Liner Notes on 2021 – Part III (Anachronism – The Jungle/D&B Edition)

“Introducing intentional anachronisms as a device to help a contemporary audience to engage more readily with a period in the past and implementing modern production techniques to emulate the mystique and breakbeat science of a specific era is a tricky affair that occasionally might lead to the rabbit-hole of repetition and mediocrity”.

The previous part of the annual round-up included classic albums and compilations, which will always linger like ghosts of my own youth. For the drum & bass edition of this mini-series I have selected 25 records, which represent only a fraction of the beautiful music released in 2021, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Despite the frustrating mess at pressing plants that incurred severe delays to manufacturing and delivery, with average waiting time in the area of several months and final release dates continuously moving forward, it’s been a fairly prolific year.

I’ve tried to cover a wide range of styles tracing the links from the halcyon days of jungle to the contemporary drum & bass canon. Many of the entries though do have something in common, as the head title suggests. The 90s were a time of wild improvisation and experimentation, where no approach was off-limits. Introducing intentional anachronisms as a device to help a contemporary audience to engage more readily with a period in the past and implementing modern production techniques to emulate the mystique and breakbeat science of a specific era is a tricky affair that occasionally might lead to the rabbit-hole of repetition and mediocrity. This is not the case here, as all featured artists have achieved to re-create the atmosphere of a time and place gracefully, while retaining the relevance of that revered sound which might have moved on the fringes, but never really went away.

Most of the records in this list were pressed in limited quantities and have already sold out. Some back stock though might still be available here and there. I have also attached bandcamp/soundcloud links for preview and listen back.

Ordered by month of official release this is my personal jungle/d&b calendar of 2021:

Illuvia – Iridescence Of Clouds (ASIP, ASIPV027)

1

Favourite Track: Veil of Mist

I first discovered Ludvig’s music from a collaborative drum & bass release on Cadence Recordings in 2013 and I admit it took me some time to make the connection with his other projects, as he has been recording under a plethora of different aliases, each one encapsulating different aspects of his musical vision.

In the blog feature with A Strangely Isolated Place (July 2019), Ryan Griffin disclosed that there would be a forthcoming drum & bass album on his brilliant label. I’ve had a feeling that it would be by Ludvig Cimbrelius (under his Illuvia alias) and several months later the details were revealed. Titled ‘Iridiscence of Clouds’ and accompanied by an ‘isolated mix’ where Ludvig showcased his d&b influences, the album has been a definite highlight of 2021; in fact one of the most accomplished and emotional albums I’ve heard in years, an extensive natural canvas, full of colours and sounds, constantly adding deep, saturated hues into the monochrome silence.

We will be discussing with Ludvig the particular album, past and forthcoming drum & bass ventures, as well as the entire spectrum of his artistic expression in the forthcoming interview for the blog ‘A Summer & A Thousand Autumns’, due in the next couple of months.

Dom & Roland – The Search For Meaning / Abbott & Costello (D&R Productions, DRP021)

2

Favourite Track: The Search for Meaning

Defying the culture of distraction and minimal attention span that seems hell-bent on burying new music beneath an endless scroll, Dom revisits the bare essentials and immerses into the core of elements that drew him into drum & bass in the first place. Both tracks were written during the 2020 lockdown, around or straight after the release of last year’s Dom & Roland’s 8th solo LP ‘Lost In The Moment’.

Featuring my favourite artwork in recent years and packaged in a gorgeous full-colour, matt gloss, aqueous varnished sleeve ‘The Search for Meaning’ is a study into micro-contradictions capturing that moment of revelation, where simplicity and subtlety intersect with complexity and detail.

Harmony – Dark Matter EP (Deep Jungle, DAT033)

3

Favourite Track: Up In Smoke

Deep Jungle started in 2017 with focus on previously unreleased tunes from the 90’s, reissues of selected rarities, as well as brand-new music in the same style, always being at the vanguard of the jungle revival movement.

