Disgusting, dark, dirty: we can all vouch that these are well-overused adjectives when jump up is described, but sometimes it’s just got to be said… like now. This screw-face inducing, low down, gun finger triggering track lures you in with a calming, atmospheric chant which wouldn’t be out of place on a Tibetan mountain, before dropping some almost uncomfortably distorted twistedness. One of those tracks that will rip up any floor, from jump up to tech. For lack of more perfectly fitting diction, sometimes it just has to be said… this tune is an unadulterated banger.
Gerra & Stone
From the first two dark and deadly rollers, into ‘Reasons’ — liquid which can be described as no less than sublime — it was hard to pick which track to highlight from this LP. But we’ve decided to go for the finale, 'Breach', because for us it’s everything drum & bass should be. This track encapsulates the early Shogun vibe, that this label’s big brother used to carve the arrow that forever pierced our heart. Melancholy and menace come through the bass, while smooth, sexy touches of light subtly decorate the melody.
The Caracal Project
The first time we heard these guys, we were so gassed. We’re talking capital G-A-S-S-E-D, seriously, if we were a canary we’d be on the cage floor. There’s just something remarkably fresh about them, unafraid to blend styles and step out of formulas, keeping the genre moving forward. ‘Charmes’ is an odd mix of musicality, from the swing in its stepping beat and the 16-bit computer game style FX, and the serious funk brought in through jazzy clicks and well placed glitches.
'Fine Again '
The North Quarter
Each and every time this Toulouse-based tour de force releases music, we become obsessed with it. We’re talking played at least once a day for a year, obsessed. As we’ve come to expect, Redeyes delivers the softest, soul-soothing jazz-infused liquid, which lulls your mind into a blissful state of serenity. With delicate piano and a gloriously emotive vocal, against a backdrop of tumbling breaks, to hear it is to love it.
'Ode To Olé'
Diffrent Music has always been, well… Different. But this is an unusually different direction for the normally bouncy label. With its soft blend of chords and vocals, the vibe is almost meditative, but before long we’re confronted with a harder, far more intense pattern of sounds, which work along with sirens to create a feeling of being hunted. Huge levels of juxtaposition throughout, leaving an intoxicating and haunting vibe. Check out 'Pranayama' if you’re looking for something you can shake to.
Bad Taste Recordings
Starting in the damp and echoing, dripping cinematic soundscape that we’ve all become familiar with, we thought we knew this track's direction — but the drop reveals a spacious, bouncing beat which is impossible to ignore. Midway through, the track switches, becoming more sparse; a halftime vibe prevails, and yet more negative space is expertly employed. This is a very interesting various artists release which bridges liquid, tech and neurofunk — it really is a must-listen.
'Sane feat Leo Law'
This is the first single taken from Fade Black’s forthcoming EP on Critical, and it’s really not what we expected. This tune is signed and sealed with all the hallmarks of the imprint — sinister low-end, itchy, shuffling drums and minimal, fizzing static buzz — but the soulful singalong vocals and bright, uplifting tone of the synths channel a hybrid of melancholy liquid and sinister tech. Stick your flag in guys, you’ve got it conquered.
'Take The Flame feat Etherwood '
Right now we are all about Med School: looking back over the catalogue is a bittersweet pastime, remembering some of its more forward-thinking moments, and basking in the sweet and sparkling overtone that graced even the imprint's darkest tracks. As we count down to the final release, ‘Take The Flame’ ticks all the happy, sing-a-long, hands-in-the-air boxes, with a clicking percussion pattern, soaring romantic vocals, radiant chords and a cheeky jungle breakdown. Cute. Looking for something darker, check out ‘Hasselblad’.