The Neurofunk scene was really developing into its potential when Phace’s 2007 debut album dropped. The delightful delirium that is Psycho evokes the neuro trappings of Phace’s contemporaries such as Noisia (who make an appearance on The Feed) and Misanthrop. The expertly realized theme of this album makes for an intense rush through menacing vibes and low end sounds.
From the raucous Reservoir, the titular Psycho, to the titanic Tranquilizer, every track is a belter of artistically techy proportions. This album doesn’t miss a beat. Psycho is a wild ride not for the faint of heart; yet if you dare to listen, you’ll find an outstanding album full of seriously enjoyable songs.
Before they ascended to the ranks of Metalheadz and knocked out their rather impressive debut LP, Ulterior Motive began their career with a slew of great singles for Teebee’s Subtitles imprint, and my favourite from that period is undoubtedly Featherweight.
Bringing together punchy techstep drums, grimey but stripped back bass modulations and a cheeky Mobb Deep sample, the groove on this tune is just undeniable, and it’s a track I keep coming back to. “Featherweight…gunshots will make you levitate” – boom!
Not long after the relaunch of Subtitles in 2010, Teebee’s label treated us to a fantastic track from one of my favourite producers, Rob Dickeson aka Apex. While I discovered Apex initially through his harder tech and neurofunk productions on Lifted Music (and earlier as one half of Unknown Error), I later fell in love with his more musical output which featured on Horizons and Hospital, and this gem is definitely up there with his best.
Inner Space explores lush, synthy ambience and remains downtempo until the second verse at which point that familiar, crisp D&B break kicks the track up a notch. The whole thing is just beautiful and unusually serene for even liquid D&B, and it’s a track I never get bored of hearing. Unfortunately this 12″ would prove to be one of his last before his apparent retirement sometime in 2012, and his output is much missed (by me at least). Check it out below and go look out a copy on vinyl or digital!
Brain Crisis returns to Subtitles with two more tracks pushing his unusual style of 170BPM explorations. Spline collab Mad explores frantic junglistic breakbeat syncopations underpinned by an almost hip-hop style half-time backbeat, dropping down into creepy strings and pitched down vocals in the bridge before building back into a frenetic crescendo of snares.
Camatcho explores similar territory, with rapid drum syncopations via harsh, distorted breaks and rapidfire single hits alike proving the mainstay of the tune under the chopped up vocal line. Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital right now!
Fresh from the success of their recent remix for I Am Legion, Teddy Killerz return with an absolutely disgusting new cut for Teebee’s Subtitles imprint. The appropriately titled Demolisher is unrelenting neurofunk business at it’s finest, with an onslaught of twisted bass and heavy beats knocking down the door from start to finish.
The flip sees US stalwart Gridlok drafted in for remix duties and as we’ve come to expect he flips the tune on it’s head to great effect, keeping the infectious hooks of the original but swapping the angular beats for something with a bit more roll and twisting the basslines to match the new pace. For dancefloor friendliness this probably edges out the original, but they’re both great tunes – pick your favourite below and grab this from your favourite digital outlet now.
I’ve long been a fan of Hungarian producer Chris.SU. With well over a decade’s worth of top notch releases across labels like Commercial Suicide, Renegade Hardware, DSCI4, Black Sun Empire, Citrus and Subtitles, the man has carved an excellent niche for himself as a purveyor of top quality dancefloor drum & bass with a melodic edge. His tunes have always worked just as well in the club or the living room, and have a level of production values that put him right at the top of the game. Anyone new to the man would do well to check out the now legendary 2004 release Solaris Theme.
Naturally then I was excited to hear of a new EP dropping on Teebee’s Subtitles imprint, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Opener F.A.T.E. drops straight into seriously rolling neurofunk territory, with the trademark morphing basslines of the genre shining through under Chris.SU’s typical melodic overtones. Next up comes First Snow, taking the EP to a slightly more liquid vibe, with twinkling, echoing melodies over a slightly lighter but every bit as insistent drum line. Warm synths float us up to the drop before a big growling bassline jumps out of nowhere and gets the track rolling!
Over on the digital exclusive tracks we’ve got a lovely rolling, dubby number called Higher, led by the soulful vocals of fellow Hungarian Mira. Lastly Disoriented closes the EP nicely with a chunky, angular number, all skittering drums and rising bass swells. Check out the previews below and grab yourself a copy from your favourite vinyl or digital outlet!
As a celebration of the new EP and hitting 5000 likes on Facebook Chris has kindly given away a 5th track called Restless which didn’t quite make the EP – you can grab that from his Facebook page. And just in case you can’t get enough of the man and his tunes, he’s also recently put together the 6th Subtitles Music Podcast!