If you are into neurofunk, you almost certainly have some level of familiarity with Prolix. On the backs of acclaimed releases on heavyweight labels such as RAM, Bad Taste, Blackout, Vision, etc. he was able to begin his own vanity label [Trendkill] in 2011. A veteran of the harder edged styles of Drum & Bass, his style and more notably his sound design is somewhat unique.
Today, we are here to review his latest release, Murder Mile, out now on Blackout. I’ve been anticipating this one. Blackout is one of the most consistently hard hitting labels in the history of the genre. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
The Message (w/ Black Sun Empire)
Straight from the jump, I can tell this album is going to be good. Black Sun Empire has been my favorite DNB act for 20 years or so, and when BSE joins forces with Prolix, it’s bound to be something special. I am not disappointed, either. This track slaps you in the fucking face. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.
Set Me Free (Ft. Renny Carroll)
I have no clue who Renny Carroll is, but I assume he is the vocalist on this tune. Nice, melodic intro, which quickly breaks out into a no holds barred neurofunk melee. Structured, precise drum patterns, and tight, distorted reece’s and synths are the backbone of this track. This shit would go off in the club, but I’ve never heard it in a club environment before. Consequently, it goes off hard on my home sound system because I invested heavily in great sound. Production wise, this is a gem.
Stitch In Time
Nice, melodic pads to open up this track. The intro is short and soon the bassline and 4/4 drums kick in, followed quickly by an evolving drum pattern and a bassline that makes you want to get up out of your seat! However, there really isn’t very much substance to this track. It’s not bad, just generic and formulaic.
Beat Down (Ft. DC Breaks)
I love DC Breaks, and I don’t think the three of these musicians have ever collaborated before. If they have, I’m unaware of it. Anyway, I love the eerie synths and the “impending” drum patterns in the intro to this tune. It quickly breaks out into pure DNB mayhem. This track is top notch, for real. The use of samples here is not overstated, which samples a lot of the time can be.
I certainly don’t rate this track, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. It feels like something that I’ve heard before. There is nothing at all new here. It’s not bad, just feels like filler in my opinion.
Feel Alive (w/ The Qemists)
You’ve heard this before, if you have been to any DNB night within the past few months. Prolix teaming up with breakbeat legends, the Qemists created probably the best track on the entire album. This has thoughtful, somber lyrics, a great melody, and an absolutely monster bassline. Huge tune!!
Savages (w/ Black Sun Empire & Feat. Virus Syndicate)
You know from just the artists who are on this that this tune is going to be sick. I’m not even going to offer any type of description of this at all. Just listen to it. I was not disappointed.
Ohhhhhhhh, love the creepy bells and morphed bass on this intro. And then….it kicks in with a bassline that made me pick my jaw up off of the damn floor. This tune is PUNISHING. It almost feels like a physical activity listening to this. One of the best tunes on the album in my opinion. Don’t skip this one, no matter what you do.
Who Knows (w/ Malux & Feat. SHE KORO)
This song softens it up a bit, and slows it down. It’s almost sensual the way SHE KORO sings the hypnotizing intro. However, soon it drops into DNB chaos. So, the reprieve was short lived. The main part of the song is absolutely average. I do love the vocal though, just to reiterate.
This is another one that you have likely heard before in the clubs. Extraordinarily nasty synth and basslines on this one, with seriously precise drums. A breakout tune, for sure.
Disgusting, this one. I love the dynamics on display here. Very ethereal one moment, then the next it’s just raw, distorted bass with the minimalistic drum pattern behind it.
Lift Me Up (Ft. Dee Freer)
Very, very nice tune. There really isn’t a lot that I can say about it though. It doesn’t have much to distinguish it from the other material on the album as a whole. Generic, but amazing nonetheless.
Ahhhhhh! “Always roll deep and stay ready for the skirmish!” Love the thick, layered basses on this tune. It’s hard, it’s heavy, and the basses, synths and drums on this one kick you in the face! Quality tune, through and through.
“More like a computer, more like a computer, more like a computer, my mindset is more like a computer.” I don’t know from where that sample was harvested, but I like it’s inclusion here. However, besides the sample, the track itself feels like it might be filler. It sounds a bit generic, but the sample does a good job to mask that fact.
Subterranean (Ft. Coppa)
On almost every album in existence, the breakout tune is saved for the very end. That is not the case in this instance. I love the vocals here by Coppa, don’t get me wrong. Even the tune itself isn’t bad in any way. It’s just not anything that I feel like I haven’t already heard 1000 times before.
AMAZING album by one of the heavyweights in the industry. Almost all of the tunes definitely sound fresh as fuck, however there were a few that fell flat. That being said, there wasn’t a single track on here that I did not like. Prolix is back at it, on fire and gnashing his teeth on this release on Blackout..