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Metro, who started the label Ortem this year, demonstrates how to use repetition in Drum and Bass in a non-mechanical way. The opening track loops the word “London” through out most of the five minutes, allowing the sound to become an atmospheric or rhythmic element. Most of the energy is in large bass notes.
Box focuses on three large bass kicks and one low pitched, echoing synth. An abrasive, inharmonic sound grows in strength before resetting the track to the original few elements. Spoon and MHC introduce break beats and even vocal shots. These elements are weaved into the unconventional drums hits and percussion sticking closely to the feel of the other tracks.
The title track, Thursday, reveals Metro's use of sampling in a raw way. Dusty vinyl and noise from ungrounded or bad wiring are forward in the mix.
Putting a Glass AwayNic TVG :: This Sloth Is Giant
Putting a Glass Away begins with manipulated piano samples as inharmonic drones swell up and lead into a sustained harmony. The main focus is on a jazz beat with a few syncopated glitches. The mood is lightened by a couple hints to classic Drum and Bass.
Las Lalalas was reworked to move the emphasis to the vocals and a sparser drum break. Longest, Shortest Path is nostalgic of early atmospheric Drum and Bass by starting with rich pads and a looping two bar, Amen pattern.
The extended intro of Local Kale Hummus is the result of violin bows played on objects and then layered to create the drones, thuds, and screeches.
SceneK-Chaos :: Eschaton
Looking Glass, like an early Jungle track, switches between 4/4 kicks and classic breaks. The sustained synths range from low, murky bass to cheerful atmospherics.
Scene also feels fast with synthetic percussion and a steppy rhythm. Under the beats are growling noise and swells of bass. Sound effects are mostly adding to percussion and only rarely used as harmony. Eschaton's remix of Scene replaces the synthetic percussion with an aggressive, distorted break beat. In place of the low noise is tight successions of sub bass notes. The second half brings out more harmonies before going back into just drums and sub.
Cordani and Nic TVG - Woods (Martsman Version)
Snaper - Pod / Nic TVG - 09_13_2012
Martsman takes on a sample collage from Cordani and Nic TVG. Field recordings are granulated into rhythmic droning pads while the main drums have a distant feel to them like a recording from a live event. Harmony is filtered in as long notes which transition into a play on repetition.
Snaper's Pod, from his solo EP Grey Line, emphasizes a rhythmic bassline loud in the mix and a light break with shuffles or slightly quieter snares filling the down beats.
Nic TVG's 09_13_2012 (Vinyl Take) has been updated with steadier intro and long outro.
Artwork by Cordani.
Phuture-T - Ominous Maze
Earl Grey - Without Purpose
Phuture-T opens with Ominous Maze giving equal space to breaks and a bass assembled from an overdriven contrabass clarinet. Excerpts of piano, sax, and inharmonic tones are worked around filtered out drums and change-ups.
Earl Grey brings the series back to Drum and Bass staples like Soul Pride, Amen, Think, and bright atmospheric vibes. This playful end is energetic and the breaks are heavily chopped letting sub fill in.
Artwork by Cordani.
A Third Sun
A Third Sun continues the style set up by Down the Sun and Up the Stream with brassy sounding drums, minimal and sustained notes with occasional hints to jazz influence.
Phuture-T opens with Ominous Maze a unique track blending broken beats and contrabass clarinet. Dave Hoax's Man from Another Planet starts with a sustained note and a muted Soul Pride break before releasing into layered breaks.
Martsman takes on a sample collage from Cordani and Nic TVG. Field recordings are granulated into rhythmic droning pads. Dam Nation's The Third Man has a bizarre timbre where snares mimic loose metal sticks.
Earl Grey brings the series back to Drum and Bass staples like Soul Pride, Amen, Think, and bright atmospheric vibes.
ExtrasNic TVG :: Cordani
Extras is a two track compilation of material which was originally not meant for release.
The Moth is Compliant combines records my wife pulled off my shelf at random with live violin bow on guitar. The result is a disjointed mix of breaks, lo-fi noise, and percussion that leads out in an uplifting tone.
Woods began as a collaboration with Cordani. His heavily manipulated field recordings contained enough details that we worked out a second version which was kept sparse to emphasize the unique composition. Most of the drum editing was done on my laptop from a New Orleans laundromat.
Form Without LinesDYL :: Dot Product :: Sloth of the Jungle :: Indidjinous :: Parallel :: Nic TVG :: K-Chaos
Form Without Lines revisits a reoccurring idea on Pinecone Moonshine by combining Drone with Drum and Bass in way that percussion is interrupted or de-emphasized.
The EP starts with a distinctly Indidjinous piece where his synths oscillate as if they are vibrating in a mechanical system. Next Parallel emphasizes a single breakbeat in A Dark Abyss. Ambients are more noise than tones and quite low in the mix. In DYL's Horus Eye, percussion between the downbeat is splintered with clicks and slight hints of Drum and Bass patterns that have been almost hidden in the mix. Subs and tones result from densely manipulated granular snippets of audio.
K-Chaos uses the jazz double bass samples from Brief and a modulating synth to set the rhythm. Percussion is sparse and a bit unpredictable where and when it is triggered. Delay Technique returns to more familiar Drum and Bass themes with chopped and delayed Amen break samples.