Secret Operations – Seba – Mesmerise EP – [Review]

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Following his 2013 release titled ‘Identity’, the much renowned Swedish Drum & Bass legend left us for only a short time, just so that he can come back again; and recruit the listeners for another Secret Operations project.
Mesmerise EP is what Seba has to offer us in this first trimester of 2014. As usual, he does what he does best, timeless; classical D&B that does exactly what the title of this EP says.

Mesmerise is a four-track EP which consists of four neatly produced joints, kick-starting with some deep; hypnotising sounds of ‘Mesmerism’, which welcome the listener with a magician’s confidence. The slow rolling of the drum patterns, together with the mysteriously eerie elements, is able to invoke a sense of relaxed curiosity, on what’s to come next…
Physickl’ is a “get down and just move your body” track, which expresses the transition from being hypnotised in the first track, to dancing and letting loose now. Here, Seba presented the fan and the Disc Jockey alike, with a perfect party starter that can blend really well with almost any Jump-Up; or Liquid set. The seemingly fading in and out pad creates a heavy atmosphere, right before an exhaling voice asks “Wanna get physical (physickl)?” and next thing you know the kicks are kicking; and the claps are clapping hard; as the simple, yet heavy bass ushers the track forward. To cut a long story short, this one here is for the DJs who want to make sure they win the crowd from the get-go.
Track number 3 is simply titled ‘Life Is’. The opinion could be that, it mentally takes one on a reflective journey throughout one’s life, probably parallel to the beloved Jungle/D&B genre/culture. Whichever the case, this is one of those songs that have the potential of sentiment in one’s life. This song waves the flag of Intelligence, and it has soul on a deeper plane. This is Seba at his finest, reminiscent of some of the stuff he dropped in his Goodlooking days; as well as his return to D&B under Secret Operations which he owns. Besides being a versatile artist of finesse, Sebastian Ahrenberg’s true style is shown in productions such as this song- soulfully dark; deep; and possessing elevating elements of pure emotion and thought.
Lastly, but definitely not least, the EP is concluded with aggro-nasty vibes with ‘Science Fiction’. The deep bass (of course), just growls and swallows the ear with its well-cut; nicely adjusted EQs. On the other hand, you find the drums to be aggressive as well, even until the last moments, this track maintains its aggressive relentlessness, until the moment the once powerful bass line starts retreating into the abyss; then the outro abruptly cuts without much of a predictable warning… Overall, the track is sheer bliss for the hard-core Junglist, and not for feather-weight amateurs who only know Seba for his more chilled stuff.

Mesmerise is yet another clean and on-point project from Secret Operations. All-time Seba fans will not be disappointed; and the new fans will grasp a minimally summarised insight into understanding his unique sound, such as the signature feels of his bass lines.
The project is undeniably a great start to the year for this well renowned veteran.

Words by: Ink Punk

Release: March 2014

Protect Audio – Zenith B & QBIG – Exiled Mind/Matador – [Review]

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We head on over to check on the vibes on offer from Protect Audio, UK based independent label as they mark their tenth release and not deviating much from the vibes they’ve been recognised for. And on exhibit is the Switzerland duo, Zenith B & QBIG flexing it up in such intricate delicacy.

Exiled Mind” is an elegant piece of production with the intro creeping up into play, and as you’re introduced to the kick you’d thinking it gets rolling already only for it to chill you out a bit more, toning down your eagerness with the seducing drum pattern and swift percussion steadily building up to a breakdown to re-introduce you on how they actually get rolling. And as the pads build towards a fade which uncovers the kick n snare build up from below, rolls to a silencing kick which then a quirky vibe pokes at the drop and we’re rolling! Excellent articulation!

Matador” employs a bleak Sci-fi intro and a traditional kick and a snare with a bouncy bassline to fill the track with a clean, but skanky composure. Coming back from the break it’s a dubby drop showcasing more complexity with a controlled scatter of percussions and it’s back to rippling undulations. Technical minimality is at hand!

Release Date: Feb 4th