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drum & bass

16Pad Noise Terrorist * Utopia (cd 2010)

The project’s name suggests a pretty loud industrial sound, but I must say that the sound of 16Pad is closer to IDM than to danceable industrial terror. Ok, the technoish music is harder than much of the music from the techno scene, but “noise terrorist”? Nah. Not that the music is very bad or extremely boring, by the way. I think this album may appeal to people who like, for example, the harder kind of drum’n’bass, but I just hoped for a bit more of sonic terrorism.
Links: 16Pad Noise Terrorist, Hands Productions

Cock Rock Disco believes in free music

Cock Rock Disco, a label with an stupid name, but interesting music. From extreme breakcore, to more weird poppy things like Jason Forrest and About. Every once in a while CRD puts some free music on their website, so it is nice to be able to download some different music from time to time. In the course of a few months I collected the following free releases:
“Rock Rock Rock”, a compilation with remixes of DJ Donna Summer’s track with the same title. In style this album goes from happy hardcore, to extreme breakcore, softer experimental dance music and much in between.
The Teknoist “Cock Rott Columbo”. This actually reminds quite a bit of Hellfish. Extreme, loud, odd samples and relatively danceable, because there are many ‘straight beats’. Not as good as Hellfish, but this album comes pretty close.
DJ Donna Summer (also Jason Forrest and the man behind the label) earlier made a magnificent “BootyBreakTranceClubCore-Mix”, a completely “ADHD” mix with the weirdest tracks. This time the sound is more (happy) hardcore and though nice, not as good as the earlier mix.
Dev/Null “92-94 Oldschool Jungle Mix”. Dev/Null can makes some serious breakcore, but here we get his influences in the form of “oldschool jungle”. Remember “The Prodigy Experience”? Well, the “rave” and “jungle” (nowadays called “drum & bass”) are put together to a 48 minute mix. Funny, but not great.
Ladyscraper “The Death Of Mary Poppins”. Here we have it, some of the most extreme and f*cked up breakcore. No regular beats here, no returning themes, no melody, nothing of that all. This is Aphex Twin going berzerk or Squarpusher in overdrive. Too much for me, I might add. I can enjoy these twisted electronics, but I prefer some regularity here and there too and that is why I love Hellfish. Ladyscraper is something that you actually shouldn’t listen to get acquinted with the style, because it is about the extreme of it.

Since it is all free, have a try if you are up for new and extreme music. CRD also has paid download releases and a back-catalogue large enough to try a few things. Also more free music (including a label compilation), so I would say: have a look at the labels free music page.

Bad Company * Inside The Machine (2cd 2000 bcrecordings)

This cd was put into my hands when I was in a techno recordshop last week where I asked for hard drum & bass. I asume -therefor- that this is regarded hard drum & bass in the techno-scene. Overall I don’t really think that this d&b is that hard, but fairly descent and at times pretty dark. As the cd continues things gets better and eventually this cd shows some pretty damn rough and dark d&b which is very enjoyable.
But, for those who are not too familiar with techno music I might have to explain a bit clearer what to expect. Drum & bass is characterized by fast and unregular beats (“breakbeats”). This music used to be called “jungle”. As with many forms of techno the rhythms of most d&b releases are akin and of course danceble in some way. What you will find here is pretty fast beats, here and there a dark drone on the background and some heavy beats in the darker tracks.
The first cd contains seperate tracks, the second has tracks mixed together.
A funny thing of this cd is that the cd-player of your computer already knows the names of the tracks.
The logo seems to have to be pronounced as “Bad Company” by the way.

Bad Company * Digital Nation (cd 2001 bcrecordings)

Almost a year ago I got myself the previous cd of Bad Company, which I play quite regularly still. “Inside The Machine” is mostly characterised by fairly hard and rather dark drum & bass and I was quite excited when I heard about a new cd.
“Digital Nation” was (I believe) originally released as a 5 or 6 pack of vinyls around Christmas 2000. The cover of the cd says: “exclusive )BI3( mix cd featuring new unreleased tracks”, which makes me doubt if these two things are about the same releases.
Anyway, “Digital Moon” starts quite disappointing with fast and busy drum & bass which is hardly comperable to the previous work. It all sounds even quite ‘happy’. As the cd continues the tracks become harder and darker and even some of the most awesome d&b that I have heard comes by. After about 1/3 of the disc, things are becoming interesting. Since it takes 68 minutes overall, it still leaves enough enjoyable music.

