If drum & bass is to rise again, there must be a handful of labels pushing each other to new heights. Critical Music and its founder Kasra have always looked to challenge themselves, and the results are obvious: Critical Sound, their recent compilation featuring the likes of Break, Calibre, Spectrasoul, Sabre, Silent Witness and Kasra himself, was one of the best drum & bass collections of last year. Previews of forthcoming work from Sabre foretell that 2010 could be even better.
Critical starts the year in fine style, though, with Break who serves up a potent two-sider that will rattle the scene until autumn. While not as radical as labelmates such as Rockwell, space-travel rollers get a tank of fresh oxygen with "Late Drop." The track propels you with the right amount of atmosphere and energy, and eschews the d & b drama. The subdued, snarling bass lurks while mutated piano stabs warble like afterthoughts, and the beat skips alongside hiccupping wood hits. By the end, you may want to shuffle off your dancer coil. "Crunchy" hearkens more to the past with a crisp Spanish guitar sample sure to remind some of DJ Die. A submarine siren beckons the depths of the bass-line while djembes and the guitar might place you south of Morocco.
Buy Break - Late Drop / Crunchy at
Tracklist: Break - Late Drop / Crunchy A Late Drop