Since their debut release on Subtitles back in 2009, which came in the form of a sub bass ridden collaboration with Judda, Ulterior Motive have graced us with nothing but the finest in techy beats and have been refining their production skills every step of the way. Some serious recognition of their efforts came when they signed to the the holy grail of drum and bass labels, Metalheadz, in 2013, with whom they would release their debut album just a year later. The release of ‘The Fourth Wall’ caused an enormous stir amongst the dnb scene, earning numerous accolades and rave reviews it was deemed mix mag’s album of the month for October and a after a quick listen through some of the tracks, it’s clear to see why. Two years on and the Metalheadz crew are treating us to an absolutely outrageous ‘Fourth Wall Remixes’ EP, with remixes from the likes of Break, Lenzman and the Ulterior Motive boys themselves. This is definitely not one to be missed!
The EP is made up of a four track 12” vinyl release alongside two digital exclusives. First up on the wax release we have a remix from one of, if not the most prolific and talented drum & bass producer around at the moment, the Symmetry head honcho Break! We’re big fans of both Ulterior Motive and Break around here, so we had ourselves prepared for something huge when we saw Break’s remix of ‘Keep It Moving’ in the inbox. From the moment the drums come in on this one you instantly know what you’re in for. The crisp slapping snare gets the head nodding before Break laces the track with his signature funky tech step style in the form of the rolling bass line that I feel is brimming the Quarantine vibes, which is definitely always a good thing. I can see this one lighting up many DJ sets in the near future.
Next up is Ulterior Motive’s own VIP of the massive ‘Inta National’, which much like the original, enters with the chanting vocal that you can’t help but mouth along to when this one’s brought into the mix. The main switch up on this VIP comes via the drums, which have gone from a standard stepper style to more of a rumbling junglistic vibe that sounds like someone’s had a serious go on the Andre The Giant of the bongo world! Some constantly driving sub bass backs the track while the familiar samples reappear in a slightly twisted form, leaving the track with a darker vibe than the original. The aspect of this tune I find most impressive is the fact that it’s so similar yet simultaneously so different to the original; a credit to the production skills of this dnb duo.
On the flip things kick off with Icicle’s amped up remix of ‘Chapters’ (ft. Mayhem Lauren & Brotherman). While the US meets UK hip hop master class sits proudly on the front cover of the original track, Icicle has moulded his remix to be more suited to the dance floor, with the awesome lyricism of Mayhem Lauren coming at us right from page 1. War drums provide the backdrop to the lyrics while an air of panic is built by the siren samples and the winding electronic pads; all the elements of this one come together perfectly to form an awesome alternative take on the original track.
Next up on remix duty we have the dutch liquid maestro that is Lenzman gracing one of my favourites from ‘The Fourth Wall’: ‘Stay’ (ft. James Sunderland). Those soothing vocals fit perfectly with Lenzman’s elegant style, which shines through immediately with the flowing drum break right off the bat. The bass line slides into the track so smoothly it almost goes undetected as you begin to move your body to it’s groove; as perfect a track as any to switch on, chill out and get into your dnb meditation zone.
The two digital bonus tracks are not quite so chilled, coming courtesy of two producers who are no strangers to their heavy beats and blistering bass lines. Xtrah comes at us with his remix of ‘Longshot’ with its calm and calculated intro that leads into a bouncing bass line that sits at the heart of the deep and altogether more rowdy drop. This will be a great track to throw in the mix, I can already see the salutes to the little cut in the drums about half way through. The final tune to undergo the remix treatment is ‘Muted’ (ft. James Sunderland) and it comes courtesy of modern dnb legend and one of my favourite artists around: Mark System. Things kick off with a combo of clapping snares and heavy bass punches as the track grows into itself rather than having a strict intro followed by drop sort of pattern. Things begin to wind down in the middle of the track as the vocals of James Sunderland lead us into the now jittering bass punches that bring a whole new dimension to the tune. This ones laden with Mark System’s typically unique and intriguing production style.
So that rounds off the release and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you again that a remix EP of one of the best albums of 2014 with a list of artists such as those featured here is something you simply cannot pass up. Head to the Metalheadz store to secure your copy ASAP!