Bad Company * Book Of The Bad (2cd 2001 bc recordings)

Another double cd from the UK drum’n’bass combo. Unfortunately the downward line from “Inside The Machine” to “Digital Nation” (see above) continues. Not that “Book Of The Bad” is a bad cd, but Bad Company isn’t as facekicking loud and new anymore. The new cd again contains fairly heavy d&b which is fairly minimal, but still complex and mostly instrumental. Again the further the cds continue, the harder the tracks, but they no longer blow me away at any place. Still a lot better than whichever other d&b cd that you will hear, but try the first album first! Also this new cd is more experimental and progressive (especially in the beginning of the cds) than we are used from BC.

DJ Senz’r * For Real (12″ 200? aimpoint records)

Hm, is DJ Senz’r mr. Savelkoul of A Challenge Of Honour? Either or not, this is something completely different: drum’n’bass. Quite typical, not too original and not too hard. The two tracks sound too average and predictable to me. Not that this is a completely boring 12″, but even though I have not that much d’n’b, some variation might have been good.

Dom + Roland * Industry (cd 2000 moving shadow)

I have known D+R from various compilation contributions and remixes and their drum & bass can be pretty damn rough. On this album this is hardly the case though, only at a few moments.
I find it good to hear -though- that this is really an album and not just a collection of tracks that have previously been released on floorfilling vinyls. The tracks are spun together with ambient-like interludes and an atmosphere is build throughout the cd.
Still I am not as impressed by a Dom + Roland cd as I hoped.

Matrix * Sleepwalk (cd 2000 virus recordings)

Here we have an original drum and bass cd (that was filed under ‘big beats’). It mostly doesn’t have the usual drum and bass sound and rhythms and indeed leans quite heavily to big beats at times. At other times it pure drum and bass though, with fast breakbeats and a drone on the background. Some tracks are totally brilliant, fairly dark, very original. Other songs are a bit quieter, jazzy even (triphop maybe?), sometimes even with vocals. Mostly these tracks are not all that good and that makes this cd a bit unbalanced. Fortunately I didn’t buy it, but tape it!

Panacea * German Engineering (cd 2001 position chrome)

“German Engineering” is a 74 minute cd containing a short hour of music and some 15 minutes with strange interludes in the form of conversations between bandmembers, snippets from live-performances and other strange stuff. Quite superfluous if you ask me. BUT, the 60 minutes of music is really good drum & bass. Pretty hard, reminding a lot of Bad Company (or “)3IB(” see above) and pretty damn good. If you like the harder kinds of d&b, I can highly suggest this title.
Nice detail for industrial lovers, other cds of Panacea were released by Hands and Ant-Zen (among others).

Roni Size Reprazent * In The Møde (cd 2000 murcery records ltd.)

Here we have one of the most groundbreaking acts of the techno scene. For a long time I wondered if this would be drum and bass or more hiphop or triphop. Well, it is both! Extremely fast drum and bass rhythms are often accompanied by an mc. I think the best fitting known description for this music is “jump up drum and bass” that also mostly consists of fast drum and bass and vocals. Still Roni Size and Reprazent present something far more original than the usual “jump up” compilation.
Not all tracks are very fast, some are more ‘hiphopish’ while others are more ‘normal’ drum and bass. Overall the music doesn’t sound very typical at all, while Roni Size and Reprazent sure are two of those who pull the d&b cart. Inspiring, sometimes copied but never equalled than maybe…
Anyway, some tracks are very good, others are not of my liking. I usually don’t like vocals with d&b (or techno in general). Still it is nice to hear what ideas those walking up front have.