Benny L returns, and brings with him Fire In The Sky via the perversity that comes out of Audio Porn. There are four tunes to engage the ears with, and it is the record label’s seventy-fifth release which is basically a milestone reached.
The title song, as if to go perfectly with the theme features an artist called Firefly gracing the vocal support on it. Indeed, it is fiery and full of energy throughout its course. And then, the next track to come through is ‘Backlash’ with its catchy hook, and laced with a speech sample, as well as some thunderous horns that reverberate with a force. The track is also complimented with some added spacey FX sounds that give it a nice effect. Track number three sounds exactly as what the title says it is i.e. ‘Freight Train’, and moving really fast on the track. The bass line pulses with an electric shock, and the beat is compulsive with a jump up & down vibe. Thereafter, ‘Unorthodox’ starts to kick in, in a similar manner and comes as the final track on the short track list. What is nice about the EP overall is that, the style of production is consistent in all four songs, with that simplified via 1-2 breaks with punchy and well-compressed kicks; dope FXs and synthesis; as well as the deep, loud hums of the bass lines.
Fire In The Sky EP is another majestic display of Benny L’s conceptual play with destructive ideas centred on high altitudes, just like he did with the likes of ‘Thunder’ (2015) for instance. All of these ideas in this instance are just transmitted in the form of banging D&B music.
Notion Audio is a new label from Berlin, Germany run by producer/DJ, PRTCL. This record comes after just two releases from Notion thus far, and they are all compliments of the founder himself.
‘Scrap Yard’ is the title of the first of the two singles that the release contains. The rampant clatter of the metallic triangle speaks in its own, distinct voice as the song goes through the necessary transitions from start to finish, with the solid acoustic sound lightly echoing throughout. Following behind, is the deep gloominess of the smooth and simple composition of the low frequencies that make up the bass; and there is also this unique-sounding effect, a raw sound worth of interest layered therein. The other, titled ‘Traction’ is collaboration between PRTCL and fellow Berlin producer, Survey and; is made up of an Apache Break; dark horn-like sounds that give it a serious, sinister mood; and has a bouncy vibe to it, summing up into something relative to Jungle in simple terms. All-in-all, there is no mistaking the quality of production, and the recognized creative identity of the artist.
It is critical for a new label’s music to impress listeners, and so judging from what we’ve heard here, we definitely reckon that Notion Audio has made the cut in that department so far, clear and simple.
Scalar EP is the title of Tim Eliot’s A.K.A. Current Value’s freshest release under 31 Recordings. It is 31’s twenty-seventh release thus far, and it contains four tracks in total that weigh heavy on the scale.
The theme that we are looking at here is possessive of mystical and dark atmospheres in the sound. Things kick-start with the title song, ‘Scalar’ with its dizzying start via some lingering synth sounds on a 1-2 beat, dropping on to a heavy bass line that dominates the track. This is nicely complimented with a smooth, clean production. Track two; ‘Bigger Picture’ is quite an energetic and kinetic one, with interesting play of the bass and the support from the other elements. ‘Major Fracture’ simply put, is an auditory epitome of violence in my perception, for it expresses the rage and the satisfaction of relieving it as well. Also, it screams like some alien creature from a sci-fi flick. The last track is interestingly titled ‘Reconsider’. It must be the most laid-back one of them all, and it is a sort of infusion of Neuro-Funk and Intelligent Drum & Bass, arguably enough. It is definitely a unique song. There is also the realization after listening to all four that; not even a single track in the EP has vocal some activity, all is strictly and absolutely instrumentals speaking in their own sonic voices.
The German DJ/producer has consistently been raising the D&B flag for years with breath-taking releases such as these. Owing to that, Scalar EP is definitely recommended for the seasoned heads who like their stuff intricate like this.
Ignescent Recordings is steadily growing with every release now; coming out with their eleventh one with ChaseR once again. After noting the First Encounter EP (2016) which was the label’s fifth, he throws a double with this.
