There’s nothing we like more than hearing a track with a bit of personality, and if that track is the debut release from a mysterious label? Well, then it’s all the more exciting. ‘Extraction’ starts with a creepy emptiness; hollow drips and echoing taps come from every angle, and a ghostly glow of pads continually brightens and dulls throughout the track. There’s a sense of humour in the tinkling game-like noises, which place us in the realms of Luigi’s Mansion, and a whole heap of swag coming from the low-end.
Icicle & Alix Perez
Here lies a weird and glitchy beast from the longtime compadres and former label mates. The track champions a stripped back and bare sound, but from within its simplicity, a brooding darkness is cast. Our favourite aspect is the hollow, pounding knock which kicks in after the breakdown.
Will you be charmed into the Snake Pit? After decades within the scene, and iconic releases on imprints such as RAM and Virus, Audio has taken the decision to start his own label, giving him full creative control over his work. 'Frog Pit's fast-paced, untiring drums bring the artist's signature sound to the table, while the twisting techy touches bring dark stabs of the future. With a promising release schedule through to the summer, we’re intrigued by Audio’s latest venture.
‘Remedy’ follows a tried-and-tested liquid formula. With rolling drums, ethereal pads, uplifting piano chords and a deep, melodic sub, on the whole it's great easy listening, but we’re looking forward to hearing Patient add their very own stamp to the sound. Our favourite part of this track is the gorgeously smoky vocal — there’s an incredibly beautiful, slightly off tone to it that we just can't place, but which makes it feel raw, emotive and a little bit out of the ordinary.
The alluring and beautifully minimal cover art originally drew us to this release: a rich burgundy sea filled with ivory Japanese koi carp. The tranquil pattern gives a nod to the serenity about to drift into our ears. Cool, calm and heavily hip-hop influenced, this multifaceted cut brings a grime-like simplicity and roughness, opposed by switches of quick and complex breaks, while the sub is deep, dark and brooding. This is a newcomer to keep your eyes on for sure.
'See Your Face Again'
Break, Calibre: some people in drum & bass can just do no wrong, and we believe Brazilian badman S.P.Y stands firmly in this category. The first single taken from his forthcoming EP is a euphoria drenched trip down the paths of nostalgia. It’s not only the spacious breaks, pre-loved jungle sub and early '90s piano chords that nod to the days of partying past, we’re also gifted strings fit for disco and a soulful diva vocal. Party, party massive.
'The Elephant '
With his first solo releases on the mighty Playaz, DJ Limited is truly separating himself from the herd with this one. With its crazy loud and rib shakingly intense trumpets, 'The Elephant' is an unmistakable standout track within any set. Its quick tribal drums bring an element of danger, which is momentarily soothed by a breakdown of dreamy sci-fi, before you’re crashed back down to the deep, deadly jungle. For us, the flip, 'Jaguar', is the underrated king of this release.
The North Quarter
With its immaculate and almost impenetrable quality control resulting in just nine releases to date, The North Quarter is still a label in its infancy — but it is also a label that has already gained the respect and appreciation usually reserved for imprints decades deep into their journey. The opening track to this eclectic seven-parter finds a soft ticking line of percussion with glowing pads. It mixes vibes of sci-fi with the spiritual, and the low-end balances the track with an unassuming, gentle rumble. As beautiful as we expected.