Saturday, 5 February 2011

Exit Records Presents - Mosaic Vol. 1

Various Artists
"Exit Records Presents - Mosaic Vol. 1"
Exit 07/02/2011
Also Published on : 7digital

Drum ‘n’ Bass and Jungle have always been genres that lend themselves well to experimentation. Back in the 90’s break beat slicing and manipulation layered over jazz textures and unusual sounds by jungle pioneers led the way for more outwardly experimental musicians like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher to use the genre as a framework to explore the possibilities of electronica.
This spirit of experimentation has arguably remained dormant (or at least below the surface) for the first part of this decade. However the “no bounderies” approach of the closely connected Dubstep movement has arguably given Drum ‘n’ Bass the wake up call it needed and urged producers to reconsider the genre, question production techniques and avoid what Exit label boss, dBridge accurately describes in a recent interview as “paint by numbers” music.
Exit records has always focussed on promoting forward thinking DNB regardless of whether the music is dance floor orientated or not. On this compilation, dBridge goes one step further. Most of the tracks on this comp, despite many being made by respected producers of the scene, have little resemblance to what your average punter might call Drum and Bass. Taking a leaf out of the dubstep rule book, although still floating around the 170bpm mark, a lot of the beats are half time allowing for a great deal of space for the producer’s ideas such as melody and sonic textures to shine through. The sound sets used are more reminiscent of Vangelis’ Bladerunner score than the latest Andy C set, and the melodies are well thought out progressions rather than straight up loops.
There is a great deal of diversity over this double compilation, tiny percussive snippets alongside dark swamping bass patterns, fragmented soul vocals humanizing futuristic 80’s synth pads. However this all seems to fit in to the autonomic ethos that dBidge et al have strived to define over the past couple of years without sounding disjointed.
Mosaic interestingly features many established Dubstep producers (Scuba, Skream, Synkro…) working outside the comfort of their usual tempo, perhaps freeing up an opportunity to display new facets and influence to their work.
Many originators of the sound have also contributed to this set. Loxy’ and Commix’ offerings definitely have their rightful place. Much like dBridge and intra:mental, they have also done a lot to promote and push the more ambient and leftfield sounds, Loxy with his CX series of podcasts and Commix who’s ( 2009 fabriclive 44 mix brought a much wider interest to the movement.
Though the quality standard is exceptionally high throughout the release, the initial stand out tracks are Croms’ ultra slowed down space disco sounding “Invisible Cities”,
Invisible Cities (Exit, 2011) by Croms
Commix’ City section which somehow manages to sound both organic and digital at once features some lovely stereo circling pad sounds
Commix - City Section • Mosaic Vol 1 • by Exit Records UK and Synkro’ Open Arms with its stunning bell like melody accompanied by emotional vocal stabs.
Synkro - Open Arms by Exit Records UK
Mosaic Vol. 1 is a mature collection of tracks that accurately describe the ambient and melodic side of Drum ‘n’ Bass influenced electronic music in a post dubstep 2011.


In 2 by Scuba
Pushed by Stray
Fading by Distance
Forgot What I Needed to Forget by dBridge
Open Arms by Synkro
Rendezvous by dBridge
Nu Este Roz by Dan Harbanham
Decayed by dBridge
Splinter by Consequence
Modular Concepts by ASC
Invisible Cities by Croms
City Section by Commix
Time by Indigo
Stepping Stones by Mode
Scene 3 by Instra:Mental
Another World by Skeptical
Motorway by Skream
Further Searching by Genotype
Chasm by Code 3
Essence Of Time by Abstract Elements
Observation Point by System
Vertigo by Loxy

1 comment:

Peter said...

loving the soundcloud tracks, keep you the good work.