After listening, and pondering we speculate that this release is reflective on how ChaseR expresses and explains his views; as highlighted in the titles of the songs; and transmitted via artistically engineered sound waves i.e. music of course. Technicalities aside and just looking at ‘Digital Jungle Space’ for one; you instantly envision a utopic future on the peak of Trans-humanism whereby, there exists nothing much tangible, everything is virtual (including us). Now, take that mental picture and imagine it in a Drum & Bass dance floor gone AWOL…
As for the other jam, which is interestingly titled ‘My Vision’, we get to hear the artist’s creative vision perhaps. Whichever way it is, this is a fiery number that has that unexplained but, felt element of being a D&B classic. Like the first, it also starts with a grand, cinematic intro then; leads to an energetic “jump up” vibe and a voice sample for statement clarity; driven by melodies of the raw bass and a symphonic pad in the near background. This track is definitely a must-be hit!
As just like the last time we tried to summarize ChaseR’s style in just three words, being “raw; energy-filled, and timeless”. This record displays ChaseR’s interesting signature and recognition as a unique artist, besides it being a dope listen.
A special release from an inventive and legendary icon of Jungle/Old Skool side of D&B. DJ Vapour showers and blesses us with his second LP via his label i.e. 36 Hertz Recordings, as we delve into the season. It is stacked with ten tunes to immerse the ears in.
From the first track, despite it being childishly titled ‘Bubbles’, Beatopia LP starts by igniting a spark that leads to titanic flames that are comparable to an exploded fill-up (gas) station. The songs are engineered with an old-skool type of sound (one of Vapour’s signature marks) and yet, still managing to sound modern and crisp; and it runs with quite a flavourful, dark Jungle theme as well. The album also comprises of a few of what we can safely dub as ‘Vintage Liquid’ (compliments of the artist’s analogue gear) but with a rough, metallic edge to it with jams like ‘Give It To Me’; ‘Touch’ and; ‘Eats, Shoots And Leaves’. The songs come packaged with another of DJ Vapour’s signature moves which are; his powerful, rugged, and raw bass lines that conquers and flourishes in the lower end of the parametric spectrum. Some examples that audibly describe this can be found in ‘Global Connection’; how it runs low under the horns in ‘Ghosts’; and also the bass face and the tremors one can expect to get when ‘Earthquake’ drops. Lastly, on that collaborative note, there are two joints to peep viz; Jamie Irie on ‘Rude Boy Sound’; and Tommie Radford making an appearance in ‘Jailbreak’ which is one Rock & Rollin’, Metal meets Jungle kind of vibe as the last track number (just wait for it to properly drop to witness the fierceness herein).
We reckon that, this album is also celebratory of 36 Hertz’s ten-years in existence, seeing that it was established in 2007. This album will surely make their mission objective clear to you that, they are the “purveyors in fine bassline…”
Another blast from Oblast, NickBee once again drops another explosive, blazing release. He is out again, with an EP titled Space Tunnel this time which, is proudly brought to you by Ignescent.
Yet again, Nickbee showcases his creativity; and versatility in the music that he makes, all compressed in just four tracks. The EP kick-starts with the title song, and has a single artist feature being singer, Emily Harkness contributing a marvellous feat of surreal and angelic vocals over (damn!) those drums in ‘Chaos’. After hectically bopping our heads to the songs a few times over, we openly testify that this joint is undoubtedly our favourite number in the whole mix. Next to play is ‘Get It Closer’; a beautiful mess of grimy synthesis and gravitating bass lines over the mix. The jam’s atmosphere is nicely supplemented by a melodious voice that sounds distant, and creates scenery reminiscent of a Sci-fi setting from some other-worldly planet. The fourth and last track ‘Pandorum’ wraps up the EP with a heavy and dark theme, similarly as with all the songs on the track list.
Basically putting it in a nutshell; the experience that Space Tunnel EP offers, is an imaginative, mind journey through a Neuro D&B orientated sound space than just mere shuckin’ & jivin’ like a mad man on the Rave floor because, it has a lot of mental substance.
It is releases such as this EP that make NickBee an artist/producer of prominence and finesse. His music lifts a pioneering flag when it comes to Ukrainian, and inevitably D&B worldwide. As for this release, it is simply another timeless one from the Bee man.