I was contacted by my good friend Patrick Felony aka Knoxz about his new label project Beneath The Surface. I decided to ask him about it all and then do a review of their first release by Florida based dnb don Kadilak. Lets have a look at what the head honcho said first and we can check out the music!
It’s truly been an honour releasing on other labels with both the projects i have been involved with such as Kryteria previously and now my solo project as KNOXZ. To have songs released on labels such as Renegade hardware, Formation, Flex, and even Viper, and Cause 4 Concern its been amazing to have the opportunities that have come about throughout the years. I knew many years ago while always working with my insane hardworking long time friend, Bad Syntax (who also runs and owns Abducted Records) that i too was one day going to start a drum and bass label.
I have, and still do have, so many songs in progress. I just knew none of them were ready whether it’d by my knowledge base, corrupt or missing files, or time itself. Fast forward to present day and it just seems that everything is lining up. I am now ready to make the move. Beneath The Surface has always been the name of my mix series, even including it into the Best Drum and Bass Podcast. There are almost 120 (and counting) mixes/shows all for your listening pleasure online (Always feel free to search KNOXZ in the search bar of bestdrumandbass.com for a listen). Each time i would post a mix i knew the label was getting closer.
Having worked previously in a graphic and print shop as a daytime manager i knew i could create the vision for what i wanted. After countless hours of design and finally finished the first logo and website, reality set in that this was really going to happen. I took a lot of the positives and negatives with working with other labels and knew that i could create a business model to help others with what has frustrated me in the past. Beneath The Surface, as a label, focuses on the transparency of the industry and takes a serious look into bringing unity and positivity with the artists onboard.
A lot of times as an artist you’ll ask yourself, “well what really is the label doing for me?” I take that into high consideration and feel i have many incentives for the artists that i am bringing on. Having released drum and bass music on other labels since 2008 i have gained a lot of knowledge, experience, and most importantly a strong network. I am so excited to show everyone what the label has been doing on the backend.
The first release is truly a perfect example of the sound to come. Cinematic dark drum and bass is the main focus. But with so many vibes / subgenres there will be some room to draw outside the box so to speak. All i can say for now, is thank you. Enjoy this epic release from Kadilak. Our very first BTS001! Please do follow us on all the socials shown on the website (btsrecordings.com) and most importantly all the artists on the roster because it is truly all about them.
Here’s a little bio regarding Kadilak before we take a look at the release in a bit more detail!
Kadilak is known as one of the most revered members of the Florida Drum & Bass scene. He is a member of one of the oldest and respected D&B groups in the US, Torque, out of Orlando, Florida. Kadilak started DJing in 1996 after he went to his first rave when he was 13 years old. It grabbed his soul and fueled his passion for electronic music ever since. The one room that captivated his curiosity was the Jungle room. With 22 years of experience as a musician, his signature style of mixing is what sets him aside from a lot of peers around him. Kadilak has a wide range of tastes that started from heavy neuro funk and tech step to eventually evolving into including jungle, liquid and rollers. He has long contributed to the growth and rise of D&B in the US and in the D&B catalogue of the world through original releases. He just recently started his own label with a life long friend called Rolled Up Records which is set to debut in the Summer of 2022 and his debut EP on the label “East 2 West” hit #1 in all categories and held that spot for over 2 weeks.
Light years away in a world called Arrakis, a Sardaukar soldier of the Padishah Emperor had served prominently during the Corrino Empire. This soldier was respected and feared by all who encountered him. Even though he was born into a struggling life he was taught from an early age to seek justice for the oppressed and fight for what was right. He was respected for his courage and strength and was often chosen to lead the Emperor’s forces in battle. He became a highly decorated soldier who earned the respect of his peers.
Years passed and the once unbreakable grasp of the Empire began to crumble. The Corrino Empire was no longer able to offer the people of Arrakis the justice and safety they deserved. The Sardaukar soldier was determined to fight against these injustices against the Empire and find a way to stop the rebellion from taking control. Kadilak, as what his fellow soldiers called him, encouraged him to lead them and go back to Arrakis to finally put down the evil rebellion.
The people of Arrakis are struggling to survive in the harsh desert conditions and are not only fighting for their justice; but also for their lives. Kadilak, along with his fellow soldiers, are determined to bring justice to the people of Arrakis and, once and for all, bring peace to the Arrakis people.
Dune – The opening tune starts with an incredibly epic intro. Some lovely percussion sounds and fantastically magnificent vocal vibes with an eastern appeal surround the listener and build the intensity. We launch into an onslaught of neurofunk. The bass rips through the speaker with careless abandon and the drums are tighter than a nuns cu next Tuesday. The vocal continues to wrap around us, supported with some more far East infused instrumentation. The tune is really a roller with loads of well placed punchy percussion and this bass which rips and drives through nicely.
The second half of the tune brings more of the same. Lots of very clever fills and drum edits every 4 to 8 bars keeps lots of interest. It’s extremely well produced and the master by The Lions Den Mastering is typically effective and punchy, whilst maintaining class and dynamics. A fantastic opening track for any label, which I’m sure will gather lots of support from DJs and drum n bass fans equally.
Brockie – This tune immediately fits really nicely with the opener Dune. It has a really mystical feel to it, with lots of percussive elements and a cool vocoder vocal underlaying, and this nice building synth. We drop into a really fat drum beat and sludgy bassline. This has much thicker drums on it this time, and the snare really pushes the tune nicely. The bassline as I said is really sludgy and grungy in essence. The fills included lots of amen drums, percussive elements and more writhing bass elements.
The mid break is mystical like the first but a bit more energy in the lovely synth work and builds back into another banging drop. It is well produced and all the elements are placed nicely and carved out with lots of depth and headroom enabling the listener to really feel like they are in the middle of the epic sound scape. I think the thing that really stands out across the 2 tunes is the fills. There are loads of them and they are just so well made and this really helps the transitions flow between sections and keeps the energy high and pounding along.
Overall a fantastic release which you can check out below as well as following BTS for more fantastic content