“I’m not a big believer in magic. But this place is different. It’s special. The others don’t want to talk about it because it scares them. But we all know it. We all feel it … But what if everything that happened here, happened for a reason? … That’s impossible … I looked into the eye of the island, and what I saw … was beautiful.”
Lost TV series, Season 1, Episode 5 “White Rabbit”, aired October 2004
This is the fourth installment of the blog’s “Tracks I Wish I’d Written” series. Every track that is presented here has been selected from my personal record collection and has had a profound impact on my musical taste. Featuring a variety of tracks across the electronic music spectrum, emphasizing mainly on drum and bass, from undisputed classics to underrated gems, all are tracks I wish I had written, as the title of the series implies.
The fourth issue is about a modern classic by Future Engineers (Lee Batchelor & Keir Kleminson); the outfit that re-designed the atmospheric drum and bass blueprint in the second half of the 90s, borrowing from the immediacy of techno, without neglecting their trademark musicality.
Having released popular drum and bass music on leading labels such as Renegade, Partisan, Temple, Secret Operations and Nu Directions, signing exclusively with Good Looking Records (GLR) seemed like a natural progression. That relationship culminated in a barrage of brilliant releases on GLR and its subsidiaries. After a short production hiatus, followed by the mutually agreed termination of their exclusive contract in 2006, an event that marked the beginning of a new era for them, Future Engineers (FE) re-emerged in a sensational fashion recording new material for Camino Blue, Covert Operations and Kos.Mos Music; all labels spearheading a similar musical approach to Future Engineers’ previous works. As of late 2006, Lee and Keir have gone their separate ways, “Eon” being the last EP they produced together, and Future Engineers is now just Lee.
During that prolific period, Lee Batchelor wrote “Eden”, describing the recording process as an attempt to try something a bit different from the usual FE stuff. The rights were readily acquired by Subject 13’s Vibez Recordings and the track turned out to be one of Future Engineers’ undisputed discography highlights. The press release eloquently captures the essence of the track:
“… Admirers of the classic intricate sounds and emotions of one of drum and bass’ longest standing outfits won’t be disappointed here with this long awaited release. Deep bass and flying atmospherics build into a movie like epic and the world famous amen break is worked to full use, already causing a storm in most reputable dj boxes, “Eden” is a classic tune in the making. The mood elevates elegantly in this expansive track and the breakdown is one you won’t forget. Whispery haunting female vocals gently glide over this magical piece of quality music, which only adds to what is already, recognized as an outstanding track for mixing …” – Vibez Recordings.
FUTURE ENGINEERS: EDEN (A1) VIBEZ041
The promotional copy was released on August 8th, 2007 and the full-artwork version was officially published by Vibez Recordings on September 17th of the same year.
Although “Eden” is a track primarily dance-floor oriented, the musical aspect for the home listener is still retained. The track’s main theme elegantly samples “Shibuya” by Brian Reitzell & Roger J. Manning Jr. (the title is a reference to a special ward of Tokyo city, Japan and the song features in the Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie “Lost In Translation” – directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, 2003).
“ … It was actually my flat mate at the time Aaron Petrie who suggested the “Shibuya” sample. He played it to me and I instantly started thinking about incorporating it in to a track …” – Lee Batchelor
Fans and enthusiasts of the acclaimed “Lost” fantasy/drama TV series will instantly recognize excerpts from a dialogue between the characters John Locke and Tom Shephard (portrayed by actors Terry Quinn and Matthew Fox respectively), taking place in a defining scene, which implied the very thematic basis of the series’ narrative (S01E05, episode entitled “White Rabbit”). The audio sample (see transcript at the intro of the feature) appears throughout the breathtaking breakdown.
“… This was also at the time that “LOST” was on, which we were also big fans of and when I heard the particular John Locke speech I knew I had to use it! We’ve always been into film speech samples, soundscapes, atmospherics etc. …” – Lee Batchelor
Transference Recordings and recent events
In 2010, Lee Batchelor launched his own imprint called Transference Recordings, designed to become a platform for new FE material, as well as a regular outlet – via digital download stores – for top quality and forward-thinking, deep drum & bass. Apart from his outputs on Transference, Lee has been recording again, either solo or collaborating, for labels such as Soul Deep, Kos.Mos Music and most recently Omni Music. He has been also delivering remixes for artists such as Kredit, Mav, Implex, LM1 & Indigo Sync and Electrosoul System. The last couple of years he has relocated to Melbourne, Australia.
Visit the blog’s archive, following the links below, for:
- Future Engineers’ full biography, links, as well as a top-10 countdown of their finest musical moments: Count To Ten: Future Engineers
- An exclusive interview with Lee Batchelor talking about all things Future Engineers, after his gig in Athens and prior to the release of the Exhale EP on Transference: Future Engineers – “Exhale” interview – Athens, April 2013
- The previous installments of the “Tracks I Wish I’d Written” series
Discography, reviews and links:
Official Future Engineers website (currently under maintenance, up and running soon!)