After the release of his debut album-statement ‘Resurgence’ last year, label owner Lee Harmony has confidently re-assumed production duties and continues the saga with the ‘Dark Matter EP’, the first Deep Jungle release of 2021. From soulful piano numbers to trademark amen smashers, this has been only the prelude of the label’s most prolific year to date with 14 releases by label regulars, as well as new entries (Harmony, Kid Lib, Phantom Image, Subject, Tech Itch, Phineus II and Tim Reaper).

ASC – Ideasthesia (Veil, VEIL005)

4

Favourite Track: Artificial Life

James Clements’ return to drum & bass has been a silver sliver to a dark-clouded period. With the encouragement of DJ Presha, ASC decided to revisit his roots and a barrage of mid-90s-inspired drum & bass ensued. The majority of the heavier break-oriented tracks were reserved for the ‘Entropic Trilogy’ (‘Isolated Systems’ – ‘An Exact Science’ – ‘An Increase in Entropy’) for Samurai Music. The vision of the project has been intentionally dystopian, cold and desolate with a very distinct aesthetic and the influences are quite apparent. He did leave though a window open for the fans of his warmer and atmospheric vibes and kept his promise with ‘Ideasthesia’ and ‘Slow Down/Lucid Dream’ the latter released on Over/Shadow a few months later.

Published on Auxiliary’s sublabel Veil, ‘Ideasthesia’ is a collection of tracks, tender and dreamy, redolent of the Sci-Files’ series on Clements’ first label Covert Operations. The title is a portmanteau of Greek words (ιδέα + αίσθησις), a notion introduced as an alternative explanation to a set of phenomena presuming that the resulting experience is of different nature than the trigger. Especially in art, the theory suggests that there could be no general classification competently applicable to every individual. Which in turn I believe is the ultimate aim of writing music: to invoke different emotions and interpretations.

Concealed Identity – The Nightingale Floor EP (Repertoire, REPRV025)

5

Favourite Track: Embers Fade

One of my favourite artists in recent years James Morton (aka Concealed Identity) makes his Repertoire debut, after 2 stunning releases for Narratives and music for Tribe 12, Ronin Ordinance and Exkursions. ‘The Nightingale Floor EP’ is a nod to central concepts in Japanese culture and aesthetics. Nightingale floors are floors built in such a way that they produce a chirping sound when walked upon and were used in hallways, temples and palaces. Whether by design or accidental, legend has it that they were used as a security device to prevent/detect unauthorized or malevolent movements within the premises. The term ‘nightingale’ refers to the Japanese bush warbler, or ‘uguisu’, which is a common songbird in Japan.

The title track emulates those floor strains, reflecting the complex and intricate soundscapes of Source Direct (James’ artist name is a tribute to the SD eponymous track from the ‘Exorcise The Demons LP’), but the dark romance of ‘Embers Fade’ is my personal highlight from the EP.

Tek 9 & Sonar Circle – Anachronistic LP (AKO Beatz, AKOBLP004)

6

Favourite Track: Schadenfreude

In 2019, two decades after his last release as Tek 9, Dego resurrected his iconic musical persona for a trilogy of albums for AKO Beatz. The first, self-titled album, featured 4 collaborations with Reinforced alumnus Dominic Stanton (Sonar Circle). Anachronistic LP’ is the second part of the Tek 9 trilogy and the 3rd part ‘Vintage’ followed later in the year.

Tek 9 and Solar Circle suggest an alternative path, which in addition to pure nostalgia, may act as a reminder of older but not forgotten dreams. Exploring themes of tension between past and future, the anticipation of times ahead and then the recollection of that anticipation, vague promises and spent ideals, the result disputes the linearity of time; an animating perspective of music that could have been played on the monitors of the Dollis Hill Attic studio in 1996 or on an ipod walking down Charter Road in the present day and nobody would notice the time leap.

Shiken Hanzo – Fate Worlds LP (Inperspective, INP032)

7

Favourite Track: Taoist Elements

Ryan Fearon (Shiken Hanzo) is an artist who can hardly fit in any genre stereotype. His affinity for far-eastern mythology and love for film scores (citing Hans Zimmer and Ludwig Göransson from ‘The Mandalorian’ as major influences) are omnipresent in his productions for his label Hojo Clan, as well as his past works for Cylon, CX Digital, Samurai and Repertoire. His debut album ‘Fate Worlds’ is definitely the most challenging entry in this list.

