With some great new releases dropping recently for Exit, None60 and Ivy Lab’s 20/20 LDN imprint, Detroit stalwart Sinistarr has been making some big moves in 2016. We caught up with him and asked him for his current Top 5; read on for some eclectic 170 selections.
Demand continue their Selects series with an EP from Ukrainian newcomer Owneath. Channelling the 20/20 LDN halftime sound which Ivy Lab have been championing of late, the vibes are low slung and full of swagger from start to finish.
Deeper cuts Overload and Juku will probably appeal to fans of the grittier breed of halftime, but for us the best outings are to be found on the more hip-hop influenced beats. Title track Bokomaru brings together an infectious hook and a cracking swung drum line for a sparse, crunked out banger, while Pay Me follows a similar line but with a slightly more menacing edge. Gun fingers at the ready!
Check out the clips below and hit up your favourite digital outlet to grab a copy right now.
Ivy Lab’s sonic journey since the trio’s pre-alias collaboration in 2012 on the sublime Oblique has been a treat to watch. While initially known for silky smooth liquid rollers, it didn’t take the Lab long to start experimenting with a distinctly different style of beats that they refer to loosely as “halftime”, starting with the infamous Sunday Crunk and continuing with many of the tracks on the Twenty Questions EP.
That “halftime” moniker really doesn’t do the style justice though, especially since it’s a term used to describe a lot of the deeper, half tempo music created by producers like Homemade Weapons and Cirrus that has little if anything to do with the hip-hop infused sound that Sabre, Stray and Halogenix have pioneered. “Halftime Hip-hop” might be closer to the truth, but as yet noone has really found a suitable handle for their mixture of LA bass, crunk, hip-hop and glitch.
All of this brings us to now, and Ivy Lab’s decision to separate this “halftime” material from their more traditional D&B excursions, start their own 20/20 label and release a full album of it. With nary a 2-step breakbeat in sight (or should that be earshot?) this is a firm division of styles, with the trio already having stated that we can expect more D&B via Critical Music in the future.
The results here should definitely appeal to fans of EPROM, Alix Perez, and anyone who appreciates the swagger and funk of this style of beats. Low end heft, sexy vocal cut ups and great use of space define a confident and exciting sound from a production team that surely have tons more to show us. Get your groove on with 20/20 Volume One – you won’t regret it! The album is out now via the 20/20 website, and there’s a sick album mix by none other than the legendary DJ Craze below.
Good news for fans of the experimental 170 sound in our nation’s capital – Ivy Lab are starting up their own club night! Entitled 20/20 LDN, the new night aims to showcase “the emerging landscape of fusions between Drum and Bass, Hip Hop, Footwork, and Future-Soul”. Not a bad aim methinks.
The first event on June 11th will feature sets from Om Unit, Hannah Faith and Deft (with support from Ivy Lab themselves). To celebrate, the team are giving away a series of free bootlegs, the first of which you can hear below as Sabre gives Jeru Da Damaja’s Come Clean a gritty halftime refix. Head over to the 20/20 LDN Facebook page for a free download of the track and check out the full event details here.