The mighty RAM Records (stylized logo above) has decided to bless drum’n’bass fans with an end-of-year collection of their biggest tunes from 2011. All year long the label has indulged ravers with d’n’b hotness, but now the good folks at RAM have decided to compile all of the standouts from 2011 in one polished package entitled Ram Records Drum & Bass Annual 2011. For those that missed the massive bangers from Wilkinson, Sub Focus, and Delta Heavy, this Annual is the best way to get a hold of all of the RAM artists’ best work from 2011. Check the full tracklist here.
For those d’n’b heads that picked up Andy C’s Nightlife 5 album, there will be some familiar territory here–several of the tracks from this new Annual made their first appearance on the fifth installment of Mr. C’s seminal mix. However, there are many post-Nightlife tunes included in this Annual that have been smashing subwoofers all year long. One such tune is Wilkinson’s Every Time, which has been championed by BBC Radio 1 and just about every big-name d’n’b DJ from the US to the UK. The track is driven by its square-wave bassline, traversing through several melodic phrases as the song builds and drops. Eventually the track breaks into a half-time rhythm, providing a temporary reprieve from the relentless drum pressure. Another great featured track is Mind Vortex’s Onslaught. The song most certainly is a sonic onslaught, with massive bass wobbles and meticulous filter modulation. Some may notice the alternating 4-bar synth pattern present here that was popularized by Pendulum years ago; a testament to Mind Vortex’s veteran production skills.
The Annual would be remiss if it didn’t have an entry from the Londoner Culture Shock. Showing up in just about every playlist worldwide, Culture Shock had a big year in 2011 with songs on regular rotation on BBC’s Radio 1xtra, several releases on RAM, and a remix of Nero’s Guilt. His tune Protection, one of three of his offerings on the Annual, is built around several rhythmic and synthetic percussive elements that give this tune a bright and airy sound. With the layered, vocoded vocal sample, this tune is dripping with liquid vibes.