Ok, I think it is about time for a new post, and a full one at that. Time for some more music reviews, and, as I have let things slip a bit lately, I think this one will be more of a review of the latter part of 2010. I’m going to post some videos up, and write something about all of them. Some I’ll write a little, some a little more, and try and develop more of a review for the titles I know a little more about. So, sit back, relax and enjoy some new and no-so-new beats.
Congo Natty – Congo Natty Dub – Serial Killaz – Original Sensei remix
Now, you should know that Congo Natty is aka Mike West aka the Rebel MC, one-time early 90s rapper, long-time stalwart of the ragga jungle scene. This tune seems to mash up a few of the Congo Natty tunes, mixed up by Sensei. I first heard this on Hype’s Kiss show a few months back, and it certainly does seem to capture some of the ethos of the ragga/jump-up end of d&b, so easily sidelined in today’s busy d&b scene. A lot of Mike’s work can be labelled ‘old skool’ or ‘throwback’ sounding, but I feel this side of things is as relevant as ever. I imagine this is still on dub, but check out more Serial Killaz on Playaz.
Big tune, big remix, big DJs. Few things to get through on this one, firstly, if there is any confusion, Apollo Two was a recording name for LTJ Bukem. A true legend of the scene, Danny Bukem was one of the pioneers of the drum & bass sound back in the ’90s, with the original of this tune dropping in around ’93. Marky and SPY did the remix treatment on it earlier in the year, with the remix seeming to buzz around from about March time. Spending time on dub plate is of course not unheard of in 2010, but it does seem that this one was around on promo for quite a while. Massive in the clubs, as you can imagine. Enjoy.
Zero T – Tavistock Dub
I’ve featured Zero Tolerance on the blog before, and here is more 2010-junglistic-flavoured goodness from the Irish sensation. The drops on the one are simply TERRIFYING, so be prepared for some intensity, but, tempered with some deepness, as ever. Whilst not fully ‘taking us back’ (and would we wish it to?), tracks like this do remind us of drum & bass’s history, and jungle’s legacy. Sure, I’m thinking about this a lot at the moment due to my research project on the subject, but if you listen, I mean really listen, to the production on this one, I think you get a sense of the dedication and sheer love and will of the producer, to get the effects, to get the perfection of the sound which this one contains. True rinseout business, if you will. Nu Directions, the label for this one.
Total Science & Riya – Redlines (DJ Break remix)
Cained, cained, cained. And rightly so. I’ve featured TS before on the blog, if not this track, which I have rinsed over at Facebook. Here, DJ Break gives it both an airing (the beginning), and a deepening (the bit after the beginning. The acoustic guitar entry segues into a ruffffff break treatment with some drum effects which can only be described as earth shattering, before it all resolves itself back into the heart-wrenching melodies which only Riya can give us. Her vocals, despite the clattering backdrop, are so smooth, and so sweet, the effect of the original is carried through the remix treatment. Again one on promo for a while, but out on Critical now.
The Prototypes – Cascade
Again, a crew I have featured on FB, and an act that can seem to do no wrong. Previous track, ‘Need The Love‘, was amazing, and this one is no different. A two-piece, hailing from Brighton, The Prototypes have come through this year and no mistake. Recording for the likes of Infrared, Viper and Formation, and hooking up for nights such as Rotation in Guildford and Sonic Boom in their home town, there seems there is no stopping them. This track perfectly encapsulates dnb in 2010. A slow, considered buildup, taking us up to the full release of the vocal (anyone reminded of little Lindsay, the PA on Groove’s show? Just me? :)) on the back of an almighty build, and then the epic, epic flow of the beats. One tidy package.
I hope that these mini-reviews help to illustrate the diversity of drum & bass in 2010. Each track is as different and distinct as one could hope for, and the time and dedication of the producers and DJs is second to none.
One of my favourite producers is:
Circa – Kabal
SUCH an epic track from the Med School label, forming part of the More Blood release which came out a few months back. Riding a similar feeling to the beautiful ‘Ida‘, Jack’s pure production class shines through on this track. I can imagine white, shimmering equipment in a sun-baked lab, with young Circa cooking up untold beats in his future-leaning style. A true ‘feeler’, this one is best listened to with your favourite headphones, so best to hear both the music of the track, but also the sound which the DJ creates, with the various melodies, effects and vibes at his disposal. Float, feel the rhythm, and remember the uniqueness of your experience of the joyous creation of Circa. I think I might go and check back ‘Ida’ whilst I’m here…
Before I let go on this post, I wanted to do a couple of remixes by arguably the hottest name in 2010, Netsky…
Swedish House Mafia – One (Netsky remix)
Plan B – The Recluse (Netsky remix)
Now, a lot has been said and written about Netsky, and he has done a hell of a lot of remixes this year. Whilst not being entirely representative of his more underground work, these pop remixes do show off both his versatility and his SKILLS. Yes, Netters does seem to have a formula (sample-friendly, tightly packed beats, a certain recognisable flow), but DAMN does it work!? This guy’s 21 years old! 21! OK, I’m making a point, but you cannot argue with Boris’ success and work rate. And he seems such a nice guy 🙂 I hope you enjoy these two mixes, whether you know the originals or not. They again provide an illustration of the diversity of the music out there.
More reviews and blog posts soon, see me at FB and Twitter.