Single reviews – promos and upfront material

Some music reviews I recently wrote – no videos this time as these are promos and unreleased material – if you are interested in finding out more, please let me know!

Obsessions 14

Rido – Exoplanet/Poison

Exoplanet and Poison are the latest tracks to be released by Rido, fresh from the Czech Republic, and together they make up Obsessions Recordings 14. Obsessions is an offshoot of the world famous Black Sun Empire Recordings, and have Chris SU and D’Kay amongst the artists who have releases on the label. Exoplanet begins with an atmospheric, grand opening complete with spine chilling effects. This leads into a slow tick intro which maintains the background, before moving into a main part characterized by a wobbly bass attack. The background effects are continued, supplying a spacey, but at the same time intimate feel. The track builds, showing the production expertise behind it.
Certainly one for the minimalists out there, my only reservation would be that it may veer rather too much towards the ‘grand scale’ to be 100% effective on the floor.
Rido has been releasing tracks since 2006, and has put stuff through Defcom and Disturbed before this Obsessions release. Flip side Poison has a nice spooky, ambient opening, reminiscent of TV shows such as the X- Files. The track builds to a drop quite quickly – which is perfectly fine, if a little predictable. Tumbling, rolling drums are layered over bass fields and effects. Whilst rolling along nicely with some spacey moments, in a similar way to Exoplanet, it does leaves me gasping for something a little less samey, with slightly more in the way of theme building and development.

Viper 35

Futurebound vs Metrik – Brave New World/Sabotage

Label boss Futurebound, is one of the stars of Viper 35. This release is alongside Metrik, the latest production phenomenon in the Viper camp.

Here they come correct with two new tracks on the hyper-hot label. Viper 35 will be Brave New World and Sabotage, both credited as ‘Futurebound vs Metrik’. The first track jumps straight into things, dropping the beats immediately. You know this one is for the dancefloor, and the first build goes straight into establishing catches of the melody. Electro-style stabs are used, in a style somewhat reminiscent of ‘Lassitude’ by Fresh & Sigma from last year. These stabs are coupled with a quality bass line, and drums dropped behind it in the mix. The electro melody continues throughout – somewhat fitting of the title – and I have a feeling this track might fast become a grower, after a few listens.
A quality track, this one dips into the aquatic in sections, complete with nice bass rises from those parts. Overall, it is fresh sounding and works for different listening experiences.
Sabotage features a spacey intro with vocal snatches, seguing into a digital-feeling build. As with Brave New World, bass is to the fore, but this time with a slightly more moveable feel. Metallic drums match a squelchy bassline, and juxtaposition is provided by the flowing synth lines which sit on top. A nice roller, designed for the dancefloor.
Two very high quality tracks from the Viper stable, look out for these in your shops soon.

Spearhead – SPEAR037 – Bungle – (promo tracks from the forthcoming) Memories LP- Sampler – Don’t Look Back / Constant & Clear

Spearhead is a label of high quality releases, with an artist roster which really does read like a who’s-who of current forward thinking drum & bass. Label boss Steve BCee, SPY, Netsky, LSB, these merely scratch the surface of the output of this particular label.
Bungle has worked with fellow Brazilian luminary Marky, issuing tracks on the great one’s Innerground label, as well as Liqweed Ganja, soul:r and CIA.
Constant & Clear is the lighter of the pair on offer here, more on the flowing, liquid side of D&B. Jazz elements are foregrounded – those being a free, looping guitar and wind instrument effects. A fast tick is utilized in the intro, moving into a summery, urban-yet-pastoral main section. Almost forgotten in the mélange, the beat and bass pump along very nicely in the background, a constant but understated reminder that we are in the world of drum & bass. These are both very well balanced productions, bringing elements in and out of play as needed on both tracks. Noticeably, they are just the right lengths as well, clocking in around 5 minutes each, long enough to develop and carve out an identity for themselves, but not too long that they become overdone.
Don’t Look Back is a shade darker than its partner, with a brooding, claustrophobic tick intro. The soundscape is created around this intro, moving between some scratchy effects. A murmuring bassline envelopes the drum line, accompanied by haunting vocal snatches, delivering a shade of old skool feeling. Meanwhile, the melody of the track is established under this, and despite a seemingly disparate array of elements and variation of tempo throughout, a togetherness still encompasses the composition. Establishing this togetherness is of course the skill of the producer, and Bungle has it in bucketloads.

Rusko – Everyday (Original Sin & Netsky remixes)

Both of these remixes show the versatility of the remixers – neither were what I was expecting going by their other recent remix work.
Original Sin’s effort begins with a speeded up vocal snatch, and indeed the whole intro gives a pitched-up almost house-esque essence to proceedings. Vocals appear again, along with video game effects, moving into an electro build. Those expecting patented Original Sin-style dramatics will have to wait until the drop, where near normal Adam Tindill service is recommenced, with dirty, grinding bass effects are heard, but tempered with some neat tricks with the drum patterning software. This continues, and a good balance is achieved with some lifts, meaning the track does not become too bogged down – a criticism which is too easy to reach with some of OS’s other work. The whole track is wrapped up in a kind of house/electro/d&b blanket – for example a lifted piano section which would not be out of place in a charty electro tune (which of course the original is), but with hard and menacing beats n bass underneath. A very nice blend of some rather odd elements, if a little surprising given Mr Sin’s reputation for the apocalyptic side of drum & bass.
Boris Netters’ take on ‘Everyday’ begins with a shuffle intro, matched with the piano line melody. He uses the same speeded up vocals as both the original, and Original Sin versions, before settling into a typical Netsky build – see his ‘One’ remix for a reference point. A chopped electro/bass section follows this, before again going into the build-up.
This remix seems to be a slightly unusual effort from Netsky – again not quite what I expected. A little more glitchy and stop-start, rather than the usual flowing, liquid we have seen before from the Belgian wunderkind. Perhaps his efforts in the mix are to be understood in context of original, and when listened to back-to-back, the three versions of the new single by Rusko do make an interesting, if slightly off-key listen. Coming out on Monday April 4th on Run Music.

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