Coming on the excellent Blackout Music label, this is a serious 12”. Data has been at the top of the game for a while now, having released on some of the scenes biggest and best labels and imprints, and for me his production is getting better and better; he seems to be able to push himself further with every new piece of music. Both sides of this record are a masterclass in darkside DnB at its finest, the crispness of the component parts of each track shines through brilliantly, meaning that they sound great through a big club rig and also at home through a pair of headphones. Buy on sight.
For me this is a great piece of modern jump-up Drum and Bass. Big and bold pure dancefloor material, but still understated enough to fit into a variety of different sets, this for me is what the ‘big room’ end of the DnB spectrum should represent. Zero G has been putting out good dancefloor music for a while now, and this is a great foray outside of his usually reggae influenced output. Darkly atmospheric and containing some great B movie samples, this is a proper stomper with its stuttering drums, sparkling hi-hats, and rowdy bassline. Released on High Culture recordings.
Big personal favourite this one, might be on the border of Jungle and DnB, but for me this sits perfectly as an example of darkside Jungle at its best. Released on Metalheadz in 1996, for me this is Adam F’s greatest work; dark, brooding atmospheric, and a long intro that sits in the mix brilliantly, before switching into a sparse breakdown replete with barking bass stabs, and then exploding into an intricate yet minimal drop. Darkside at its finest, bring back the old Adam F…
The latest release from Future Sickness releases, and this is about as dark as things get before we tread into full blown gabba territory. Yes, I may still be riding a bit of an afterglow from Therapy Sessions at the weekend, but this is furious, angry Drum and Bass at its best, and it does ridiculous things to a club. The A side, Trainwreck is all about dark vocal samples, 4×4 kick drums and metallic, half time snares with an ever present sinister bassline. It is pure, unrelenting energy all the way. Brilliant switch on the second drop as well. The B side is much of the same, made individual with ever present atmospherics played in the background and snares layered over the 4×4 drums, before the switch where all hell breaks loose and the track turns into an example of the darkest, most driving of rolling tech. Not for the faint hearted, warm up those face muscles before you listen.
A seminal work from one of the leaders of the modern darkside scene, this was a B side release on Moving Shadow which for me is still up there with his best work. A masterpiece of jazzy, steppy jungle, this track has plenty of dancefloor energy, whilst still retaining enough ‘intelligence’ to take the listener on a journey as it evolves throughout its course. Brass instrument samples, vocal snippets, and beats that get more and more intricate as the tune progresses combine to increase the energy, but for me, the best moment of the track is when it cuts back to bare beats and a new sub note is introduced. An all time favourite.
Coming in 2004 on Renegade Hardware as the A side for the School Of Hard Knocks album sampler, this is tearout darkside at its finest. A masterpiece in break manipulation, Human Error starts with a spoken word intro sampled from the film ‘Pi,’ before the beats are unleashed in one of the most uncompromising, take-no-prisoners drops that I can think of. With switches between breaks coming in the left, right and centre, layered up with some absolutely disgusting and distorted soaring reese bassline accents, this is music designed to rearrange your face.
Coming on Felix K’s exceptional Hidden Hawaii imprint, this is a 12” I’ve been looking forward to owning for a while. Two sides of full on Detroit influenced Drum and Bass of the highest quality. Martsman’s effort rolls out with steppy, punchy beats and swirling atmospherics, whilst DB1’s side is pure minimalism, scattered staccato beats layered over deep bass. With only 211 copies wordwide, and pressed on a nice piece of translucent blue wax, this is a release to be hunted down. Get in there fast.