We're changing it up with this week's first discovery, going to the UK's drum and bass scene. Here's Heart Crossed by Workforce. It's fast, introspective and very english.
Fast-paced records can very well be detailed and meticulously crafted: proof with Jack Stevens' production. Brighton's very own has unveiled his solo alias only last year, which already counts almost 20 releases, and they're all amazing. It was actually a single from 2019, Your Moves, that hit us right in the feels, and now Stevens releases 14 bangers with the album Late Night Soundtrack.
The album is the perfect combination between ruthless power, detailed sound design, and an emotional journey.
For the brit', a break from his duo ‘SectraSoul’ might have unleashed his creativity, seeing how he's racking-up quality records of late …
Heart Crossed is a true beauty that touches our very soul. But even if you prefer some hard-hitting DNB, the album has it all, so make sure you check it out (amongst our favorites: So Good or Really Obnoxious Rich Kids).
Now, what's truly amazing about the track we're sharing with you this week, is its introspective (and almost sad) quality that results in a sort of comforting warmth. We just looooove that. Why, Brian ? Why?Well maybe because it's a nostalgic reminder of listening to Burial, a mysterious artist and probably one of the most influential producers of a generation. Someone who probably influenced Workforce, but more on that below. (exciting indeed)
TRACK AND INSPIRATION:
Heart Crossed starts-off quite traditionally, with the well-known Amen Break (-ish) rhythm. A universal term that most will recognise, describing Gregory C. Coleman 's drum solo in the record: Amen, Brother (1969). That solo, probably the most sampled sound ever, revolutionised music and acted as a foundation for musical genres such as: hip hop, breakbeat, jungle, and of course drum and bass. Just check out that solo and hear for yourself. Anyways, Workforce 's gem starts-off with percussion and airy synths. In comes the piano, then the sub bass to shape the whole now-unique vibe. But THE goosebump-moment comes at 01 :51… Vocals.
We now hear a subtle yet clear Burial influence, especially from Archangel (probably the record I have listened-to the most). Burial is known to sample sounds from video games, but his vocals come from Soul et R&B covers. Similarly, Steven's vocals have that same odd quality of not fitting perfectly to the music. It creates a peculiar hybrid soul/industrial sort of atmosphere, and it's brilliant!
Workforce puts pure emotion above all else!
Artist: Workforce Single: Heart Crossed Album: Late Night Soundtrack Label: Must Make Music
Let's open this week's Swiss door to unveil a room overflowing with varied inspiration. Coming from the 2000's hip hop scene, Zurich-based Alex Storrer - aka Lexx - delivers a super-tasteful gem of an album. The single we want you to discover : New Affinity
New Affinity, the album's title track, dives headfirst into a groovy and comforting pool of good vibes, making you grin with pleasure.
Can you hear how the drums are just so clinically clean? :o
Lexx explains that he was just messing around with his MPC1000 and a few synths, and sent Kejeblos (one of the friends with whom he created the Phantom Island label) a few demos to listen to. The positive feedbacks made him finish the records and even come up with an album. That group of friends is quite implicated in Zurich's music scene, with radio stations, brilliant sets (a must-hear, Lexx takes you on a trip to exotic parts of the world) for Test Pressing and many other concepts.
Alex Storrer goes even further, sharing a playlist of the album's inspiration and influences. Gems, gems and more gems... Do listen and discover how his sonic universe was created. There's quite a lot of hip hop, like J Dilla (probably the most influential producer of his generation), or artists coming from the 90's hip hop scene like the legendary multi-genre Moodyman (who we absolutely love!).
Yup, you've got yourself all the tools needed to discover some great classics!
Artist: Lexx / LX72
Single: New Affinity
Album: New Affinity Label: Lexx Music
It just so happens that we mentioned Moodyman earlier, well, the last artist we're presenting this week was THE FIRST outside-of-Detroit artist to be signed on Mahogani Music, Moodyman's legendary label. Here's Dan Shake and his latest epic disco gem: We Have Love
Ohhhhh yeah, it's time for good vibes and dancing right now baby!
125 bpm, a perfect kick, congas, hi-hats, a bassline that forces you to have that stupid smile on your face, this is gooooooood.
Dan Shake is about experience, crate-digging, love for disco but also next level production. His new 6-track EP We Have Love is just as surprising as his older crazy tracks like Claudia's Trip. (A record that mixes acid and disco-house like you've never heard before.)
Shake's biggest strength though, is his insanely-ultra-exclusive sample selection. Finding the right combination of a record's string section, a bassline from another record and the perfect vocals from a third is definitely an underrated artform that Shake has completely mastered. His creations are just magical.
Dan Shake, is not only about production, he's also about epic live sets. In this mix for LAB London, he messes around with insane old school tracks like Francine McGee, classic disco like Love de Luxe and a boooomb from Rhythm Masters. You can see him smile throughout the whole set, isn't that beautiful?!
We very well know that for a killer set, it's mostly about selection, but it's also about being able to build a unique hour-long story with its own chapters, brackets and surprises.
Artist: Dan Shake
Single: We Have Love EP: We Have Love Label: Shake Records Release: 25.09.20