Throwback d&b at it’s finest, Blocks and Escher have been channelling the genre’s pioneers and nineties mavericks of late, utilising their own Narratives Music imprint to put out not only spacious, melodic reinventions of 170 music but also dangerous slices of electronic jungle, something their forthcoming Calla/Jimmy 12″ does in abundance. The labels ninth release, it’s founders prove just why they’ve been making such a stir in the last few years, their quality over quantity approach paying off both in terms of their warm ears and musical prowess.
The main talking point, Calla (above) fidgets and jitters it’s way, somehow conversely both smooth and soothing, through a low key jungle break and deep space atmospherics for a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place during Good Looking’s darker moments and the more mellow offerings of old school Metalheadz. It’s metallic break juxtaposes deeply warm and relaxing atmospherics as twinkles and a host of rising whale synths mingle with the occasional teeth grinding bass stab for a track who’s crux, originality and hard to place appeal lies in it’s many intertwined moods.
On the flip however, Jimmy‘s (above) mood is undoubtable. Slowly leading through background hats and a siren like shout that’s ear pricking sheerly for the fact that it’s origin is impossible to put a finger on, slitting atmospherics introduce a throwback vocal sample and it’s warfare inducing drop. Tearing synths rain down on serrated hats to devastating effect before a raw bassline later takes the soundscape by the horns for the final touch of sneering nastiness. Calmly angry, psychopathic even, it highlights how this duo never have to overdo things, clutter up the mix or resort to cheap tricks to get their point across, instead relying on simple and sparse elements that simply click together to catch the perfect vibe.
Grab the vinyl or digital pre-order (full release date 27th October) from the Narratives Bandcamp here and check Blocks and Escher’s Fabriclive x Critical Sound mix from earlier in the year below.