Just as the sickness untightens its firm grasp for the first time in days, I must take the possibility for at least a quick once over of this and yesterweek’s major acoustic proceedings – thus I ask ye to be patient and forgiving with your humble narrator, for weakness still pulses in his veins and shades flicker on his turbid mind. But dutty calls, and there is no neglecting drum & bass’ mighty plea to action forever. A plea that sometimes asks for irregularities of even my well-established scheme, and so I’d like to start this revue with the utterly exceptional mention of the new Neosignal Podcast. I don’t usually advertise things such as this, but since my notion-turned-conviction that Neosignal are indeed among the very vanguard of music (in all the generality of the term) proves true with clockwork regularity, spreading the word about their deeds kind of turns into some sacred duty. So get out there into the wild of the web and get your aural blessing and piece of the future.
Then there is Programmed V1.0, a little half-baked but nice compilation from Ram’s imprint Program. The four-track EP starts off with Nitri’s Concentration, which we will ignore here just as well as Eastcolor’s Murderer. Sufficient to say that the latter’s too much would have been beneficial to the former’s too little. (How about a collab next time?) But there is wonder within these bytes, most apparent in the indeed very and almost too long anticipated release of Audio & Meth’s Alone – an astoundingly stomping old-school tune based on a giant fax machine going berserk; constantly swaying between rhythmic hoax and mystic banger, yet sticky and utterly irresistible. The package is completed by Paul B’s fascinating Drop by Drop, a fluffy, almost plushy and colourful musical rotor as well as sonic equivalent to Yoshi on acid (-if I might stretch my malady to cover this grotesque image-): simple, smooth, and of a weird nature one does not encounter every day.
Another item not entirely suited for my febrile comprehension but great in many ways is the Awareness LP, a techy no-nonsense collection of 6 original tunes and 4 remixes by Polish producer Kuba Jabłoński, better known as Yabol (-though I admit I knew neither name). Drive is creed here, and tracks like Appendicitis, Stellar Evolution or my personal favourite Fight or Flight leave no room for doubt on this matter. But this is no one-way techstep bashing, and a fair degree of outerworldly melodies and a good pinch of trance that at times resemble the vibe of Paul Reset, early BSE and the likes ensure that this album is definitely going somewhere. The included remixes add a distinctly different view on the tracks, and range from a mere extension of the usual (The Sect’s Appendicitis remix that sounds like everything else from The Sect) to a reminder of what could have happened and thankfully didn’t (Dean Rodell’s rather negligible straight-into-your-fucking-face-uaaaargh-remix of the already rather negligible Paternoster) to actually very nice and interesting (as Pyro’s Tranced out Mix of Fight or Flight beautifully depicts). So if you occasionally find yourself sweaty, eyes twisted, fingers spread and arms undulating in mid-air but somehow seem to lack the proper sound for your joyous convulsions, there’s a good chance this album will remedy your reverie.
Yabol, The Sect, Pyro, Dean Rodell, CA2K – Awareness LP (Perkussiv)
Finally there is the probably most hyped single of this (or rather last) week, Sabre, Stray and Halogenix collaborative Ivy Lab project’s debut Afterthought. The title track -to make tis short- is a soulful and pretty unexciting feel-good piece of mainstream drum & bass that features the moaning and groaning Frank Carter III alongside some soft drums and second hand harmonies. If you liked Oblique you will most likely fall for this new interpretation of it; if you dismissed it for the obvious reasons, don’t even bother. The flipside Brat however shows that the self-declared dreamteam is capable of way more than aligning simple twostep patterns along shallow piano chords, and is a nice stop-motion compound of funky noises, fringy basses and groove not quite unlike Stray and Frederic Robinson’s Thumbprint the week before. To make this short too, a true stand-out track. The digital version comes with a somewhat housey remix of Brat by South London Ordnance, who melded its fractured being into a pretty solid yet playful four-to-the-floor while keeping the tunes essence alive: Fancy, but funky.
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