While I’m wondering where this whole drum & bass revival will go and how long it will last, I’m still willing to follow it some more as it seems to be the right time to reminisce over that exciting period of my life. And along comes Sonar’s Ghost, half a year after those new/old tracks have surfaced, and this time they bring reinforcements. That term is not only true for the remixes themselves, but also owed to the fact that two old Reinforced label mates are involved in their making: Marc Mac in his Nu Era disguise and Mark Force aka G-Force. All four tracks are available as a download release for £3 (or more) from the Ghost’s Bandcamp store.
What started as another 4hero moniker, soon became Marc Mac’s solo outlet for futuristic beats, stylistically at home somewhere between Detroit and West London sound. When broken beat came to an end in 2006, it seemed the days of Nu Era were over as well, especially with Marc’s increased focus to hip hop. Turns out that isn’t true and there’s a full album coming your way later this month.01. Microchip Angel
02. Four Days Earlier
03. The Third Adam
04. Dye Menshun
05. Robot Moves
06. Dream Frequency
07. Swing Machines
08. You In The Strobe Light
09. Jacob’s Looking Glass
10. Project Eve
11. Eighty Seven
12. Sweet Tweets
13. Warped Soul
Apart from Robot Moves, it seems like these are mostly new tracks. The Third Adam will be available as limited CD release and as download title, both can be pre-ordered on Marc’s Bandcamp page.
The Nu Era remix on this 12-inch is a production by Marc Marc, and it can be argued whether it marks the first attempt at broken beat. Reinforced has long been the breeding ground for artists such as Seiji, Domu, Volcov and further inviduals of West London’s Bugz in the Attic collective.
If you like the track above, you can easily find yourself a copy on sites like Discogs, Gemm or MusicStack. For more of a similar vibe, I strongly suggest checking out Volcov’s Soul in Motion compilation released back in 2002.
It’s been one of my favourite compilations of the year and I’m late on my review duties – but in fact this blog didn’t even exist when everybody else was loving it already. Today we’re talking about Here Comes Treble, the first compilation from Domu‘s young TrebleO label. And it’s a great debut, way too fresh to be put in this blog’s classics category! Dominic has proven great taste putting together such diverse collection of styles and artists, even the cover artwork is an outstanding piece of work, designed by Mr. The Beef.
So, being the last blogger on the planet to review this, let’s make it a proper one. Here Comes Treble was preceded by two download-only samplers (via ithinkmusic) and accompanied by mixtapes from Nu Era, Soulparlor, Rondenion, Lukid and Domu himself.
Personally, I’m always a bit sceptical when it comes to compilations of different styles of music. TrebleO on the other hand manages to fuse all these genres, broken beat, hip hop, soul, drum and bass, house and what not in an exceptional sensitive way. The opener Twice is a jazzy-smooth track with soft hip-hop beats, rich of strings and brass. It comes from Lukid, a young London based producer with a nice portfolio on his MySpace page. Next up is Probe DMS, one of half of NYC’s Spymusic. It’s the track Voodoo Magic I didn’t like when first listening to it. But it has grown on me since, it’s a fresh hip-hop tune with raps (from Probe himself?) that has an oldskool Ummah feel to it.
A fantastic sound clash of genre-bending underground music! Simply needs to be heard!
Mark De Clive Lowe (Antipodean)
The music is then makes a twist towards laid back house with Breakin Bread from Chris Barker, followed by the soulful Ben Mi Duck. They already had an EP Stepping Back Patterns on TrebleO, but Pointless Dreams is exclusive to the compilation. Lush strings and soulful vocals with a 4hero feel, that already got some airplay on Gilles Peterson‘s radio show. It is 4hero’s Marc Mac in his Nu Era disguise who contributed Robot Moves, a personal favourite.
When Domu asked me to do a track for the album he used those magic words “you can do anything you want” and that’s how ‘Robot Moves’ came to life. You can clearly hear across the album that everyone involved had the same instructions and the result is a solid compilation of great diverse self indulgence. And that’s not a bad thing…
Marc Mac (4 Hero)
Domu’s first out of three tracks is Izittobe, the first output since the massive Dangerous Minds EP and it goes into a similiar direction. It gets even darker from here with Soulparlor’s Gee, moving between dubstep and broken beat territories. Let’s talk about my favourite track on the compilation, it’s a remix of an old Sonar Circle tune, remixed by Bassclef. I’m not sure if the original of Cry had a proper release on vinyl or if it first appeared on TrebleO’s recent collection of old material from Domu’s drum and bass oriented moniker. Another track from Domu is in the cue, So Move is probably the weakest track on the compilation. Bruk sound with sweet vocals that sound like Nicola Kramer, though it might not be her.
It represents brilliantly everything going on in the house, soul and jazz scenes at the moment.
Aaron Jerome (BBE/If Music)
Before the music makes another twist, Planet Zero from Cartridge is the last and probably darkest tune of the rougher side of the compilation. We go soulful from there! It’s the Baker Brothers with What You Do Is Right. I don’t know who they are or where the come from, but it’s a bright tune, it must have a full band behind the acid jazz flavoured vocals, very rich sounding! More positive sounds are delivered by Bedford’s DJ Marin (Bakura!), the Rondenion mix of Love Fantasy is an atmospheric deephouse track with soulful vocals. Sub Ensemble deliver 22 21, picking up the jazzy sounds of Dalindeo or japanese nujazz, you get the picture.
An interlude comes from Simbad, who teams up with Philadelphia’s spoken word artist Rich Medina for a short Momentum. Wise words, wise words. Everybody keeps talking about Austrian wunderkindDorian Concept recently. Being heavily featured by Benji B, TrebleO released his Beat Tape and now he contributes Thank Capital Letters. You like Prefuse 73? You like Dimlite? I’m sure you will like Dorian Concept. I should mention he has a free album on Earstroke and another download from TrebleO. Just as we continue, it’s already the last track and it’s Ninja Tunes’ Daedalus. Drummery Jam is pure fun in the sense of Pizzicato Five or Wagon Christ, a bit like a song for children.