Avantgarde Records – VA – Theory of Avantgarde LP – [Review]


Dabs and Grotesque proudly bring you ‘Theory of the Avantgarde LP’, compliments of their Avantgarde imprint. This 15-track album comprises of various artists from the Avantgarde Recordings’ base, straight from Italy.

Here we have the present and the future of the label, in the form of new artists in the main game, and those that have been around for quite a while, all with the common mission of taking you for a spin into the cosmos.
Enter Kush T (Terabyte Records), Hanzo & Randie (Subculture Music/Nocid Business Rec./Red Light Rec.), who make up some of the new guns of Avantgarde Recordings. They deservingly contribute with good sounds, noting the crystal-clear, reverberating flavour of ‘Hyperspace’ featuring Serge on the Rap vocals; whilst the Italian duo Hanzo & Randie team up with Bayou (also from Italy) for a taste of that Neuro fix that travels with the mind into a deep, dark space abyss.
The project also features properly established producers such as the well-known Heavy1; Nitri; Hydro; Fade; and ArpXP, all adding that unorthodox, proper thorough-bred style that can be termed as avant-garde thus, setting the record straight as to why the label was named what it is.
Tracks for DJs to consider for hyping up the crowd at a rave are bangers such as ‘Fumes’ with its aggressive percussions, and them strong kicks. And I am forced to state an opinion that two joints namely; ‘Let Go’ by M-zine, Scepticz & N.D.M brings in a neat, classy tune that speaks the language of Drum-Funk, reminiscent of the golden era whereby the funk in D&B was adjusting to prominence, and then there’s the super-hyper, Jump-Up vibes of Nitri’s ‘Growl’ that has an invisible, angry feel to it, making these two pieces personal favourites. I say this with a chuckle; they got me dancing the most. And gotta love the random voice of the man in ‘Growl’ that budges in as the track moves, giving it a listen, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Other tracks to look out for at a club or fest near you, in order of appearance are: ‘Arcadia’, ‘Walking The Dog’, Fade’s gruesome ‘Swarm’, and the high speeds of ‘Moving Train’. However, speaking with due honesty, this various artists work is deserving of gracing the speakers of clubs and fests out there, with all due respect.
The owners of Avantgarde Recordings (Dabs and Grotesque) themselves aren’t left out of the excursion; they contribute their studio expertise towards the end, in ‘Keep Shut’, and they brought ArpXP along for the ride into the musical cosmos.

Dabs and his partner Grotesque have outdone themselves with ‘Theory of the Avantgarde’. It is quite impressive, and nicely done. This will leave a lasting impression, and shall be remembered even in the years to come, as a reference point in understanding the message behind Avantgarde.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela
The Ink Punk.
Release Date: 20/10/14


Warm Communications Records – Total Science – So Addicted/Putting Down Roots(Remix) – [Review]


The two UK heads and founders of the legendary CIA (Computer Integrated Audio) Recordings have teamed up with EHL’s Warm Communications which is based in the US, whose music is carefully sourced from various artists from different labels in the scene, to bring out some of the very best Drum & Bass music to stereos all over bass planet.
This October we have Total Science raising the temperature a notch with ‘Warm031’.

This work will be released as a two-track record on vinyl; as well as a three-track digital release. The bonus in the digital release is an instrumental version of the first track titled ‘So Addicted’, with the soulful Grimm dropping some harmonious vocals which turned out to be a beautiful addition to this smoothly done; laid-back tune. This would surely give any random Rhythm & Blues song a run for its money, that’s if they could be compared.
There are notable “digital age-sounding” synths that pop (16 bars just before the break), they add a psychedelic element to the track, and the pad’s automated presence adds quite a nice atmosphere to it as well, topped with a simple bass line that does not lack in any way.
Following that is an immaculately done remix of Villem & Mcleod’s single ‘Putting Down Roots’ from Warm Communication’s second release of the year titled ‘Warm029’ which came out in March.
As the original takes a trip back in time for a Jungle lesson, the remix however, is in a sort of median, well-balanced by possessing both the old-skool Jungle, fused with a feel of what we may simply call ‘Future-Jungle’ of course. This joint (including the original) is nothing but a lesson to express two eras of similar, hardcore-steppin’ Jungle vibes; with their wicked, “Dubby” bass lines and neat samples.
It is wise to get the original as well for; we’re looking at two classics in the making.

‘Warm031’ is set for October the 13th, and it is Total Science’s debut release on the label. Total Science fans should add this little treat to their exclusive collections without a doubt.

Words by: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela
The Ink Punk.

Release Date 13/10/14

Translation Records – Nuage – Prints of You LP – [Review]


Nuage has dropped something to lay your fingers on this season. And he brought some mean collaborative company with him for yet another release on Translation Recordings, a record label that prides itself for its international array of unique artists; and the diverse, progressive sounds that they bring.
This time, Nuage was appointed by Translation to bring forward the evidence of what they mean, with his latest LP titled ‘Prints of You’.

Emerging from St Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, he set out to combine talents from France (Gerwin), Estonia (N4M3), and the UK namely; Ital Tek, as well as the two fellas that make up a duo called Silent Dust respectively. And not to mention three more vocalists featured in the 15-track digital release which came out fourteen days after the 4-track vinyl+CD; and of course digital package.

Kick starting the LP on the A-side is the Minimal grooves of ‘Lifestyle’. Gerwin sings just a few lyrics which carry a statement that corresponds with the beat. The feel is obviously relaxing thus; you easily picture a laid-back lifestyle that comprises of lounging in tranquil spaces listening to such taste in music. The best Minimal D&B is arguably found in Russia. It makes sense, considering the climatic conditions of the place.
The second tracks on either side are both title tracks, with track 2 of the B-side being a dope remix contributed by Itel Tek. These guys made a Bass rendition of it, with added eeriness to it, calling from the distance and yet, it is near. However, the original is better sounding though. The maturity of the composition and the simplicity of being minimal is what make the original ‘Prints of You’ leave a mark in your mind. This is a love song suitable to be part of your evening playlist, or when having those insomniac nights.
The vinyl version of ‘Points of You LP’ caters more to the bass massive, considering the variety of genres in fifteen songs of the full album. This makes it diverse in its recruitment of listeners worldwide, or settling within their preferred tastes and styles. This makes Nuage a musical genius with his approach in production.
And how can we forget the exclusive remix of ‘Sunday Morning’, the first joint on the B-side. It comes in the form of a remix (excluded from the digital version) of a tune that Nuage did with an artist from Estonia who goes by the artist name N4M3. Enter Silent Dust, bringing a unique flavour of Drum & Bass/Jungle in the guise of this super cool remix.
The only way to describe the workings of the chopped breaks and vocals, mingling with the rampant patterns of the subtle snares; and the running, alternating percussion sounds is… simply genius!
The melodic components of the song are undeniably emotional but, this one here is strictly for moving your body to the rhythms otherwise.

This genius work is worthy of recognition and praise. The set of tracks are beautifully done, and easily invoke deep emotions. It easily flows with the messages that the tunes send out.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela
Ink Punk

Release Date: 29/09/14