New In the Bag #21
Marukomu- Visions/Ganymede: Protect Audio’s debut release sees Manchester based new blood Marukomu drop two deep, sinister pieces of d&b for a release that starts the imprint off really strong. Tense, cinematic sounds over sharp hats and rasping mids lead the way for the a side, Visions, while Ganymede is a bit more stripped back, with a few carefully placed hats keeping it rolling over. Hard drum edits and a beastly bass line help keep things interesting. Not only are both tracks strong in their own right, but remixes from Eleven8 and Mono respectively really add another dimension to the release, completely switching up the vibe of both tracks with some really nice touches. Definitely looking forward to heaving more from the Protect Audio camp!
Colonel Red- Spacesleep Ep: A bit of non d&b action for you, but my did this release cheer me up when it dropped into my email. Colonel Red, a soul singer with experience by the truck load and soul by the boat load brings three slices of absolute perfection to Apollo Records. From the vibey hook, spoken word touches and jazz bass riff of Sleepers through the reversed strings and reverberating lyrics of Soulridin’ to the Dilla esque crackle of Spaceface, it’s a release that oozes soul in a modern era that had us all wondering if it was lost. Quite simple, this is one of those smoked out, timeless joints that’s a perfect soundtrack to after hours contemplative mind wandering.
Stray- The Persuit/Poison (Ft. Halogenix): Stray returns once again to Warm Communications with that jittering sound of his that I’ve always really enjoyed; he’s one of the heads bringing something a bit fresh to the d&b table right now if you ask me. This release proves exactly why I think that, with the rolling drums and a slightly techno esque melody of The Persuit combining with intricate yet chaotic clicks that remind me of swarming cockroaches. Drum rolls to end phrases and some really nice atmospherics top things off spiffingly. Poison on the flip sees Halogenix also join in on the fun for a track that brings something different to the current saturation of hip hop style vocal led d&b tunes. Electronic bleeps drop into stonking pads and crisp drums underneath snatches of vocal bars chopped and toyed with to perfection. Loving this one.
Spectrasoul- Delay No More Ep: I find it a shame that labels seem to be straying further and further away from releasing full albums on vinyl, instead favouring this format of a vinyl Ep combined with the full release on digital/CD, but this stunning offering from Spectrasoul is worth a mention all the same. They’ve picked out four of the d&b tunes from an album that’s much more varied in it’s musical styles in order to keep the purists happy, and while they might not be the most progressive of the bunch, they live up to the levels of perfection I’ve come to expect from Spectrasoul. It goes without saying that the production throughout is incredible, but the contemplative keys of Sometimes We Lie and long, deep intro of The Curb are what really stand out for me. Feeling the artwork too!