Dispatch – Transit 2 Review

Album number 2 in the Transit series recently dropped on Dispatch Recordings, and I don’t think I’m alone in illustrating that the gradually placed album tasters, teasingly held out before us in the weeks prior to release were all a bit too much for me. I think we’ve all been there, at one of those resource-dwindled after parties, where the debate of who will be nominated cigarette/alcohol/substance sourcer makes for a slightly uncomfortable atmosphere – I would like to highlight this was always my most hated rave-related chore and for a pre-release peep of Transit 2… I would have taken this title for the rest of the year!

Transit 1 exploded onto the scene around two years ago to exceptional acclaim. The album undeniably contributed to cementing Dispatch as one of the key players in drum and bass. Transit 2 absolutely equals if not exceeds the brilliance of the first. Continuing on a path that avoids pre-packaged trend-driven monotonous music, Dispatch have again outputted an album undeniably stimulating in its portrayal of well-crafted, timeless and forward-thinking music.

Opener ‘Shapeshifter,’ originally by Amoss, sees Skeptical work the tune from hard-hitting and drum-led to one in which a creeping mid bass becomes the prominent narrative amongst an odyssey of gritty atmospherics.  Another brilliant rework is the VIP of Halogenixs’ ‘Raya’, a switch-up from minimal to considerably more erratic, the drum-work unfurls in a manner that is understated yet able to create and contort unimagined levels of energy –  a tune dangerously hypnotising!

Staying true to the Dispatch ethos, Transit 2 features a combination of renowned and up-coming artists alike. On the established side of things Silent Witness delivers with ‘Ballistix’. This is a tune in which an orchestra of uplifting, arpeggiated synth stabs drift around a bass-line so heavy it will drag you in and out of a futuristic, distorted and disturbing utopia. EBK an artist also featured on Transit 1 is this time back with ‘Strength’, a tune that plays on similarly technologically sinister vibes. Distant and forlorn vocals sound trapped within a dynamic and industrial musical landscape; a story of human vs. machine at it’s most detrimental.

Ant TC1 has described Dispatch in a previous interview as a ‘global underground label’, entirely confirming this a few of my favourite tracks are by relatively new to the scene international artists. ‘Graphene’ by Hybris, Quadrant, D-Struct and Iris is a definite favourite, the bass line in this one twists in and out of restless percussion and belligerent snares like a deceitful, transfiguring assassin. ‘Entropy’ by Hydro, War & Mateba is on a more chilled out flex, delving into tribal territory it’s synths add an element of calm to a tune that is minimal yet deceivingly brutal.

Transit 2 is a 16-track journey that experiments with an eclectic palette of sounds and styles, BPMs differ as do the feelings each tune evokes – an album of musical ambition unquestionably accomplished.I would highly recommend purchasing this album, as I really do believe it represents in the best possible way all of the things we love about Dispatch Recordings.

Transit 2 is available on Digital, Vinyl and CD, head over to Surus to get your copy 🙂 – and if you’re really feeling it, bundles are also available!

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