To the delight of drum’n’bass fans worldwide, the mighty Technique Recordings has delivered yet another heavyweight release featuring the camp’s top producers and fledgling talent in the form of an EP called Crossfire. Technique label-head Simon “Bassline” Smith has squeezed an inordinate amount of talent onto his label’s first release for the new year. The six-track EP features Technique usual suspects Tantrum Desire and L Plus, and also features tunes from Technique sister label Worldwide Audio’s 2DB and Dub Foundation. The inter-label all-star cast is rounded out by dnb’s newest female producer Dushi, and on-again-off-again Playaz bad-boy Erb N Dub. After one full listen, it’s apparent that Crossfire is largely representative of the technical and creative trends in drum’n’bass right now; from electro to drumstep, this EP is a jump-up voyage through several subgenres of drum’n’bass.
Tantrum Desire’s Uncontrollable is an angry, angry tune. The main synth is built around the formant vowel sound ubiquitously found in the current iteration of dubstep. The bassline is anything but subtle, letting loose a growling series of stabs at the end of every 16-bar phrase. This tune is a perfect example of why Tantrum Desire gets top billing from all of the big DJs on the dnb circuit. 2DB’s tune Virus is a fast and furious drumsteppy tune, starting with a cinematic intro but eventually evolving into a growling, modulated bassfest. The tune thunders along until it hits its first break, when the drums cut to half-time, providing a perfect variation to the high energy rhythm deployed throughout the verse. For those that prefer more of an electro-infused style of drum’n’bass, look no further than L Plus’s Gas Grenade. Well-crafted arpeggiation effects and deeply modulated synths make this tune an instant hit. L Plus’s inimitable ability to blend electro and dnb is sure to have his tunes front and center on dancefloors worldwide.