Music reviews – 5/1/11

Wow…2011 already? 🙂 Hope you are all good out there, I thought it was about time I looked at doing a few more music reviews for you all. Now, I realise that the tracks featuring here won’t be brand new, and I am trying to clear the backlog of tunes that I have spotted for you, so hopefully I can create a few posts over the coming days to get onto some more recent drum & bass and hardcore tunes. But I hope you like the ones in today’s post.

So let’s start:

– In Transit

Now, regular readers/listeners will know that I love Synkro, and the whole Med School vibe, ever since I heard ‘Departure’ drop at the beginning of 2010. Well, this is more of the same, deep, ear-burrowing vibes from the Manchester producer. I don’t know why, but whenever I hear Synkro, Circa et al, I always think of being somewhere outside, somewhere very cold, and somewhere desolate. I guess it is the stripped-down, sparse-yet-deep production that goes into tracks like this one, leaving one feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. I think it is producers like the current Med School crop, B Complex and SPY who have brought a very clean, very clear programming approach to recent d&b proceedings. So tune in, float away and feel the flow of the man, well, Synkro. Med School

Genetic Bros – Uplifting

Absolute hands-in-the-air uplifting (sorry) vibes from Russia’s Genetic Bros, this one’ll get you up, be it in the morning for work, or on the floor at the rave. Unapologetically optimistic, this is perhaps another entry into the book of ‘dance music’s raison d’etre’. Almost from the get-go, this one states its purpose, and gets right down to delivering it. I can see this working at a massive venue, on a massive rig, to a massive crowd. So, play loud, get the whistles out, and let it lift you. TalkinBeatz is the label.

Devlin feat Yasmin – Runaway – Nu:Logic remix

Now, I believe this one was a big pop hit back in the summer of ’10, but it was also one of the first remix projects from new outfit Nu:Logic, which the beady-eared of you will know is made up of jungle behemoth Nu:Tone and younger brother Logistics. Now, I say ‘new’, but in fact they started out as a team, before establishing themselves as solo artists, and have come back together for remixes, live shows, and new material which took the shape of an EP on Hospital in late 2010. This one is a startlingly beautiful piece of music, understated and full on at the same time, as is the wont of the brothers Gresham. The female vocal opening is underlit with strings, before the beats n’ bass kick on to take us along a rolling line to the MC’s section. This is yet another example of how remixes, done properly, can lift and move tracks to new places, new destinations, and, importantly, new audiences. One for the heads out there. Island/Universal

D Kay and Intoxicated – Thinner Edge

One half of IllSkillz (big up Rawfull), responsible for the massive, massive ‘Directions’ – see my FB for that one, this is another smasher, this time with Intoxicated. Fit into many a mix with ‘Redlines’ by TS and Riya (see this blog for that one), due to its uncanny similarities in feel and vibe, this is truly one for closing your eyes and taking you away from your daily grind. A deep, inbedded bassline plays host to a runner of a drum track, in turn topped with some piano and mixed vocal samples. Drum & bass from Austria, again showcasing the music’s truly global reach and appeal. Cut from AI’s MOS radio show, excuse the spoken bits, but shout to Glen and Gambit for having amazing taste! Go out there and find more of this track and other music by D Kay and his host of collaborators. Integral

And a couple to finish on, on a slightly different tip:

Potential Badboy, MC Det, Junior Dangerous – Gimme A Sign

Shy FX, Kano, Donae’o, Roses Gabor – Raver

(Star-studded video guys!! :))

Ever think about modern d&b, and its relation to its influences? I do, and reggae (although only one of a host of musical styles which fed into jungle) is largely ignored in 2010/11. Not by Playaz‘ Potential Badboy, nor Digital Soundboy‘s Shy FX. Reggae/ragga jungle-inspired dnb, whilst being an alive and emergent sub-genre, does not get the press it did a while ago, but label bosses Hype and Shy do a lot to counteract this. Brazenly good-time, party music, these two (the first cut and scratched) by the Hype one, will get you up and win’ing the waist. MCed to perfection by old skool legend Det and Kano respectively, these show another, perhaps neglected side of the multi-faceted beast that is drum & bass in 2011. Enjoy.


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