Classified V3 (CIAQS014)

One of the most respected labels in drum & bass, CIA Records are back with the third instalment of their Classified series. Set up and run by Total Science, in 2016 they celebrated 20 illustrious years in the game, and there appears to be no sign of slowing down their stellar output as Classified V3 lands today.

Looking back at the previous Classified EP’s, they are filled with weighty tracks that are still getting frequent rotation (which is not always the case in today’s ‘instant’ world). Total Science’s ‘Walk the Same Lines’ featuring Riya from V1 and ST Files & Response’s ‘Wanna B 3’ from V2 are future classics for us here at In-Reach. After listening to Classified V3, I can tell you already that this EP is going to be no different…

A series which has always showcased upcoming as well as established talent, Classified V3 keeps on that same tip. Head honcho’s Total Science feature alongside Villem, Critical Impact, Jakes and Arcatype providing us with a range of styles and flavours across these 4 tracks.

CIAKicking off the release is the highly anticipated Villem remix of ‘False Alarm’ originally by Total Science, Quadrant and Iris. Released on the CIA 20 LP last year, this uncompromising roller was one of the standout tracks from the album. Remixing it was always going to be tricky, but Villem has delivered true justice to the original. As the drums resonate around your ears in the intro, a suppressed alarm pulsates into action. As it drops we are submerged in a flurry on savage bass stabs and pounding drums that is sure to do damage to any dance floor. The progression into those breaks after 32 bars keeps the energy levels pumping throughout the track. Elements of the original are still there however, Villem has definitely stamped his signature sound all over this remix and we are absolutely loving it.

Switching the styles on the next track but still keeping on the upfront drum & bass vibe, Critical Impact teams up with Jakes to give us ‘Geeks and Geez’. No messing about in the intro, the hammering snare and kick drum grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go until Jakes comes in with his legendary flow. The murky bass and stepping percussion works perfectly with his inimitable voice. This one is a serious weapon!

Next up, Total Science are back at it again this time with ‘What I Need’, bringing the upfront pace set by the first two tracks down a notch or two.  Combining a dreamy mix of atmospheric soundscapes and soulful bass that are complimented impeccably by the snap of that lead snare, this is another vintage track from the duo. You can always hear the distinct hallmarks of a Total Science tune, particularly with those snappy drums they have pioneered over the years. Vibes galore.

Rounding off the EP, Manchester based Arcatype will be a new name to most. The trio had their debut release on Ingredients last year, and they are fully backing up their up and coming status with this outing on the iconic CIA label. Listening to this track you would by no means think these guys have only 2 releases to their name, elegance and class seeps through every crevice of ‘Cascade’. Everything about it flows so smooth, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking this could be Calibre! Definitely a name to watch out for.

Another wicked Classified EP from the CIA Records camp, firmly cementing their quintessential sound. You can cop Classified V3 from today right here. Don’t sleep on it!