Review: The latest release on French label Vandal is from Arcatype, a production trio who take inspiration from ambient, techno and jazz, as well as the usual drum'n'bass references. Accordingly, "Autumn Waves" resounds to moody, plaintive techno chords and some eerie strings, underpinned by frenetic break beats. Its the kind of track that will cross over to deep house and techno DJs who like some variety. Similar influences are also audible on "Odde". Dubby riffs with an electronic undercurrent proliferate as half-heard vocals float off into the ether. Despite being a relatively new act, Tape Head suggests we'll be hearing a lot more from Arcatype in the future.
Review: This is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Check out these highly classified C.I.A bangers and slap your dancefloor silly with them as soon as possible. All weapon's grade material, each tune hits with the soul, sentiment and weight you'd expect from Total Science's now-21-year-old label. Villem switches up "False Alarm" with a little barbed swing, Critical Impact collides with Jakes for a deadly metallic roller on "Geeks & Geezas", Total Science add a little jazz to the riot while Arcatype brings the assignment to the poignant end it deserves. Each one direct and deadly when dropped at the right time; the mission is there should you choose to accept it. The message will self destruct in five seconds.
Review: Vandal's Modern Soul series of LPs has for a long time been a breeding ground for a wide variety of drum & bass, including formative tracks from Shield, Monty and others. This time around it's number five and the quality continues, kicking things off with a gorgeously light liquid number from Phase and Lameduza that brings old school vibes right to the forefront. Tech wizard Rizzle is known for his liquid depth too as 'Levitate' has a sumptuously mystical back end that falls and falls, whilst fellow minimal heads Invadhertz equally try their hand at wispy pads and far-off vocal samples. Monty makes an appearance, as does Amoss, SKS and Arcatype. A tour de-force.
Review: What a release this is. Coming from the vaults of Break, it's unsurprising that Symmetry's summer compilation has turned out to be such a standout collection of tracks, I mean just look at that tracklist: Lenzman, LSB, Break and more. Break's 'I Need You' has been doing the rounds in mixes and sets for a little while now and it's great to see it released, the simplicity of the sample and structure is shows that less can often be more and Break is the king of finding that balance. Lenzman's remix of Ill Truth's In My Soul is a well-made rework of an already fantastic original, its revamped drums injecting the Amsterdam flavour. Again, simple is best and this release proves that.
Review: Straight outta Toulouse! Vandal Records celebrate 15 years with this serious statement: 17 tracks of some of the most forefront, innovative and exciting drum & bass from an on-point selection of trusted lifers and the most exciting new-gen names in the game. Highlights can be found on pretty much every track but you'd be mad not to check Rizzle's evocative and eerie "Ether", Was A Be & Synth Ethics' high voltage "Roughmouth", Nymfo's tense groaner "Semantics" or the twisted techno-like stab-whirlwind "Semantics". And that's just the tip of this on-point D&B iceberg. Some anniversary albums celebrate the past; this celebrates Vandal's future.