Multi Function Music – Levela – Genesis LP [Review]

LEVELA

November marks a pinnacle for Multi Function Music, the 100th release. This is a serious milestone for any label so, what better way to celebrate this either than having MF’s very own Levela dropping a full-on album?

 Like a new beginning, the LP has symbolically been titled Genesis and has a maximum of sixteen tracks which add up to a total of 72 minutes of D&B listening pleasure. For one hell of a great start; ‘Koodana’ which means “jump” or “hop” in Hindi, starts with a transcendental effect from the Indian instruments that go on for an almost timeless moment before the heavy D&B beats kick in on the drop. Branching out from there, highlighting a few solo efforts in tunes like the Ninja Turtle-inspired title of ‘Cowabunga’; some silly clowning of ‘Dafuq’ (nice grooves here) plus; a sincere dedication from the bass line to an important piece of hardware that makes it possible to experience the music in its entirety, the ‘Bass Bin’. The only exception to turbo-fuelled vibes is in ‘The Abyss’. And, on a collaborative note, the line-up is solid! Peeps like MC Coppa who makes his lyrical presence well-felt on two numbers i.e. ‘Warriors’ which is fit to be an anthem; and the nostalgia-invoking mood of ‘Memory Lane’. There’s also the remarkable vocal talents of a gentleman called Kit Rice over the mellow and quite emotional ‘I Keep Going’; and another great vocal-wordsmith, Darrison making an appearance on something different (with transitions) as well. The last to play is an extra, tweaked treat: ‘Ghetto Blaster’ (VIP) – another anthem. Different styles and flavours and hard to skip sums it up.

Levela does live up to the self-proclamation and thus, is deserving of the title of ‘Professional Sound Maker’ in every respect of every single word in the phrase because… Damn, Genesis is a masterpiece LP!

 Words by: Tsheola Asavela

 RD: WW-05/11/2017

Advertisements

BFTR Interview: Brookes Brothers

Brookes Brothers-39

It was June 2011 when their self-titled debut album, Brookes Brothers [Breakbeat Kaos] was released. This year, Liquid D&B’s favourite siblings have at last dropped their much anticipated sophomore LP titled Orange Lane courtesy of Viper Recordings. Talks of it have been buzzing for quite a while. Us here, at BFTR, deemed it necessary to interrogate one of the brothers, Dan to take us through this impressive and iconic release in order for us to grasp as to why it is undeniably amongst the best Drum & Bass releases of 2017.

BFTR: Let’s start with you guys explaining to a wondering fan out there the reason why Orange Lane LP had to come after six long years. Like, was this part of the plan or…?

Daniel Brookes: We didn’t really start properly writing the album until 2014! It was finished and mixed by early this year but then towards the end, we had some setbacks with regards to tying it all up…

BFTR: So, how long did it actually take to start and finish the whole album; from the first, up until the last track? And, what does it signify for the Brookes Brothers?

DB: Probably a bit too long. Definitely at least a couple of years although we do have a lot of leftover material to work with…

For us, the project is about moving in new directions without changing our core ideas, and to try & push the genre into places it hasn’t been before. It sounds clichéd but we always want our albums to be listening experiences rather than a collection of club material. And then, it’s about making it work as a whole.

BFTR: What are you hoping to achieve with it, besides the album being merely just another hot Drum & Bass release?

DB: It’s quite experimental in many ways. Ultimately, we want our fans to really enjoy it whilst hopefully appealing to a new generation of music enthusiasts. We wanna encourage a more artistic approach to DnB albums. Drum N Bass is more than just club music. Super-distorted club music is great on a mad Friday night but, we wanted to tap into that Monday-morning market too 🙂

BFTR: The list of featured artists herein has contributed towards creating and giving life to the album obviously. So, in just a few words and in any way, how has the whole collaborative experience impacted you be it as a duo or individuals?

DB: Yeah! It definitely adds an extra dimension to the album. It helped us to develop whilst adding some other colours and vibes to our music. We’re self-taught, and had some help with the vocals on the first LP so it took a little time to learn the best ways to deal with layering and mixing vocals; overseeing vocal sessions etc. We learnt a lot!