Given complete artistic and creative freedom from the label and consciously defying genre conventions and conformities, Shiken Hanzo borrows from the immediacy of techno, the mechanics of drum & bass and the minimal harmonic progression of ambient to construct an iconoclastic fantasy setting where worlds collide. Every note leads to a scenario, but is the final outcome pre-determined or does finality depend on interpretations and decisions?

DJ Trax – Lost In You / Stronger / Time For Change (Over/Shadow, OSH03)

8

Favourite Track: Time for Change

Already two years after that fateful meeting and Over/Shadow has become one of the most in-demand drum & bass labels at the moment and a vibrant community of artists and fans. The artist roster is a unique blend of seasoned veterans, as well as an array of exciting new producers covering a wide range of styles. In 2021 Over/Shadow published 6 singles/EPs by Dom & Roland, DJ Trax, ASC, Sully, Technical Itch, Vromm and a host of mouth-watering forthcoming acts is confirmed for 2022.

An avid record collector, masterful DJ and music scholar, DJ Trax is one of the Moving Shadow originators, producing either solo or as ½ of Mixrace alongside Paradox. The funk-flavoured ‘Lost in You EP’ traces the label’s roots, especially those presented in the regional compilations, and gracefully gives them a polished, modern update for 2021 and beyond.

Voyager – Shields Down EP (T3mpo Records, TempoSpeed04)

9

Favourite Track: Enso

‘Speed’ was a weekly club night in London’s West End that lasted for almost two years, from late ’94 to the summer of ’96. Set up by LTJ Bukem, Leo Roche and Sarah Sandy from Groove Connection at the Mars Bar, off Tottenham Court Road, with resident DJs Bukem and Fabio alongside prestigious guests, the ‘Speed’ nights have been pivotal to the evolution of drum & bass, representing the mellower side of the spectrum and showcasing new music that was not essentially aimed for the dancefloor, in a ‘safe’ and more intimate space away from the Jungle arenas.

‘Tempo presents Speed’ is a special project by Dutch record label T3mpo paying tribute to the Speed legacy. Released on limited and collectible hand-numbered 180gram coloured picture discs, the series features architects of that lauded sound like DJ Trace, Krust, Voyager, Source Direct and Hidden Agenda (the latter coming up soon).

Pete Parsons is a blog favourite and no further introduction is needed. If you feel inclined to reminisce about his artist profile, selected discography, fan facts and more, visit the blog’s archive here. ‘Shields Down’ is the follow-up to his 2013 ‘FAQ EP’ on T3mpo. In exactly the same vein as its predecessor, Voyager recreates that vibe with an organic quality that really accentuates the melancholic atmosphere of the EP.

Various Artists – Audience of none Sampler (none60, NSYLTD004)

10

Favourite Track: Margari’s Kid – Roundmoor Gardens

I firmly believe that VA compilations is a misunderstood and under-appreciated art form. Streaming platforms have effectively become a substitute, as anybody nowadays can tailor their playlists according to their preferences, mood and tastes, but I would still argue that compilations are still there, meticulously curated and still as relevant as ever.

‘Audience of none’ is the follow-up to the 2019 compilation ‘none of the Above’. Even the title was conceived back then, poignantly prophetic of the events that followed with club life suspended all over the world. Featuring 13 tracks from none60 artists and affiliates, ‘Audience of none’ is noticeably more pessimistic than its predecessor, not too dissimilar from the dismal mood of the whole planet, yet all the elements of the none60 canon are still present; emotive, challenging and intricate music.

The limited album sampler includes 4 of the album’s highlights and the artwork is by Scott London (@Metro Design). Andy Hobbs’ liner notes are always a pleasure to read.

