Free Love Digi – Fade – Xenomorph/Wounded – [Review]

Faded CEO, Fade headed over to Free Love Digi to bring you their fortieth commercial release.  It is in the form of two singles namely; ‘Xenormorph’ and ‘Wounded’.

Pressing play to give ‘Xenormorph’ a first time listen, it was hard to define it in layman’s terms as to what to call it exactly however; it sounded good in its own unique way.  It fits in nicely with almost any peak in a DJ set at a Rave with its banging persona.  However, it has a nice and innocent, harmonious beginning.

‘Wounded’ on the other hand, is the main attraction here with all due respect, it definitely gets a hats-off and a bow.  In a timeframe of five and a half minutes, the song changes thrice; going through two musical transitions, starting with an interesting melody and a crisp break-beat after the intro; as well as towards the outro.  Going to the middle; when the beat stops, and the eerie melody goes on in the dark silence; this is where the track prepares to take off with a super Drum & Bass drop, without really stopping the rhythm, really.  There is no mistaking the dark, weird, and mean attitude found in this tune; and how really nice the whole tune goes with the psychedelic flavour it possesses.

The other thing worthy of interest, and worth noting; is the brilliant artwork done on the cover.  A good album cover adds sentiment to good music.

Fade is undoubtedly one of the most experimentally creative, versatile, and talented artists in the D&B spectrum. And once again, he has come up with a product that shows an aspect of the above-mentioned.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela


Sirka – Coherent (Original Mix) [Independent] (2016)

Meet Sirka… he seems to be one talented artist/producer with this, hailing straight from the southern hemisphere (South Africa) and, he brings with him a single tune available for free download, for all the heads out there titled ‘Coherent’.

It picks off with an interesting, classic-themed intro; a calm build-up; before heading for the drop. It’s safe to say that; we are looking at an original mix directed towards Liquid/Intelligence in orientation or style; and contains a powerful, one-worded vocal sample echoing off into the horizon as the beat goes on; with some neat low frequencies of bass and the strength of what sounds like a horn-like, distinct sound coupled with it at intervals. To complement the rest of the sound is the song’s non-exaggerated or rather, simple melodic patterns; dominating the track in this instance. As for the feel, it brings a sort of enticing, euphoric sensation, whilst at the same time bringing in a utopic and nostalgic element to it. In a nutshell, this freebie is kick-ass in its coherent, harmonious design.

The production herein is, for emphasis; as neat as a freshly cleaned and pressed suit; and the song itself is easy-going and as enjoyable as a Sunday treat.  It is such music that contributes in putting SA in the Drum & Bass map as it is meant to be.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

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Eatbrain Recordings – Maztek – Grinder EP – [Review]


Eatbrain recordings has yet brought us another brain picking release from an uncompromising Italian producer that is Maztek! Without further ado, let’s bask in this fully fledged Grinder EP.

Dark alley ways howling sounds of threat intro the picture painting of Blaffer, a portrayal of the hazard that is the combination of the workings of both Maztek and duo, June Miller. A track that boasts precision engineering with a vicious snarl. Next up on the roster of this EP is the title track Grinder which comes in processing some serious volcanoe lava, really solidifying it’s sheer weight on the EP with sharpened gearing edges.

Tangle intros with a trot paced snare from a distance and then building up to drop in thick and bouncy with some tangled up aggression seething the frequencies. This track shows great articulation, voicing barking like sounds but still musical. The fourth tune is Good Question which features the vocals of Leah Vee, female emcee spitting barbed wire bars on the mic. A glitched up delivery of her word plays keeps the track nicely on the leash as it’s ridden steadily. Now the final tune comes in as a remix of Maztek‘s Stompin’ tune which came out around 2014 but is now laced with the brainwork of Mob tactics on the rework and is certified debauchery! Check the link below how it goes down!

Mac 2 Recordings – Shoto – Atlantic Boss EP – [Review]

Shoto - Atlantic Boss EP - IMAGE

Introducing Mac 2’s newest signee to their camp with an EP titled ‘Atlantic Boss’. Who is this Atlantic Boss? Well, we decided to investigate by giving this four-track offering a good listen, courtesy of Mac 2 Recordings.

