Back with yet more d&b bangers to make your shoulder ache (yes, I still haven’t invested in one of those posh wheelie vinyl bags), New In The Bag this time round features a range of bits, from a repress of the age old Goodlooking classic Atlantis through some of the freshest talent on the scene. With something for everyone, from the soulful to the dancefloor burners, there’s plenty to get stuck into below.
Gerwin & Nuage- Lying Portraits (Ft. 2Shy)/Soul Truth
We’ve been plugging young Parisian label IM:Ltd for a while now and their roster and tune selection only get’s stronger and stronger. First up, Bordeaux based Gerwin teams up with Russian Nuage and UK MC 2Shy for a really strong international collab called Lying Portraits. With melodic pianos and even a few sax’s thrown in for good measure, it’s nice to see a d&b MC being given the task of lacing a more relaxed tune, something 2Shy steps up to expertly with deep yet hard hitting bars. I’ve been getting a bit tired of d&b MCs chatting the same old ish on tracks recently, but this track switches it up not only sonically but also subject wise, dope. Soul Truth, a track Gerwin takes solo, on the flip, is a fairly standard dark pulser with a bit of interest added by a soulful vocal that introduces a wealth of bass stabs and raucous bass. Also check IM:Ltd’s recent digital compilation Rise of the Underdogs.
LTJ Bukem (Apollo 2)- Atlantis/(Marky & Spy Remix)
I’ve been considering getting LTJ Bukem’s (or Apollo 2 which is the alias he used for this track) 1998 epic Atlantis pressed to wax for a long time now to avoid the ridiculous Discogs prices, so was pleasantly surprised to hear of a repress. With it comes Marky & Spy’s remix which I remember Friction absolutely destroying Shogun at Cable with back in 2010 on some three reload business. Although not as epic, it makes the original much more usable in sets and generally updates it for the modern audience. It’s well known that Good Looking have been very slow to release tracks in the past (still waiting on that Furney album), and Bukem’s heart seems to beat a good ten times slower than everyone elses, but mine turned up within 48 hours of purchase and sounds beautiful! It seems Good Looking are back and there’s plenty of other represses over at their shop.
Nature Rage- Games/Let Me Show You
Deep d&b label Translation Recordings return with a track from a newcomer, Nature Range, who hails from the label’s hometown of Washington DC. Games combines spring like atmospherics and clicking drums with warm pads for a vibey piece of half time d&b broken up by drum rolls a plenty. Meanwhile on the flip, the label release their first dubstep track in the form of Let Me Show You. A mellow offering, female vocal snatches take center stage over a deep bass line, tight drums and echoing melodies. Yes, androids dream of this.
Fathom Audio- Defence/(Skeptical Remix)
The recently formed trio Fathom Audio (featuring Billion, Codebreaker & Sense) return with their brand of dark, MC led dancefloor d&b, this time gracing young Bournemouth based label Alignment who are quickly leaping up through the scene. Defence combines raw sounding drums with plenty of clang about them and throwback synths with Codebreaker’s up front lyrics for a slice of d&b that takes you back to the glory days with a twist. Skeptical takes remix duties and his flip is pretty much what you’re expecting if I’m honest, but that’s not always bad as punching drums, stern synth stabs and hard vocals combine for a viscous roller.
Lynx- Balloons/Passing Time
D&B stalwart Lynx returns to Marcus Intalex’s Soul:R label with two tracks that fit perfectly into the labels ethos and have been regular features at the legendary A Bunch of Cuts nights for a while now. Balloons opens things with a fresh, bouncy intro that reminds me of Intalex’s own 21 album with it’s rising, balloon pump, melodies. It teases and teases through variations, building back up slowly in an expert slice of tension before dropping into heavy bass and stepping drums that progress more and more as the track goes on. Passing Time on the B-Side is the real gem here for me, working through brooding pianos as it slowly builds up into top quality liquid with up beat, fast flowing drums and female vocals.
Seba- Too Much Too Soon (Ft. Jinder)/Say You Love Me
If I’m honest, I’m not really feeling the slightly Chipmunk like vocals and strange electronic guitars of Too Much Too Soon on this sampler for Seba’s forthcoming album on Secret Operations. Props to Seba for trying something new and hopefully everyone else with disagree, but it just doesn’t get on with my ears as well as much of his material. However, Say You Love Me weighs in at just over six minutes of perfection. A slowly building track that’s defined by subtle changes rather than the sudden drops we’re so used to in d&b, the Chicago House influences he’s incorporated make for a lovely piece of forward thinking music. Squelchy bass, fast hats, pianos and a haunting vocal combine to devastating effect for one of my favourite d&b joints of late. I think the genre needs to be a bit more outward facing in it’s influences, and also more patient with it’s build ups rather than relying on big drops, and this track goes a long way to doing both those things. I have a feeling Seba’s album might be a bit special.