PFM – For Caron (Are You Ready) / Bonus Track (Okbron, OKBR017)

11

Favourite Track: Bonus Track

Another great year for Russian label Okbron in their atmospheric drum & bass revival mission, with almost one release per month featuring Seba, Furney, G-Force, Bungle, PFM, John B, Probe-One, DJ Levi, Method One & Stunna, Pariah and Big Bud. I pondered a lot about which one should feature; although Pariah’s The Waiting Game/Cosmos’ is my favourite, partly for sentimental reasons partly because my order is still somewhere in the postage chain, PFM made the final cut.

After last year’s coveted ‘Submarine Tune’ Mike Bolton, returns to Okbron with two previous unreleased tunes from his treasured archives. ‘For Caron’ is a trademark amen PFM track elegantly using one of the most recognizable and sensational vocal samples, the acapella version of Soul II Soul’s ‘Back To Life’ (also referenced in the side-title ‘Are You Ready’, in case somebody missed that). ‘Bonus Track’ on the flipside is very reminiscent of one of Mike’s brilliant remixes (Lil’ Louis & The Party – Clap Your Hands, Go!Beat, 1997). In fact I might argue that the similar melody and drum loop imply that they were both written at or around the same time.

Eusebeia – You Reap What You Sow EP (Rupture LDN, RUPLDN020)

12

Favourite Track: Harvest

One of the most-popular London drum & bass club nights, Rupture turned also into a record label in 2012. Cultivating an inclusive and meticulous approach to the genre, Rupture has garnered praise and unconditional support from fans and peers alike and stands at the forefront of experimental, cutting edge drum & bass. Eusebeia’s EP has been the only Rupture release in 2021 and the next one (by Quartz) is due to be released at the end of January, 2022.

Two things immediately drew my attention to Eusebeia, the artist name of Seb Uncles: the Greek root of the word, which loosely translates to “respect for/fear of the divine” and is a central concept in Greek philosophy and theology, as well as his thought-provoking, concept-based track titles. In Seb’s words: “I chose this (Eusebeia) because it represents and reinforces the importance of doing the best one can in every way, and doing things universally, and doing things that go beyond the I or the self. Having said that, I do what I do because I love it, and through that, I hope that it resonates with other people” (DJ Mag Interview, October 2021).

‘You Reap What You Sow EP’ is one of those rare occasions where all 4 tracks stylishly encapsulate the respective label’s ethos. Especially the cosmic jungle of the title track and ‘Harvest’ will instantly teleport you to the intimate and intense atmosphere of the ‘Corsica Studios’ dancefloor.

Thugwidow – Post Modern EP (Sneaker Social Club, SNKR028)

13

Favourite Track: The Sacrifice

Inspired by the 90s raves aesthetics, sneaker culture and the crossover of house, bass music and their offshoots Jamie Russel’s Sneaker Social Club has been operating methodically since 2011 carrying the UK sound system torch for a newer generation of ravers, from Brighton to Berlin.

Thugwidow is the ambient jungle Project of Alex Lowther-Harris, a former resident of Hereford, Bristol, London and Manchester, now settled on the Isle Of Anglesey. My first introduction to Alex’s music has been the exquisite bleepy tonal vignettes of ‘Sleepless on Venus’ (Rupture Planet Series Vol. 2, 2018) alongside friend and collaborator Alex Eveson (Dead Man’s Chest).

Melding nifty synthesis, intricate drum work and unconventional structures, jungle renegade Thugwidow deconstructs all the characteristics of the mainstream stance (irony, eclecticism, derogation) dismissing the grand narrative as naïve realism. The message is printed in handwriting font on the record label: “The weak culture, the easily burnt and destroyed culture is undoubtedly beautiful”.

Ill Behaviour – ILL006 (Myor Massiv)

14

Favourite Track: Side B

Coco Bryce’s playful, unique take on hardcore and jungle has stylishly bridged a generation gap. Even his recording alias is a nod to a character from Irvine Welsh’s collection of vignettes and short stories ‘Acid House’ (1994).

