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Survival Tracks: Drum & Bass #2



Hello and welcome, once again, to Survival Tracks, Data Transmission’s weekly guide to all the tracks you need to own. Whether you’re searching for that dancefloor killer, saving a mate’s party from Top 40 trash, or simply wanting to rave out in your room, stick with us and you’ll be DJ Rick Grimes in no time.

Yes that’s right, it’s been a whole seven days already and I’ve got a fresh heap of cuts eager for your ears. With a healthy selection of top quality material to choose from this week, sanding the list down to just five was a tough task and resulted in rather a lot of umming and ahing, whilst I skipped back and forth between tracks (I can only apologise to the neighbours).

Before we get down to business though, let’s take a little look back at what’s happened since we last spoke. Those of you with an eye on SoundCloud may have spotted a particularly special free download pop up, only to disappear soon afterwards. Courtesy of Machinedrum, we were treated to a dBridge remix of ‘Rise N Fall’, which was apparently supposed to appear on the former’s Vapor City Archives collection last year. Unfortunately the track has been removed since, but here’s to hoping that spark of generosity returns.

In other news, budding DJs should take to the decks pronto, for a chance to win a spot at the next Samurai Music night in London. Having attended both previous Samurai events in the Capital (read my review of the last one here), I can safely say that you’d be a fool not to enter, especially when the winner will be warming up for the likes of Jubei, Loxy, Marcus Intalex and label boss Geoff Presha. Head over to Drum & Bass Arena for more info, but for now pay close attention to the latest d’n’b Survival Tracks.

Durban – Jungle Whore (Asbo Records)

With a name like ‘Jungle Whore’ this track needs little explanation, but where’s the fun in that eh? Durban keeps the junglist movement alive with a plethora of tools lifted straight from the glory days; impassioned vox, ten tonne bass, lasers… the gang’s all here, but with the gloss of the modern studio. Between pounding kicks and machine-gun snares the beat skips about, apparently programmed to follow the five rules of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and… dodge.

Physical Illusion – Speeches (Intelligent Recordings)

If there’s one area of the world that seems to understand drum & bass like the UK does, it’s Eastern Europe. One of the most prolific and consistent producers from the region, Kiev’s Physical Illusion, couples the ever-popular reese bass with its regular companions: shimmering pads and soulful vox. Emphasised by punchy beats from start to finish, ‘Speeches’ lands roller of the week without breaking a sweat.

Dreadmaul – Shutter (Boundless Beatz)

Germany’s Boundless Beatz takes the evermore-common step up from party host to label with the Blood Magic EP from homegrown act Dreadmaul. Foreboding right from the off, ‘Shutter’ teases at the nightmare to come. Following a chilling induction into the dark heart of voodoo (Prodigy eat your heart out), the track explodes into a hail of earth-shattering breaks. The end is nigh, doom is upon us, and its name is Dreadmaul.

RQ – Shimmer (Blu Mar Ten Music)

Both musically and technically adept, RQ weaves a tale for tired souls with the appropriately named ‘Shimmer’. Utterly encapsulating, the serene atmosphere is pierced only by faint piano licks and skittering percussion. Reminiscent of, and as equally beautiful as, the collaborative work of Synkro and Indigo, ‘Shimmer’ is one for the chill out sessions; a sit back and indulge masterpiece that’ll turn even the staunchest opposition.

Signal – Concept (Ammunition Recordings)

Forget breaking rules, Signal has clearly never even heard of them. From deceptively quiet beginnings, ‘Concept’ continues to evolve, through neck-snapping snippets to an entirely more subtle beast. More a piece of sound art than music, the track deconstructs drum & bass stereotypes; the drum-driven juggernaut, the spacious lumberer, nothing is safe. Hell, Signal even throws a little liquid essence into the mix. Yet another example of drawing from the past in order to push further into the future.

Tried & Tested

Danny Scrilla – X (Cosmic Bridge Records)

Whether you carry records, CDs or a couple of those new-fangled computer thingies, ‘X’ is one track that should always be on hand. Lurching along at an ominously slow pace, Scrilla’s 2012 beat is completed by the squelch of rapidly-poking bionic tendrils, that come with a grimace guarantee. When you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherf**ker in the room, except no substitutes.