BFTR: I see Danny Byrd was rightfully included as well, coming through in ‘Climb High’ which is one of the notable bangers in here. We’ve seen a number of hits you guys cooked up together in the past, how does this tune compare or differ from the previous ones in terms of how you see it?

DB: It’s always great having Danny on board- we see it as an extension on our previous collabs though, I think this one is a little different with the use of breaks over the usual heavy hits sound. It’s always fun, and a challenge to keep us all happy.

Brookes Brothers-16

BFTR: Give us just three of your favourite songs on the album… Go!

DB: ‘The One’, ‘All About You’, ‘Waiting Right Here’.

BFTR: I’m also curious to know as to how you guys became Brookes Brothers, the artists/producers including; how you guys got into the genre; all the way to the musical influences behind your unique sound… Shoot!

DB: We were born and raised in London and DnB was always a thing. We went from nutty skateboarders at 16 to keen ravers in our late teens- hitting most of the DnB events like Movement; Ram; and Swerve, catching the night bus home at 4 in the morning. That’s when we discovered a bunch of artists that we connected with, and we could hear the beginnings of something fresh. Eventually, we persuaded our mum to lend us some money for an early Roland Fantom, and the music started from there. We always had a wide array of musical influences, and over the years we’ve tried to incorporate as much of that as we can into our work. We think individuality is paramount in music so we always focused on pursuing our own creative path.

BFTR: You’ve been dropping tunes since 2005, and have ascended with consistency to be ranked amongst the titans in the D&B music scene. What was life like before all of this?

DB: Very different! Anyone in the music industry will tell you what an unpredictable journey it can be. We’ve been lucky I think. We have some higher power looking out for us. Life before this, hmm! We were living with our parents in Lewisham tryna convince them we weren’t just wasting our time smoking weed upstairs in the studio. Phil was working for the News of the World cold-calling, selling ad-space for lingerie, I think. Thankfully, our parents had a feeling we were onto something and gave us encouragement and room to develop our abilities.

BFTR: As for the future, what’s to follow Orange Lane? What can we expect from this point if I may ask?

DB: We’ll go wherever the journey takes us… We want a steady output of material over the next 12 months so, we’re gonna make that happen. Some more basic dance floor stuff too, as a fun album break. There are some collabs we’ve got planned. We wanna continue to follow our own path and gain new listeners and fans whilst pursuing what we feel is the right direction for us. We’re on a really positive energy now and are experiencing more and more freedom as artists. We also have two remixes coming out: for Tieks feat. Chaka Khan; and Kamille feat. Avelino.

BFTR: Lastly, are there any parting words you guys would like to share with us maybe? It can be anything really.

DB: Big thanks to you guys for the support, and anyone reading this who has supported us over the years. Much love X

 

End.

 

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Celsius Recordings – Oddsoul – Hypnotize EP [Review]

Oddsoul-Hypnotized-EP

Jesse V, also known as Oddsoul is an American Drum & Bass artist who specializes along the deep lines of the Liquid/Soul subgenre. The tip he’s on has seen him being affiliated with labels like Soul Deep Recordings; Emotion Records; Atmomatix; and such. Hypnotized EP is his latest offering under Fockuz Recordings’ sister label, Celsius Recordings.

The EP features just three tracks that allow us to be immersed in Oddsoul’s sound. There’s the joint called ‘Drizzle’ that first gives us the idea; a soulful piece with a mellow groove and powerful drum break to power it. Then there’s ‘No More’ which has a tweaked Ashanti vocal sample for the lyrical part and would give the original R&B song (bearing a similar title) a run for its money. A title song to the EP is included as well; a love tune made up of the strong emotions behind the vocals layered on the track as a feminine counterpart to the gigantic, masculine feel of the deep bass line; over a clean 1-2 Step beat. If not mistaken, we sure we must’ve heard Rick Ross’ voice, doing his signature “huh!” sound, sampled and added as a flavouring. All in all, Hypnotize is a love-themed production that has soulfully deep atmospheres and beautiful melodies on all the jams. The addition of the interesting vocal samples Oddsoul played with is commemorative of his place on the map, and perhaps hinting as well his musical background that influences his productions.

