Joe Nebula – Macrophage EP – Phuzion Digital
Joe Nebula is no stranger to drum and bass. In fact, those of you who know your history will know that this man pre-dates the genre by at least a year. Hooking up with Nookie’s Phuzion Digital label for this 4-track EP, he brings some truly gorgeous, almost ethereal music to the table. While all four tracks are firmly seated under the atmospheric umbrella, there are lush pads wonderfully blended with eastern vocals on ‘Compulsive Disorder’ and bouncing jazz bass and crystalized pings sitting comfortably under an 80’s style vocal loop on ‘I Kan D’ while ‘Life On Prop’ is one of those rare tracks that just melts your soul away within the first 60 seconds. If you love winding jazz chords and plenty of percussion you will love this one. It builds and fades simultaneously with such subtleness that you can’t help but be carried away. Finally ‘Rbeat’ comes with something quite different altogether. Joe bares his 80’s roots on this one and it really works. With a stuttering break and some Rhodes like chord flushes, this feels like a nod to the 80’s soul crews. All in a really good quality release and well worth any music lovers hard earned.
Hybris – Crumbled/Ender – Dispatch
Hailing from Virginia, USA, comes Hybris with this dark 2-track EP. With over 10 years in the game, Dispatch have become well known for the consistent quality of their output and here Hybris delivers some very deep mind-music indeed. Laced with wailing eastern vocals, ‘Crumbled’ sets the tone with some sparse low end theory, clacking steppy beats and lots of whirling, twisted tech-like noises. This is the sort of drum and bass that isn’t just made, it’s crafted. This one has 4am firmly on its mind. ‘Enders’ is sparser still and full of experimental promise. If meandering experimental dnb is your bag then you’ll love this.
Koncept – Outer Space – Cue Recordings
Coming straight outta Melbourne, Australia, comes fledgling label Cue Recordings’ fifth instalment from Koncept. Title track ‘Outta Space’ is full of off-kilter beat patterns that counterpoint with some pretty bad ass bass licks mashed into a myriad other tech splats. It’s all going off on this thing. It’s like an un-caged audio animal! ‘Come Alive’ is the one for me though. It certainly lives up to its name. I really love unashamedly happy dancefloor dnb and this one ticks every box, with a soaring bassline and synth lines to match and even your Nan would give a nod to this vocal-led smasher. Finally ‘Rising’ layers chipmunk vocals (and it’s been quite a while since I’ve heard those used with such effectiveness) with a funky assed break to really get those endorphins flowing. Cannot fail.
The Dirty Rich – Fuck The Jubilee – Westway
Essex! So much to answer for! Essex musical heritage reads like a who’s who of hardcore royalty, and now the county that became home to some of the very first tribes in the history of the British Isle has given birth to this lot: The Dirty Rich. I never even knew punk and bass existed before I heard this totally different and utterly exciting collection of tracks on this, their ‘Fuck The Jubilee’ EP. Signed to Westway, a label run by punk lovers, it seems fitting that they have found a home here. Sounding like a cross between Konflict and Liam Howlett with a bit of Daman Albarn thrown in for good measure, I absolutely love this thing with a passion. I couldn’t say how many dnb DJ’s would dare to play this out, or how many of the less open-minded record buyers of the scene would even buy it, but I truly hope those on the splintered edge of the dnb scene and that odd group of people who love both the metal scene and the dnb scene (in other words 50% of The Prodigy’s international fan base and some of those into Pendulum) pick up on this, because this is without doubt one of the most exciting records I have heard in years. If the late, great John Peel was still of this earth he would fucking LOVE this! Miss this at your peril!
Natural Born Motherfuckers – Hallucinator – Dirty Sanchez
Northern Italy’s Hallucinator have never made music that is anything less than compromising. If you could put a king-sized portion of doom and thrash metal with equal measures of dnb through a digital blender and mix in memories of your worst ever acid trip you’d get something close to their sound. After a small change in line up they have come back to the fore with this truly evil 5-track EP on Spanish label Dirty Sanchez. The Hallucinator sound is so heavy, and this EP could really open up avenues of experimentation to UK producers who might not have realised that drum and bass could be taken to these kinds of extremes. This is not music for the faint hearted or the musically blinkered. This is like the deepest jump up, only without the jump, or the up. With track titles like ‘Mosh’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘Motherfucker’ and ‘Psycopathia’ you probably get the drift. Stand out track for me is ‘Black Mass’ however, with satanic chanting and a dark, brooding atmosphere, this whole EP needs to be heard to be believed! Drill and bass at its best!
Transmissions Volume Two – Varioua Artists – Offworld
Of the two LP’s featuring in this month’s reviews, Birmingham based Offworld Recordings offer 26 tracks of outstanding atmospheric dnb on ‘Transmissions Volume 2’. It’s not very often you find an album that really delivers across the entire play list, but believe me this is a pretty special collection. The fabric of this LP is held together with thick threads of soothing, booming and sub bass and more than anything this release shows just how beautiful drum and bass can be when given the right amount of attention to detail. Stand out tracks for me are LM1 featuring Atmodisiac and Kickbea’s stunning ‘Agena’ which sounds like mid 90’s Pete Namlook gone dnb, and Breakslinger’s ‘Pollux’ which is just off the hook. I am not exaggerating when I say that this LP is a must buy.
Nocturnal – The Album – Vampire
Phil Source has really clinched something with his Vampire label. Long-timers will know that he was once one half of groundbreaking dnb duo Source Direct, and after a lull in output one thing is blatantly obvious. Phil Source is still breaking ground. This, the second LP from the Hertfordshire based label, is packed full of dark, twisted technoid drum and bass that really packs a sonic punch. Generic and Perpetuum’s ‘Medicina’ is one of my personal favourites, while the other 25 tracks range from deep experimental to full on tech tinged ‘avin it. If Vampire carry on like this they will no doubt be top ranking in a very short space of time.
Drum and Bass Reviews – June 2012Written by Daniel Beale
Core goes truly international with our drum and bass reviews this month as we bring you the best singles and albums from around the world as we see what the month of June has to offer!
Joe Nebula – Macrophage EP – Phuzion Digital
Idiot sound, we call that Lo-Fi..........