Versatile, dependable Swiss label Demand Records are back, showcasing their new Albatross EP by prodigious 18 year old Belgium based producer Phase – an artist whom they first unearthed and exhibited last summer with the vibey, liquid roller pairing of Ways Of Thought/No Doubt – a record which caused quite a stir when it was first released.
Turning up the heat even more, refining and distilling down his production technique and sound into something much more unique and hard hitting, whilst at the same time retaining his original liquid orientated soundscapes, Phase’s new EP combined aspects of rugged, low end experimentation with heady summer vibes. Combining emotional, organic instrumentation with a lovely selection of varied vocal performers – elements that lift the gifted producer out of strictly dancefloor territory into that of real musicianship and song writing – banging, uncluttered beats and downright dutty reese bass work, Phase’s music comes across as a bastard hybrid of epic proportions.
Albatross utilises a selection of classic drum breaks atop an old school referencing 2-step beat with deft vocal work and harmonisation from Viv May, warm, ambient soundscapes and moving piano melodies all lovingly punctuated with twisting stabs of evil bass work.
1. Troy Gunner -- Capacity
2. Cursa -- CRNR
3. Bredren - The Truth
4. Detail & Linden - The Limits
5. Cursa, Subliminal & Alxr - Camino (Mindmapper & Fre4knc Remix)
6. Roygreen & Protone & Pennygiles - Misunderstanding VIP
7. War, Overlook & Mateba -- Scared
8. Pennygiles & Mr Joseph - Underwater City
9. Roygreen & Protone -- Shady
10. Gamma -- 2347
11. Eastcolors & Krysiz - No One Knows
12. Linden & Detail -- Fringe
13. Mtwn -- Voices
14. Qbig & Zenith B (Feat. Mc Fava) -- Science
Vinyl only 12":
a. Abstract Elements -- Saturn
b. Pennygiles & Mr Josef -- Overdrive Melody
Label: Demand Records
Cat Ref: DMNDLP02CD / DMNDLP02S
Format: CD, Vinyl, Digital download
Release date: 09/12/13
Counting almost three years in the game now, Demand Records have set themselves a mammoth task. To continually release music that cuts through the mounting levels of hype that surround the drum and bass scene of 2013 while retaining an edge of experimental innovativeness is no easy feat.
Luckily, by pushing the task onto the greatest talents of the deep, dark and creative side of the scene, the label have achieved exactly what they set out to do. Drum & Bass on Demand 2 is a collection of darkly intelligent beats from some of the label's biggest stars, as well as some incredible new talents.
Released on a huge 14-track CD with a vinyl-only 12" featuring exclusive pressings of tracks by Abstract Elements and Pennygiles & Mr Josef operating on an 'order now or or regret it later' basis, Demand are proving once again why they remain one of the genre's best loved labels.
Demand Records always looks beyond the limits of drum & bass to see what else the genre can achieve. Challenging listeners and pushing producers to their limits, "Drum & Bass on Demand 2" showcases the complete audio ethos of the label itself.
Light and shade, elegant rhythms and dirty bass -- intelligent noise. It's the Demand way, you should know that by now.
Drum & Bass on Demand is a darkly intelligent DnB compilation of epic proportions. Not usually fans of exaggeration, here are the facts laid bare: this is a collection of sixteen tracks (2 track vinyl strictly limited to 300 copies, all 16 tracks available on digital download) that describe why Demand have proved themselves as the producer's label of choice.
From the paranoid sparseness of M-zine & Scepticz's frenzied snares in "Alone" to bass-laden techy roller Heavy1 -- "Maya" Drum & Bass on Demand starts as it means to go on.
Austrian favourites RoyGreen & Protone & Pennygiles offer some deep dark bass into the mix in "Misunderstanding"; Gerwin plays with ambience and textures in "Inner Conflict"; Ed:it's "Element" creeps and builds under frenetic hi-hats and Soul Intent offers a little respite with the characteristically beautiful rolling "Synthetic".
Returning to the darker fringes of deep drum and bass, Cursa, Subliminal & Alxr play with space and constriction in rhythmic "Camino" leads to Axon's demented roller "Danger Close" bringing up the leftfield. Vladivostok's own Eastcolors adds his own very unique flavour of tech-influenced stepper to the mix in "The Longest Journey" feat. Cain Mos before Heavy1 crashes in with a VIP of his massive 2011 release "Xiphactinus".
Ukranian hard-hitter Fade shows his technical side with the experimental beats of "Exclusion"; RoyGreen & Protone & Monologue -- "Storming" sees the softer side of Demand with a sweet but perfectly-appointed roller; Ed:it returns to the scene of the crime with the beautifully layered jungle cut "Need You" and Minor Rain brings the icy breaks back with the techy neuro nuances of "Aftershock".
1. M-zine & Scepticz -- Alone
2. Heavy1 -- Maya
3. Roygreen & Protone & Pennygiles -- Misunderstanding
4. Gerwin -- Inner Conflict
5. Ed:it -- Element
6. Soul Intent -- Synthetic
7. Cursa, Subliminal & Alxr -- Camino
8. Axon -- Danger Close
9. Eastcolors -- The Longest Journey (Feat. Cain Mos)
10. Heavy1 -- Xiphactinus VIP
11. Fade -- Exclusion
12. RoyGreen & Protone & Monologue -- Storming
13. Ed:it -- Need You
14. Minor Rain -- Aftershock
The two vinyl releases come as part of this special edition package and with numbers limited to just 300 copies its strictly first come first served on the physical copies. Played the opposite way round by this promo staffer for full effect, Side aa sees Gamma of Hungarian powerhouse Spinline breaking out alone with "I'm Sick", a rampant hurter of a stepper designed to shake soundsystems to the core.
Side a is a monumental release from some of the DnB scene's hardest working big hitters, June Miller and Proxima. "Killswitch Engage" finally gets a full release and as it rumbles out with menace and a deep killer bassline it's a prime way to round off a compilation filled with such a massive line-up of fresh talent.
Demand Records has always been about nurturing drum and bass and challenging fans to listen beyond their comfort zone. It's easy to see that from start to finish, "Drum & Bass on Demand" showcases not only the best of what drum and bass has to offer right now in 2012, but the complete audio ethos of the label itself.
Raw but polished, punchy but subtle -- intelligent noise. It's the Demand way, you should know that by now.
a: June Miller & Proxima -- Killswitch Engage
aa: Gamma -- I'm Sick