London-based drum & bass producer Rockwell (pictured) has alluded to his desire to explore new territory with his songwriting. His admitted affinity for hardcore punk and hip hop delivered him unto drum & bass years ago, but his ever growing musical palette is influencing his production style and the results have finally surfaced. Teamed with popular Mad Decent artist Kito, the co-ed producers have authored a new tune that is unlike anything Rockwell has released previously. Rockwell’s typical tech-step style is nowhere to be found in his latest masterpiece, Childhood Memories. Kito’s deft ability to create svelte, yet complex compositions coupled with Rockwell’s unrivaled multi-layered sound design pushes this tune’s production value beyond comparison. The new EP, out on Shogun Audio, also represents a changing of the guard in one of the most successful dnb labels in existence. Rockwell’s latest track is proof that Shogun founder Friction is no longer pigeonholing his popular imprint into dnb’s hyper 170 bpm-range–giving Shogun artists that much more creative freedom.
Childhood Memories’ structure is more akin to a pop song than a dance song, so DJs looking to mix this track in their sets won’t get the typical 32 bars of drum intro. Skream fans will almost instantly recognize the vocoded voice of Sam Frank, but even more apparent is the relaxed tempo. The song is built around a gracefully plucked angelic riff and a series of pitch-modulated chord stabs on the up-beats. Also on the Childhood Memories EP is a raging dnb remix by past collaborator Phace and his Neosignal counterpart Misanthrop, as well as remixes by surging Viper producer Metrik, and burgeoning producer Teeth. Check out the official video for Childhood Memories below.