Ill Behaviour is one of the many Coco Bryce side-projects nested under the Myor Massiv collective. With no track or artist information on the labels, the Ill Behaviour series all come in 10” coloured vinyl with the distinctive cartoonish cat head logo. ‘Side B’ is a bootleg rework of Lone’s Karen Loves Kate’ (Ecstasy & Friends LP, Werk Discs, 2009) cheekily side-titled ‘Kate Loves Karen’ featuring the lovely Anita Baker sample from her song ‘Mystery’.

Suburban Architecture – Solar Winds EP (Suburban Architecture, SUBARC003)

15

Favourite Track: Renegade Horns

Suburban Architecture is a record label and production outfit from London-based DJ/Producers Chris Read and James Curry. A number of high profile residencies including a 2 year spell as mix DJ on BBC 1Xtra launched a DJ career that has seen Chris Read produce mixtapes for a variety of well known labels, brands and outlets including Adidas Originals, Mr Bongo and WhoSampled.

The Suburban Architecture project pays homage to the drum & bass pioneers and the UK suburbia in which the genre flourished. ‘Solar Winds’ is the 3rd part of the trilogy (after ‘Visions EP’ in 2019 and ‘Alternative Futures EP’ in 2020). All the mandatory elements of the atmospheric drum & bass template are in attendance: the mesmerizing female vocals, the euphoric Rhodes piano riffs, the desolate sax and guitar licks, the subtle pads, the lively jazz drums. But when you think you’ve heard it all before, the twist is just around the corner. The emotions might change shape and intensity, we are no longer those young kids without a care in the world, but Suburban Architecture’s take on 90s nostalgia is a gentle reminder that this has always been a sound that should not only be contemplated but experienced as well.

Justice x Necrotype (Aquisse / Yosei Remixes) (MJAZZ)

16

Favourite Track: Justice – Aquisse (Necrotype Remix)

Named after a short-lived dilutable soft drink ‘Aquisse’ is a track with anthemic status and probably the one Justice has been most associated with and he’s proudest of. How the track came about has been well documented; one of those precious moments when it becomes apparent that something special has been created. Justice used to work with Vinyl Distribution at the time, who signed it for Basement Records and a couple of weeks later it was licensed by R&S for their ‘In Order To Dance Vol. 6’ compilation.

To celebrate the track’s 25th Tony Barnett (aka Necrotype) brings it up to date with a modern post-Autonomic re-imagination for a new generation of fans. The ‘Aquisse’ original version is available again on the re-issue of Justice’s debut album ‘Viewpoints’ (more info in the previous part of the feature here). On the flipside, Justice returns the favour remixing Necrotype’s ‘Yosei’ (originally released on Myor Massiv, Diamond Life 05, 2018) retaining the haunting bell tones over a relentless amen break assault.

Loxy & Ink – Manifested Visions (R&S, RS2103)

17

Favourite Track: Embrace The Meaning

A cultural pillar of underground electronic music, cross-pollinating genres and styles, R&S has provided the creative space for a plethora of d&b artists: from Jacob’s Optical Stairway, Shogun, Wax Doctor, Alex Reece and Voyager in the 90s to dBridge, Skeptical, Forest Drive West and Special Request in recent years.

This time around R&S has enlisted two of the genre’s trail-blazers Loxy & Ink. In a time when words and praise have lost their literal meaning and are used lightly given half a chance, Loxy and Ink are two bona fide originators, who never compromised their sound in favour of mainstream recognition or commercial success; from the legendary Metalheadz ‘Blue Note’ Sessions to the Renegade Hardware roadblocks outside ‘The End’, productions for an array of prestigious labels to running their own imprints Cylon and Architecture.

Tracing the connection between hip-hop and dub/reggae to jungle and mapping the b-boy sensibility and free-form lyricism to the drum & bass template, sprinkled with the stardust of their reputation as innovators, ‘Manifested Visions’ is an adept study in UK bass music and a statement, featuring contributions by long-standing recording partner Resound and vocals by Tha Lion, Jody Lulati and Miriam Safo.