In conclusion, this latest offering is well on point in terms of the clean production, the mature taste, and creative play of sound elements that form the end product. It’s something to be simply enjoyed with ease when jammed whilst acknowledging Oddsoul’s unique take on D&B otherwise, it is the witnessing of American Drum & Bass at its finest!

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

 

 

Hyperactivity Music – Midn8Runner – Ambitions/Resolution [Review]

cover

Hyperactivity Music is a young label that’s based in the city of Marseille, France. It’s only nine months ago that it released its first record, and this October sees the label drop another record from one of their artists, Midn8Runner.

The first of the two singles that the release brings with is ‘Ambitions’; a word that almost every passionate person relates with and in this case, a song that’s meant for shuckin’ & jivin’ in an emancipated manner. It pumps all the energetic vibes and feels that make it a good song to jam to for days. It blends that Soul, which emanates from the vocal sample during a certain mood it takes before the beat drops; with a raw and rebellious sound when it does. ‘Resolution’ on the other hand, is strictly of a subterranean theme by being a deep roller with enigmatic elements that spice up the song perfectly. This joint has no breaks to hinder it; it just takes it straight to the finish line with a relentless attitude. It specially caters for the thoroughbred bass heads that prefer their D&B dish instrumental with a gloomy atmosphere. All in all, we think this release is as the titles say; is based on Midn8Runner’s resolution towards his ambition epitomized through a sound medium maybe?

Midn8Runner deservedly reps his country and shows us in just two dope joints, an interesting glimpse as to what a French D&B production is about. This release will definitely leave a solid mark, and contribute towards Hyperactivity Music’s growth to prominence in the world scene.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

 

Soul Trader Records – Aperio – So True/Discoveries Feat. Subdivision [Review]

aperio

Aperio states that he is all about “documenting moods and memories with music”, and he has done that through labels such as RAM Records; Mayan Audio; Soulvent; as well as other D&B entities including this latest release via Soul Trader Records.

It is an audio documentation consisting of Liquid rhythms, which are in the form of two singles. The first one is a beautiful number called ‘So True’ with its smooth, harmonic vocals that express a feeling of emotions that sound relative to the title. It has a nice play of melodic keys that capture the song’s essence; and a crisp, clean mix down of the simple drum track. ‘Discoveries’ is the next single which Aperio and fellow signee to Soul Trader, Subdivision collaborated on. Both producers are from Leeds, UK and display an impressive joint effort that raises the flag of their hometown when it comes to Liquid Drum & Bass. The mood, vibe, and style in general does not divert from former tune so basically, the songs uniformly arise the same feels or emotions quite frankly. An addition however, is the nostalgic effect that the distantly sounding reverberations of the vocals invoke as the ear listens on.

Fact is, there’s no going wrong with soulful D&B, period, and Aperio has done his part to prove the fact. The production and the composition of these two joints are indeed quite impressive, and do well to compliment Aperio as a talented artist.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela

Axon Records – NickBee – Alter Ego [Review]

cover

Nikolay Bogomolov A.K.A NickBee as he’s popularly known in the scene has formed his own imprint, Axon Records.  With the label’s inception this year comes its first release by the young Ukrainian producer himself taking the lead.

This debut tune bears the title of ‘Alter Ego’ and instead of being straightforward D&B like we thought it would be it instead comes in the form of a laid-back, Halftime kind of vibe. It enters with a nice; calmly manner with sounds that are a hybrid of the traditional and the futuristic although, overall it is the latter sound that dominates the song of course. The melody of the song is a smooth one; made up of some bits and pieces of cuts of the instrument; which includes a sort of pitch-altered, inaudibly interesting vocal samples blended with the flow which combines to its fullness. The bass on the hand also has a lot of substance that gives it its power as it takes different forms i.e. alternating from deep to saw-like roars. This is the type of jam to marinate and relax to, no matter the setting.

‘Alter Ego’ is an encompassing, initial example of what to expect from Axon Records and its sound in the future. It is indeed a progressive sound filled with creativity and a unique style without a doubt.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela