Glasgow-based Nerve Recordings sadly closed it’s doors in 2010 but for nine strong years the label flew the D&B flag under the keen stewardship of Pyro and Paul Reset, with releases from homegrown and international producers alike. For this week’s #TBT posting we take a look back at 10 of the best from the Narve vaults. Don’t forget you can grab all of these releases for free from either the Nerve Bandcamp or their website.
Way back in 2002, before he became the stateside superstar he is today, one of Gridlok’s early releases graced the Nerve catalogue. You can hear the man’s fine ear for crisp drums and rolling energy in these early tunes, and Struggle in particular still stands up as a great slice of atmospheric techstep.
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Once again Nerve picked up some serious talent for this release, with fellow Glaswegian Kemal (of Konflict fame) turning in a monstrous remix of Crisis and the then relatively unknown Black Sun Empire providing an equally dancefloor worthy remix of another previous Nerve release from SKC. BSE’s future promise can easily be heard here.
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The third in their white-label “Ternary Series” release set, the eighth Nerve release features one of my favourite Pyro tracks in the form of the epicly atmospheric Sea Of Change. SKC also turns in the thoroughly respectable tech/jass/funk hybrid that is No Way…or “liquid with baws” as Paul Reset himself describes it!
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As if signing tunes from names like BSE and Gridlok wasn’t enough Nerve also succeeded in scooping Noisia’s very first release back in 2003. Once again you can hear the early promise of the exceptionally talented trio in these tracks, which still have more than enough punch to rip up a dancefloor today.
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Possibly one of the hardest releases to grace the label, Fission’s proto-darkstep business sounds fairly dated now but still have tons of charm and plenty of heft. Pyramids in particular is a beast of a track.
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Once again showing an uncanny ability for being ahead of the curve, Nerve released their first digital-only single in 2004 with another pair of amazing atmospheric tracks from Pyro. If you enjoyed Sea Of Change these will certainly float your boat too.
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One of my favourite releases from the Nerve catalogue, Day After Tomorrow combines rough, rough amens with lush atmospherics and a soft, catchy vocal hook to great effect. Bahia is no slouch either; rolling liquid vibes with enough weight for the dancefloor and plenty of soul.
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Fans of the deeper end of D&B will doubtless be familiar with ASC, either from his Nonplus/Autonomic affiliations or from his work for Warm Communications, his own Auxiliary imprint or any number of other releases. In 2007 he penned two excellent tracks for Nerve; The Pursuit presses the dancefloor buttons with an insistent rhythm and a cheeky tech-house sneak attack in the bridge, while Frozen Shores brings together those ambient-influenced pads with a growling bassline for a deep, moody vibe.
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The label’s final vinyl release brings together tracks from Isotone and Morphy. Water Dragon kicks off with an epic, echoing guitar-based intro before dropping into a ripping tech-funk assault of beats and bass. Samsara meanwhile trades on the Eastern vibe with soothing sitar samples set to a backdrop of hefty chopped up breaks.
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Nerve’s penultimate release in 2010 came from Y2D (aka Dominic Petrie) who’s since gone on to release beats on Lifestyle Recordings and Ingredients. His four track Devolve EP showcased a crisp, techy but still dancefloor worthy style with heaps of atmosphere; definitely worth a listen.
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There you have it – ten of the Dojo’s favourites from Nerve’s illustrious history. Be sure to check out the rest of the discography where you can find gems from the likes of Morphy, Linden, Receptor, Matt-U, Kantyze and many more.