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Singles - Drum & Bass - Issue 543

Digital

'Deadline (Dub Phizix Remix)'

Function Records

9.0
There’s only one word that can describe Digital’s ‘Deadline’ and that word is classic. As my general rule, classics shouldn’t be touched, but there’s always exceptions. A track that's been doing the rounds since 2011 finally sees wax. Dub Phizix has taken his signature tribal sound and added it to a track which already had a pounding primitive backbone. While the famous ascending synths are still at the core, this version sees them echoed and emphasised by a hefty sub.

Eavesdrop feat MC Fava

'Past Life'

Spearhead

7.5
You can feel the golden warmth of Eavesdrop’s native homeland New Zealand as you bask in the glory of this sunny, vocal liquid EP. One of the more sombre pieces on the release is 'Past Life', featuring the talents of German MC Fava. Soft piano keys tinkle against a glowing bassline, but with the warmth comes a wariness created by the piano in minor and well-chosen pads, with Flava’s vocals perfectly harmonised, all creating a juxtaposed vibe.

Ruffhouse

'Straight 9s'

Samurai Music

9.0
This track could irradiate any trace of luminosity from anywhere that its sound reaches. Steeped in shadowy techno influence, this could quite possibly be the most sinister track you hear this year — however it has an unnaturally and unexpected calming effect. The beat pounds relentlessly, steadily continuing while futurist, alien machinery labours away in an undeterred, repeated fashion until the second drop, where the intensity is raised to a brooding pressure which is almost too much to handle.

Rene LaVice feat Ivy Mairi

'The Calling'

Ram Records

9.5
At first I thought I’d clicked on the wrong link, thought I’d stumbled upon an old album from Florence of the Maccabees. Blissfully drifting into a heightened emotive state, swept away like a love-sick teen. Then, that drop! The bass is dark and sinister, but with warmth that echoes the spirit of the guitar gloriously; then there’s the devastating stabs, bringing some real moxie into the equation.

Sunchase

'Truch'

Med School

9.5
Hospital's little sister sure knows how to pick ‘em. No stranger to the scene, well-respected Sunchace sets out to soothe away worldly woes with this beautiful collection of downtempo tracks. Starting in the realms of minimalism, the intro creates a synth-led skeleton, the bass and beats as subtle and natural as a heartbeat, with a power and dependence to match. The track's brought to life by the silky, soulful vocal.

Klute

'You Won't Like It'

Commercial Suicide

8.5
After 20 years, Klute is releasing a load of EPs to celebrate the anniversary. First up we have this: with its shuffling, jazzy drum pattern and unimposing melodic bass, it’s a dancey number. Bubbles, pops, and an oddly '70s Stepford Wives-sounding sci-fi theme give the light and happy layer. We can also look forward to a round-up of his best work in the middle of the year, and a brand spanking LP at the end!