In case you don’t know, WAR is essentially the black ops division of Technique Recordings. The imprint only emerges from cover on rare occasions and, when it does, it always signals the delivery of a heavy payload of explosive dancefloor material. This particular mission demonstrates that the name Worldwide Audio Recordings is no idle boast. This unit has truly international credentials.
The USA represents in the form of LA-based duo Kronology’s opener, Vertigo. G-funk arpeggios meld with an eerie vocal sample to give warning of danger ahead. Then a warping build delivers us into the midst of tough sweeping bass and gym-ripped drums. This is hardbody music to keep the dancefloor energised.
Then Ukraine’s in the house, as MaxNRG’s 50,000 rolls through. The pizzicato of the intro weaves into a progression of harmonic tones and the pitch-twisted vocal element that gives the track its name. Pop-and-lock drums and swathes of mid-range drive give this an irresistible groove.
Of course, the UK isn’t left out of the party. The prolific North Base crew come scientific with Extrimus. An unsettling intro gives way to a surprisingly melodic drop. Riffs and pieces of riff fold and collapse around each other as bass and drum deliver the heartbeat of the track. This is edge-of-the-seat music, with the unexpected around every corner.
Then Erb N Dub steps up with Payback. This is dense, spectrum-filling production. Uncompromisingly tough beats and bass modulations combined with chase-scene stabs give this a relentless energy.
Spain comes correct with Gradual’s neural workout Psychodelicious. An impenetrable web of sound assaults the senses in the intro, then the drop rips the atmosphere to shreds, reconfiguring it into a stripped-down, almost dub-like arrangement. Stridently militant drums keep time as the grime and filth of the bass drives the track onwards.
Fighting the rear-guard action is Austria’s Infrasonik, with The Horror. In the distance, a disturbing chime pattern heralds the approach of something sinister. The rhythmic interplay of drums and bass keeps cranking up the heart-rate of the track. Infrasonik have delivered on their title, fully evoking ever-increasing tension which is going to give this a guaranteed place in creative selectors’ sets.
This EP shows off both the international and interconnected nature of the scene. Showing off musicality, technical expertise and the variety of individual takes on rave-aimed D&B, Cubic provides an insight into the minds of some of the hottest producers from around the world. And it’ll destroy some dancefloors in the process.