Blame (Sith / Midnight Hour, Violet Nights Recordings, VNR004)

18

Favourite Track: Midnight Hour

Spearheaded by Blame’s DAT treasure trove, in less than a year, Violet Nights Recordings have taken a part of the scene by storm, with a strong social media presence and an expanding roster from seasoned veterans (Blame, Lucida, Seba, Jack Smooth) to a newer breed of artists (Chippie, Greekboy, Solaris).

‘Sith/Midnight’ by Blame is the 4th VNR release. The main track ‘Sith’ with the obvious allusions to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise has been unearthed after 23 years, but it’s the echo of the early ‘00s GLR sensibility on the flipside Midnight Hour’ and the heart-breaking vocal sample which somehow resonate with me. Released in 3 color variations (Jet Black, ‘Lightsaber Red’ and ‘Darth Maul’ as well as in a collector’s triple pack) the artwork is by legendary graphic designer/illustrator Nick Purser.

Innervisions – Ain’t Ready / Adam’s Rib (Infrared, INFRALTD017)

19

Favourite Track: Adam’s Rib

Innervisions is one of JMajik’s aliases, perhaps his most esoteric alter ego, used in 1996 for his productions on Mo’ Wax, Basement, 10” Press and Reinforced, before the release of his stunning debut album ‘Slow Motion’ a year later. In 2018, Spratling decided to resurrect Infrared and the label re-launched with the previously unreleased Innervisions track ‘Absolute Zero’, rescued from his DAT archives.

‘Adam’s Rib’ originally featured on a promotional release for the short-lived imprint 10” Press and has been in many people’s wishlists ever since. After 25 years, the re-mastered version (b/w the previous unreleased ‘Ain’t Ready’) with its frenetic amen edits and jagged atmospherics, harks back to a time of dark basements and mysterious unlabelled or scribbled with marker dubplates.

Synkro & DYL – Empty Faces EP (re:st, re:32)

20

Favourite Track: Faded

A trip to Japan rekindled Synkro’s dalliance with new age/ambient music and analogue synthesizers, which was evident on his second album ‘Images’ for Apollo, as well as his latest works for his own label Synkro Musik. In August, Synkro released a limited edition retrospective compilation including the label’s whole back catalog, 2 new tracks, as well as new remixes by Arcade, Akuratyde, Jack Lever, Elsewhere and DYL.

DYL is a producer from Romania, who had featured some years ago on the blog’s Nord Label article. A lot has changed since then and DYL has now an impressive discography within the 85/170 BPM framwork with solo and collaborative releases for none60, re:st, Paradise Lost, Absys, Translation, Literature, One.Seventy and more.

‘The Empty Faces EP’ for the Swiss label re:st combines Synkro’s rhythmic grace, emotional subtlety and widescreen vistas with DYL’s techno tropes, relentless drones, degraded galactic noise and industrial hypnotism; a partnership with a nod to the early 90s IDM and Warp-esque electronica.

Paradox – Soviet / 7Arc (Paradox Music, PM040)

21

Favourite Track: Soviet

Dev Pandya returns to his main imprint with the first Amen break solo-Paradox track in more than 10 years. The release was delayed for a year due to the pandemic, but it’s finally out and the response has been rapturous. Capturing the paranoia, mass hysteria and sombre shades of recent times, counter-intuitively the track title ‘Soviet’ doesn’t refer to the former Union, but is rather an implicit condemnation of the UK government and their policies, etched forever on the run-out  grooves. ‘7Arc’ was initially intended to be a live PA track, but was eventually added on the flipside. The minimal art design is by DKP.

The next release on Paradox Music and Pandya’s 196th vinyl release in available already for pre-order from all the usual outlets.

Presha – RATS EP (Samurai Music, SMDE23)

22

Favourite track: Mainliner

In an interview for the blog, after his gig in Athens in 2014, Geoff told me that DJing retained a certain mystery when you don’t produce, however he didn’t exclude that he wouldn’t take up production in the future. Fast forward 7 years later; after collaborating with Ancestral Voices and Homemade Weapons for the ‘Samurai Hannya’ project and remixing Last Life for the 3rd volume of the ‘Outliers’ compilation series, Presha has made a stunning solo debut with the ‘RATS EP’. In his own words: “RATS is a love letter to the genre that has come to define my life for a quarter century.”