Firstly, the EP gets a thumbs up for originality which; is a very important aspect of every artist’s work more than what you think of the actual material. In this instance; tracks like the hauntingly sounding (and containing voices), creeping and calling out- ‘Alice’ (which comes on first) and; ‘Kira’ (meaning “killer” in Japanese) with its Minimal-inspired production, with a good dash of mean hardness to it, pierces your ear holes with murderous intent and eeriness. A quick skip to the last number for a moment; titled ‘Unruly’, is the first of two highlights to scrutinize especially, those who like their concoction of raw, square-synth bass; over something like an instrumental Liquid taste, meets cloud 9 atmospherics.

The other highlight to check out is; the all-revealing, title track ‘Atlantic Boss’ which, sends out a proclamation of Shoto’s title as the Atlantic Boss in the form of one remarkable jam. The production is meant to sound dark and sinister, and sets out to tell your body to get down when it drops because; the Atlantic Boss said so with the music.

The conclusion to the investigation is met with the apparent notion as to who the title is talking about. With that said, we at BFTR have our answer, without the necessity of paying any mind to the authenticity of this Bolton native’s deserving claim. Allow the music to explain.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

The MC Fats Collective – 624 EP – [Review]

MC Fats - 624 EP -IMAGE

MC Fats is amongst the top renowned and iconic MCs in Drum & Bass music, and culture scene. With his MC Fats Collective project, he mashes up different artists in the game, to bring you some listening pleasure. Such is, this 624 EP.

This fifth release from Fats’ stable features a total of five tracks, all different in their own right. Pressing play, you are met with ‘Rise Up’, a collabo with Alibi (Level 2 and DJ Chap); this is the perfect morning anthem to prep you up for the day ahead, with its auditory comparison to the break of dawn. Next, Brother and Mini M enter with ‘Around The Way’ which, is some Jazz-Step; classic and soulful in every way. Expect to hear a duet of vocal talent; an interesting array of mature sounds in the form of piano keys; horns; and some string bass, taking you to the days when our parents and grandparents used to tap their feet to the rhythm.

‘Rolling Day’ makes an appearance twice i.e. the original mix and; the remix, compliments of Philth (Dispatch Recordings) with his idea of what “an ordinary rolling day” is over some thundering bass synths and harmonic pads. It features MC DRS (Broken English) with his lyrical ingenuity, as he spits some seriously dope rhymes we know him for. He starts calmly then, speeds up his lines to synchronise and keep up with the beats. As for the original version; DJ Squarewave (Nasha Experience; New World Audio) slowed down things, and decided to take it easy but, still keeping it gutter. The two versions are incomparable for, they are totally different styles of production.

Coming in at track number four is ‘Many Times’; some teamwork with the Jungle DJ/producer, Serum to present something sick. The big man here; does what made a bunch of us fall in love with his vocal style, skill and creativity on the mic (microphone). A bouncing bass line over an Apache break, substituted with claps for snares; with nice, symphonic strings pouring out the high notes.

MC Fats is an all-time favourite therefore; with all due respect for this icon and what he has contributed towards the music, this EP gets an all-panel vote for recommendation from us. As a simple, last note: 624 EP is highly an impressive piece of work from a D&B great, past and present.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela

Detail Recordings – Lynx – WHAT! /Coffee Blanche Feat. Radzta – [Review]

Lynx - What - IMAGE

Lynx comes through again, with a double-single after having released his label’s first project (Vault 1) after re-launching about a month ago. Detail Recordings brings you a second offering this month.

‘What!’ starts with a Techno intro that sounds distant, you’d think it will lead to a wild drop but instead; you get a gloomy, dark feel in the sub-bass lines; together with slow yet, rapid-firing drum pattern and whacking claps. Added herein, are nicely-laid voice samples; as to “what” they say, is quite simple.

Next, is ‘Coffee Blanche’ featuring Portsmouth homeboy Radzta. Hearing this one, made me understand as to why Detail is regarded as a “fresh thinking Drum & Bass label”. Although I wasn’t fully taken away by it, it did have my head going up & down. For comparison, I thought of some DJ Patife’s old school work but; with a raw, reverberating and; the brightest side to the song is that, it has a cool bounce to it.

So far, Details Recordings seems to have kick-started with some determination with their music and, so far, a good job has been done to ensure their place in the D&B business.

Words By: Tsheola ‘Vagabond’ Asavela