Review: Dubplate damage: Dispatch let rip with another killer exclusive bounty featuring three of its most talented artists. DLR & Script's "This Is Bristol" echoes with the city's rich jungle heritage as jazzy motifs, cosmic textures and glacial drums fuse full circle in the darkest-yet-dreamiest way possible. Script appears on "Burnside VIP" too as one half of Scar with Survival as their earliest collaborative release, "Burnside" gets a ruthless interrogation and a dank night in the choky. Banged up.
Review: The wounds have yet to heal from their "Better Than Me" EP earlier this year and already Survival and Script are back with more salty sonics. Five tracks in total, each one punching with equal precision. From the space-chase bass and stretched sci-fi textures of the A.I collabo "Free Fall" to the really interesting drum arrangements and trippy switches of "Fall From Grace", this documents SCAR's trademark of forefront, industrial strength design. Elsewhere expect a physical rewind to the jungle homeland on "Return To Swerve" and prepare to be whisked off into snare and synth wonderland on "Your Move". Faultlessly rooted D&B futurism, nothing more, nothing less.
Review: After what feels like an eternity of samplers and social media teasers, Metalheadz drop Survival & Script's debut Scar album.... And the wait has been completely worth it. Ranging from space-aged halftime grime ("Your Mistake") to incredible vocal-laced drum drama ("Renegade Kicks") by way of 23rd century cosmic soul ("Temptation") and straight-up gritty steppers ("Fractions"), skippy breaks ("The Rocket") and jazzy, funkier workouts ("You Were Here Again"), this completely compounds all the duo's successes so far and puts them on a much wider map. A serious album with depth, dynamics and soul. D&B albums like this don't come round very often...
Review: Only two years have passed since Survival & Script unleashed their Scar project but already it feels like they've been part of the D&B landscape forever. Their grand scope of heritage and shared futurist vision has ensured each document is as weightier than the last... And their debut album The Orkyd Project is set to be so heavy we may need a new server store it. Tuck into these three sampler tracks for proof: Naomi Pryor's vocals get two stunning deep night contexts while "Yours" and "Punch Drunk" both slap with industrial glee. Bring on the full album!
Review: Since making their debut on Dispatch Survival and Script have gone on to genuinely scar the D&B landscape with their unforgiving, unrelenting dynamics. "Palermo" is the latest chapter in this next-level narrative; all bendy bass that groans and moans with disturbing demonic textures, it's one for the latest of hours. "Over Easy" is a little deeper as the bass sits back a touch and allows the crisp drums to take up a little more of the spotlight. Finally we hit "Screen Test", the most subversive track of this razor-sharp trio, the drums switch and step with pristine precision while another demonic bass message makes itself clear. Massive.
Review: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
Review: Survival and Script inaugurate their new low end driven D&B project Scar with this killer two track transmission for Horizons Music. Lead track "Fair Game" demonstrates Survival and Script operate in perfect studio harmony, focusing on a tight rolling sound that squeezes new forms out of a bass line and will make any dancefloor stand to attention! Whilst it has dark undertones, "Fair Game" sounds positively summery in comparison to what Scar are holding back for afters. Horizons state "Later" sounds industrial in its execution, and it's easy to see why, with a tangible sense of weight and grinding metallic tones to the arrangement that sounds overwhelming enough on headphones - just imagine the punishment it can do on a Funktion One!
Review: A year has passed since Script and Survival last blessed us with their rugged wares but the wait, as always, has been worth it. Four tracks of authentic, bulletproof block-knockery, it's the sound of two men who love the 90s rudiments as much as they love their machines; "Stalker" lives up to its creepy name, all dark, creepy and persistent. The tension-wrought "Hide In Plain Sight" takes a much more of a cinematic twist with its sample, drawn out strings and grainy synth squiggles while "Sleep Talk" takes us down a much darker, tribal route that nods more towards the Samurai style of the craft. Last but definitely not least, "Hey You" finishes the EP with the most emotional, soul-stirring piece of the EP. Lingering pianos, unhurried, deep-breath pads and bassline so warm and voluptuous you want to live in it; like all Scar releases it leaves us hungry for more... Let's hope they don't leave it a year to wait.
Review: Not content with making it to the finals of Masterchef, Survival's also been cooking up Michelin star level jungle with Script too. Make that five Michelin stars. Maybe even six... "The Wrong Side" is simply incredible. Concreted abstract jungle theatre with belting vocals from Naomi Pryor, this has potential to be a tune of the year. Deeper on the menu we find "Make 'Em Know", a one way ticket on the bludclart bus to the Leisure Lounge circa 97 before signing out with cosmic sax blasts and velvet harmonies from Hadwen & Higgins on the sublime "Beside Me". And if that's not quite enough, there's even a 2 Bad Mice remix. For reals. This really is too good to be true...
Review: Pow! Barely a month has passed since their almighty "Born Again" EP and Survival & Script's Scar project returns with another clutch of crucial cuts. Once again it's all about the groove, gritty textures and cheeky surprises... Including a rolling 140 breaks version of "Out Of Perspective" which hits with low slung ravey gusto. Elsewhere "Follow Me" is a white knuckle pace with a precision vocal wrapped tightly around the fills while "One Of Our Own" has a riff so cheekily off beat you feel a bit woozy listening to it. Very few acts are making D&B as thoroughly and thoughtfully as Scar right now.
Review: Survival and Script's project has developed such serious momentum over the last 18 months, for many SCAR is now bigger than their individual personas. This four-track return to Metalheadz is a fine example; "Better Than Me" is all about the eerie cries and moans laced over rattlesnake beats and distinctive Headz motifs on the fills. "Runaway" switches the cries and moans to breathy calls and spine-melting pads while "Shadows" is one of the duo's first full vocal tracks... And, unlike many vocal cuts, it loses none of its full strength punch in any way. The real highlight, though, is "Liar". The climax session of the EP, the bass is so rugged and metallic you could actually make a bullet proof jacket out of it. Uncompromising.
Review: Almost four years have passed since Survival & Script first got together and the beats continue to keep flowing at a staggeringly consistent and a-class rate. Capturing the raw, rolling essence of drum & bass with every production, here are four more examples of their on-pointness: "Twisted" is a tunnelling slab of 1999 with a bassline that purrs from here to Omicron Persei-8, "Break It" is straight up tribal funk while "Native Girl" is a shaker-rattled roller with beautifully alluring vocal textures. Finally "Wake Up" bids us cheerio with a twisted two-step and a rampant technoid slap. Scarred for life.
Close My Eyes (feat Martyna Baker) - (5:40) 172 BPM
Review: Quashing rumours that they're named after the devious evil baddie in Lion King with every single scud they fire off, Scar return with their first EP of the year. After two trample sessions on Dispatch, they're back on the motherlabel with four more gnarly quashers; "Leave Off" punches with a big swathing hook and bone-snapping kicks while "Out Of Perspective" rolls with such immense steel drum gusto you won't need to shave for a week while "Born Again" takes us right back to Blue Note era otherworldliness. Made to damage the dance and push the DJ to mix creatively, this asks more questions than it answers. Finally "Close My Eyes" completes the circle of life with a blissed and blessy soulful switch up graced with the soothing dulcets of Martyna Baker. Natural born (again) killers.