Stubbornly refusing to be compartmentalized, Samurai Music has forged a sui generis path, both visually and musically. That exact vision transpires with an EP derived from the genre’s core fundamentals; refined and restructured with a modern aura, aspiring to replace those tunes of the late 90s, which have been integral parts of Presha’s DJ sets, without compromising their impact and effectiveness.

Sicknote – Feel For That Love / Music Is the Thing (Stereocilia Recordings, STEREOCILIALTD002)

23

Favourite Track: Music Is The Thing

Stereocilia Recordings is the boutique vinyl-only label of Lewis Joyce, partner at one of my favourite London record shops Disc-World, owner at 1-800-Dubplate lathe cutting house and known by his recording guise Sicknote.

Stereocilia started in 2018, with ultra-limited 10’’ lathe cuts exclusive to the ‘Clashmouth’ record fair. With hand-finished artwork and stickers or badges included, every release is a collectible; an approach that seems to be becoming more popular within drum and bass. The watercolor painted inserts (collector’s editions) of the first releases are created by Lewis’ dad M.E. Joyce.

Featuring productions by Sicknote and friends (Escher, Dissect, Grappa) all releases are laced with nuanced references to the genre’s golden era. This year, with Clashmouth suspended, Stereocilia changed the catalog numbering with the suffix LTD, thus emphasizing on the exclusive nature of the project.

I am aware of three color variations of STEROCILIALTD002. I received the red one, but if I was offered the choice I would definitely opt for the turquoise.

Tim Reaper – Stand Up / The Tranquility Track (BMT Music, BMT048)

24

Favourite Track: The Tranquility Track

Flag-carrier of a new wave of producers, prolific at a vertiginous rate and one of the most in-demand jungle remixers at the moment Ed Alloh (better known as Tim Reaper) returns to Blu Mar Ten Music four years after his stunning debut for the label. Steering away from the maxim that revivalism can eventually end up in parody and despite his (relatively) young age, Tim has graciously captured a time and place that is indelibly printed in the genre’s fabric. ‘The Tranquility Track’ is a  reference and tribute to Lucky Spin and Orca. As the press release proclaims this is ‘strictly for those who understand the power of a mesmerizing groove’.

Side-note and friendly advice: Don’t ever contemplate joining a track-listing ID challenge with Tim around 😊

Marcus Intalex & Spirit – Crackdown (Metalheadz, MDZ25VIP001)

25

Favourite track: Crackdown

At the start of the year Metalheadz launched a new series celebrating their 25th anniversary. The first two parts featured re-issues and re-interpretations of classics from the label’s back catalogue (Part 1: John B – Up All Night / Part 2: Asylum – Da Bass II Dark), the third part new remixes of the Moving Shadow classic ‘Drum Trip’ (original: Kaotic Chemistry ‎– Five In One Night EP, SHADOW5, 1991), whereas the 4th part is Mark System’s Metalheadz debut (‘Wanna Dance/On Top’)

The fifth part of the ‘25 years of Metalheadz’ project and the last for 2021 is a special edition honouring the legacy of two drum & bass legends that are sadly no longer with us, Marcus Intalex & Spirit. Described by Goldie as one of the purest tracks he’s ever heard, ‘Crackdown’ echoes those legendary Sun & Bass ‘Ambra’ nights and has been one of the most yearned for tracks from the Metalheadz vaults. Released on a single-sided 12”, with the no-music side etched with the Metalheadz, Inneractive and Soul:r logos, this is a true collector’s item.

The next installment of the project welcomes back another member of the Metalheadz family, Total Science with the iconic anthem from the start of the millenniumJungle Jungle’.

All the parts of the ‘Liner Notes on 2021’ series:

Liner Notes on 2021 – Part I

Liner Notes on 2021 – Part II

Liner Notes on 2021 – Part IV

Published by GodIsNoLongerADj

What the sleeve notes never tell you and ramblings about all things jungle/drum & bass and modern electronica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: