Binga – Onionz [Bunit]

Although each of the four tracks on Om Unit and Sam Binga’s new Transatlantic EP is worthy of a place in this feature, one is simply more worthy than the others. Marrying space-age wonder with junglistic militance, ‘Onionz’ offers silky pads, skittering percussion and what can only be described as the ghost of The Clangers. Oh, and then of course, there’s also a bassline that’ll knock your front teeth out. A fantastic inaugural release for the Bunit imprint; expect big things in the future.

DRS – Count To Ten VIP (feat. Enei) [Soul:r Music]

As if ‘Count To Ten’ wasn’t enough of a banger the first time round, DRS and Enei have really gone to town with the VIP. With the original step swapped out in favour of a stomping, bass-driven beat, the track is punctuated by devastating smash-n-grab breaks. Meanwhile, providing a relief from the doom-mongering drums is something that sounds suspiciously like Logic’s metronome; have faith, it works.

‘Count To Ten VIP’ wouldn’t be complete without the cutthroat vocals of DRS, which remain as potent as ever. One of several ground-breaking MCs currently working out of Manchester, DRS sets a new standard for lyric-focused drum & bass, and with tracks such as this, only the man himself can sum up the hype: “Best just get out my face, I’m about to react.”

Ruffhouse – UVB-76 [Samurai Music]

Nobody does threat like Ruffhouse. With only a handful of releases, the collaborative moniker of Pessimist, Vega and Cooper has already established a reputation for incredibly hard-hitting productions. Influenced heavily by techno, as is the majority of the group’s work, ‘UVB-76’ presents 8-minutes of sonic intimidation. Progressive in structure, the track plays as an unrelenting assault on the cavernous depths of the underground. It’s cross-pollination such as this, that offers a glimpse at the bright future of drum & bass.

Black Daniels – Danger (Kragen Remix) [CART Records]

It may have a total population several million below that of London, but Denmark can boast one of the most promising D’n’B scenes going. Emphasising the increasing global presence of Danish artists, native MC Black Daniels drops his 10-track Danger Remix Compilation this week, featuring producers from Sweden, the UK and of course Denmark.

Roskilde-based Kragen’s reworking of the collection’s title-track comes as a three-for-the-price-of-one package. Matching up the intro and (somewhat weak) hook with hazy synths – similar to that of countryman Beastie Respond – Kragen kicks off the track in a fantastically misleading way. Killing the initial feeling of serenity stone dead, a ruthless low end tears through – this is heavyweight juke at its best. For his grand finale, Kragen throws down an earth-shattering Amen, bringing a whole new meaning to the word ‘Danger’.

Spectrasoul – I Don’t Mind [Shogun Audio]

Considering ‘I Don’t Mind’, and it’s accompanying track ‘Always’, mark Spectrasoul’s first new release since 2013, it’s pleasing to see the Brighton duo have pulled out all the stops. Another deceptively placid number to begin with, the drifting liquid synths soon make way for something downright rude. Aggressive stabs pay tribute to the much-loved Virus sound, whilst the pairing of playful sub and delicate claps lends a more Calibre-esque tone to the track. Initially the vocal does feel a little out of place, but in fact compliments the music upon further listening.

Tried & Tested

Eveson – Numbers [Channel 82]

Not only a stand out track from Eveson’s, now sadly defunct, Channel 82 label, ‘Numbers’ is perhaps one of the most bewitching pieces of music to grace drum & bass. How it remains such a hidden gem is a mystery. The vocal is sultry yet sad, and, set against the warmth of an exceptionally emotive low-end, makes for an experience so captivating it’s practically impossible not to instantly hit replay… several times over.


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