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

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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]

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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]

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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

Mainframe Recordings – DubApe – Unstoppable EP [Review]

dubape

Unstoppable EP is another release by DJ/producer, DubApe, making it Mainframe Recordings’ ninety-fourth and thus, getting the label a step closer to a hundred records. The young Austrian producer’s focus from Dub-Step to mainly D&B has added more recognition, as well as furthering his reputation as a musician to this point.

The EP contains four tracks that come in different flavours, showcasing some mean production skills. It comes with tunes that portray a dark and imposing nature like the spine-chilling effect of childish and/or distorted utterings that echo off the walls of ‘Why’; to the full and yet, empty paradox when it comes to how ‘One Year’ sounds with that Industrial touch. The latter, is definitely suitable for beginning a club set that’s destined to be a heavy one from what follows this jam. The first and last tracks here are bound to smash! There’s the hard and heavy-hitting spirit that controls the raging and raving ‘Delirium’ that is totally off the hook. The other one, ‘Unstoppable’ definitely lives up to the reputation of being a dope title song. It features emcee, Patch Edison; has a nice melody from the piano; backed up by the strong, rich bass behind it all. This song is an anthem as much as it is a mission statement, a piece that invokes inspiration from the instruments at play, to the empowering chorus; and the lyrical content that Edison delivers superbly.

It’s really impressive and admirable how DubApe shows the diversity in his productions, and his style is amongst the unique ones too when it comes to signature. Unstoppable is a production that continues an impressive record for this Vienna producer.

Words by: Tsheola Asavela