V/A: Spectrum – Yellow EP [ INNAR039 ]
The Spectrum series enters deeper waters with its third instalment, the Yellow EP. ‘Rush2AD’ by Ritual is unclassifiable, unbounded by the confines of any genre while alluding to many moments in the continuum of bass music. The oceanic sub punctured by percussive spikes at the high end recalls the spaciousness of early dubstep; there’s a hint of juke in the hihat patterns and obtuse, unpredictable polyrhythmic arrangement of its elements; and there are junglist touches too—not just the echoing sawtooth oscillators, but the underlying aesthetic. Cykotek’s ’Neofunk’ is a depth charge of a tune: more firmly in the drum&bass tradition, but a highly complex composition. Meticulous engineering and futuristic soundscapes are broken up by menacing drone pads, layered filters, and a loose, rolling vibe. Percussion augments the stark, stepping snare as the bass rolls out, sprawling like a river overflowing its banks. Then we rewind, almost to the beginnings of the Inna Riddim back catalogue, for Compa’s ‘Them Dogs’, this being the original master that Jason at Transition Studios did for us that has insofar never seen the light of day. Announcing its presence with a rude grime-style lead, it shifts up the pace with a rollicking bassline and a compelling swing, all with an extraterrestrial touch of ice. The EP closes out on a smoother tip with LUPR’s ‘Guided’, getting up close and personal with its sultry vocal samples, warm bass and swaggering garage beat. A 360-degree view of bass music in four phenomenal tunes.