A Fields of Joy
Brazil's S.P.Y. is a rising star in the drum & bass world, having released floor stompers on labels like Soul:R, 31 and Metalheadz in the past year alone. But while he's had plenty of big tracks, that's also meant that he has spread himself thin. He's appeared on no less than ten releases in 2010 by this reviewer's count. His newest release on Critical Music suffers as a result, the record featuring two well-crafted dark rollers in the neurofunk vein that grab you by the throat while they play but are sadly are too easily forgotten afterwards.
"Fields of Joy" is a classic misnomer, as a brooding sense of danger and darkness is built from the off with cinematic string samples and a raspy high-pitched lead synth. There isn't much joy to be found in this sonic landscape. A hip hop-esque vocal leads the track to a drop and, from then on, it's a tumble through dark terrain, with hard-hitting beats and distorted basslines leading the way.
"Stormtrooper" is set off by eerie atmospherics and skittering hi-hats that give way to a central bass motif before a big drop with a tick-tock 2-step beat emerges. The simple but effective bass riff is the heart around which S.P.Y. weaves strings, vocals and effects, situating the track firmly in neurofunk territory. It's the stronger of the two tracks here, but still doesn't contain the sort of standout moment that separates it from similar fare.