Enei arguably represents a different side of Russian drum & bass, hard and rigid where peers like Subwave and Bulb trade in the ecstatic and forlorn, respectively. He's the latest producer to be snapped up by RA's former Label of the Month Critical Recordings for an exclusivity deal, and his first for the label since is a real corker.
"Stone Head," and to a slightly lesser extent "No Fear," are the aural equivalent of one of those royal guards who can never, ever break a smile: there's absolutely zero room for error (or swing) in these tracks. The former is one of the most aggressive tracks Enei has put his name to, but it's all about the deafening snares rather than the punishing basslines of a track like "Cracker" (which is given a percussive makeover here by Metalheadz associate Jubei). The track's sneering vocal sample and fragmented bass prove that you can get all the neurofunk angst you need without resorting to ugly midrange saturation.
Riya's vocal turn on "No Fear" largely accomplishes the same thing, the soulful diva reduced to barking catchphrases over an especially militant beat that moves so fast it seems to double back on its own shadow before a bar can even finish (think Rockwell-level detail here). The release is rounded off with "Movin' Fast," which sounds like Enei's own take on Breakbeat Kaos pop-dnb. It works surprisingly well, especially when Enei finally breaks things loose with an atonal bassline that ends in squalls of feedback.
Tracklist: Enei - StoneheadA Stonehead
B No Fear feat. Riya
C Movin Fast
D Cracker (Jubei Remix)