When Fracture X Chimpo’s ‘From Early / Hard Food’ landed in my inbox, It excited me as a natural follower of the experimental fringes of the scene and much as it unnerved me as a Drum & Bass writer..
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rogressively imaginative with zero holds barred; this genre melding collaborative effort between Astrophonica’s madcap head man Fracture and MCR’s dynamo ‘Out An Bad’ MC / Producer Chimpo completely tears up the rule book. This latest 12” from Metalheadz is a melting pot of nineties hardcore, Chicago footwork, trap, dancehall, early jungle breaks and the kind of off-the-wall electronica you would probably expect, at least in premise, from a crossover over of these two chaps. ‘From Early / Hard Food’ nostalgically pays homage to old school ‘Headz, as sonic nods to the essence of the great label are laced throughout, whilst the pair push the envelope firmly forward.
Frenetic slow-fast banger, ‘From Early’, builds from introduction to bridge through footwork style claps and bounding 808’s underlying a busy soundscape of heavy snares and vintage breaks before simmering down into the electrical buzz of each half-time verse; punctuated by thudding kicks and the type of grimey, off-kilter hook featured heavily in both producer’s work. An interesting switch half-way through the track takes the listener on a mini funk expedition before shots fired and a sound clash style vocal sample plummets the listener back into the most chaotic portion of the track as all hell breaks loose in the second drop amidst harshly skewed, and altogether very ‘Headz, pads and cacophonous drum breaks atop the wrenching buzz of a half-time bass line.
The next track doesn’t mess about. The maniacal half-time intro of ‘Hard Food’ prizes open the gates to oblivion; priming the listener with a menacing nineties hardcore vibe from the off. Once more extolling the old school virtues in line with an altogether welcomed breaks resurgence that bass music has been experiencing of late; as the track ramps it up from the drop when the listener is plunged into a brutal pandemonium of classic breaks, snarling electrical distortion, retro computerised beeps and bloops, crashing high hats, all punctuated by powerful female vocal cuts.
Last up on the release is Fracture’s reduction mix of ‘From Early’; a stripped back version of the former track as the name suggests. Heavy on the reverb, this scuzzy slice of jungle infused minimal dancehall provides a dubbed out take on the chaos of the original, with a more linear arrangement and slow build. The dub style feedback delay atop the ghetto bass vibe of the track juxtaposes a British sound system feel against the strong US influence in Fracture’s work. It’s a real treat for fans of the Astrophonica camp.
‘From Early / Hard Food’ is available now on digital and vinyl formats from the Metalheadz store here and all good record stores.
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