This week was especially difficult to find tracks that really spoke to me. I find that way too many D&B tunes make use of the same samples, the same toms, the same tried hi-hats. A famous junglist, whom I unfortunately cannot remember the name of, once said, "If you can mix drum & bass, you can mix anything." I completely agree; however, producing it is another story entirely.
1. Rootkit, Do It
The first of three Monstercat tracks on this week's list. I was annoyed at the lack of D&B from them lately, but they seem to have remedied that in spades. This one is drumstep, and it holds on quite strongly to that liquid vibe. And as with so many drumstep tracks, that D&B breakdown at the end is gold.
2. The Upbeats - Corposant
Strong neuro vibes on this one. The drum pattern almost reminds me of a gallop, the way the kicks are arranged. Great sound design and sampling on this. Keep an eye out for their full EP on Noisia's Vision Recordings on May 5th.
3. Apok, Introspection
Your typical liquid track here. The second "drop" is where it gets me though. Highly modulated synths create a futuristic and endearing atmosphere that the rest of the track just rides on. Wonderfully produced.
4. Tristam & Braken, Frame of Mind
The second Monstercat track, featuring vocals from Tristam. Exceedingly uplifting and airy, the duo manage to keep the energy up the whole time. Don't expect a crowd to mosh to this, but raise their lighters and truly feel as one.
5. Happy Boy, Holding On To Time
The lead synths in this one really drew me in with their creativity and strong originality. Superbly smooth, this feels perfect for a downtempo double-drop you want to inject with some energy.
6. Au5, Reiteration
Au5 throws up a huge tune that I never thought I would hear from him. It's still got a good helping of that original Au5 flavor, but it's much heavier than the usual. Get this as a free download.
7. Zenji, Quixotic
Absolute the most unique track on the list this week and my favorite one of the lot. Starting off with a superb acoustic-ish guitar arrangement, the drop feels like Rodrigo Y Gabriela is they added a D&B loop over their work. Absolutely stunning sound design and imagination. You can grab this one for free.
8. Droptek, The Covenant
The third and final Monstercat track comes from none other than Droptek. The most chaotic of the three, it comes in full-force into one of my new favorite drops. The stabs are incredibly well-designed and sound so sick with the dark bassline.
9. R3hab & NERVO & Ummet Ozcan, Revolution (ShockOne Remix)
ShockOne, a favorite of mine, takes a bland and unoriginal big room track and turns it into a drum & bass banger. The track actually has some rhythm, some rise and fall to it, now.
10. Spag Heddy, The Master VIP
Spag Heddy is pretty much known for his dubstep but this VIP goes hard as a drumstep re-work with a nice finish. Add in those extra kicks and bump up the BPM and there you have it.