DARK2 / COMPILATION // SOUNBOY KILLA

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DARK2 // COMPILATION …..sequal to DARK1

Well, well, well drum and bass heads. The time has finally arrived. The sequel to DARK1, DARK2, is coming to us via the hive created by ED808. This release’s line-up consists of 20 jungle assassins. Hitmen from all corners of the globe contributed to the weapons in this arsenal. And this LP takes zero prisoners.

At a time where “the less in more” approach to dnb has been upfront and present in more “dance floor” friendly tunes. DARK2 come correct with pure junglist murderation. Taking us back to a realm of truly dark drum and bass production and composition. Every tune in this collection boasts of heavily chopped amens. Gigantic reese and sine wave basslines. Sweeps and time stretches that could conjure a black hole. Evil synthesizers and haunting samples from cult classic sci-fi and B real horror flicks.

The object of this album seems to be very clear. To bring back the hard vibes. Invoke our darkest fears. And deepen the forgotten realm of extremely heavy drum and bass. Every piece of work here has a distinct vision. Collectively, it can be configured like a choose your own adventure story. At random, the stories can be assigned by the role of a 20 sided dice. Giving the listener a chance to reveal the suspects in different order, to tell different tales.

LETS DIVE INTO THE JAMS!!!

This LP starts off banging in full force. 6blocc (aka RAW) kicks it in with a huge sound clash tune, Dark Planet. In proper fashion, 6blocc hit you with heavily distorted amens right up front. Stretched and pulled like a new piece of taffy. Huge sublines absolutely crush the woofers and set the pace for the grenades set to go off behind it. Abstract Illusion – Yurei comes forward with a more subdued vision of gander. A super heady composition with just the right balance of warm, yet haunting synth’s. Chopping and slicing drum edits like a samurai. Abstract Illusion brings us another skillfully crafted bassbin slasher.

This line up of tunes. Amenarchist – Extraterrestrial Signal, Jah Bliddie – Judgement, Konztant – Service to Chaos, Nickynutz – A Hundread Million, Konztant – Service to Chaos . Could very well be the most epic line-up of back to back selecta slayers to come in years. All of these tunes bring extraordinarily beastlike fury. Each one just takes the standard of old school tear out jungle to a new level. All of these tunes b2b tell haunting stories of alien abuduction, mass extermination, and extreme paranoia. If I could compare the danger of this block it would be equivalent to the like of the famed Toasted: Massive Ragga Jungle LP, on Mutant Sound. 

There is a constant theme coming from the true rude boy, crushing system, jungle bashmentallity. But there is a section of tunes where it slows down and goes cerebral . Thats where the selections from Decend – Portal Hole, Juice-e – Dare, REZ – SP Disorder, SUB – Soul Negelection come cross . I get all the best parts of that early era jungle. From the likes of Bizzy-B , Bug Kahn, Smokey Joe, and Nookie. Taking all the elements of classic hardcore, but revealing it on a new canvas with a new brush. Its almost as if a portal into 1991 Bristol opened up, and you were invited back into a time and place where it all began.

A big part of this LP that just really got my blood pumping and head nodding came from, Antares – Dream Alone, ED808 – Dark Room, Semko – Reality, Stereo Nuttah – The Game, Asymetric – Submerge. This sequence of tunes bring together heavily armed sequencing. Foot stomping 4 to the floor breaks. Classical  music style composition. Sprayed against a pitch black background grasping for air. All have focus on the elements that have always made dnb great. They show an amazing instance to compose songs that display how gorgeous it is when just drums and bass can run a whole tune. If these songs were children to walk amongst us. They would have come from the dna of artists like End:user, Soundmurderer, Remarc, 0=0 ,Genotype, and Future Forces.

Farquaad – Death TV, Opius – Sold Soulz, Tank Dubz – Further, The Disciple – We Control Sound, & Y2 feat ED808 – Curb Stomp were my solid favorites of the release. While every tune help its own and energy ending thunder. These tunes just came from outer realms of their own planets. For huge heavy ragga inspired thunderclaps. To extraordinarily intelligent 90’s IDM ideals. These jams revealed an purposeful way to honor the past relics that gave us jungle music. But in package that has all of the loose ends in place. Sometimes the “more is more” approach to programming and composition really pays off. All of my favorite things about hardcore jungle, ragga-jungle, intelligent, upfront slamming dnb and breakcore can be found within these works. Expect plenty of rewinds to be had amongst these soundboy killers.

I had a moment to chop it up with the releases head honcho ED808. So lets catch up with the man himself.

What is happening!? This seems to be a big week for you ED808. Tell us a little about this DARK2 release.

ED808: What’s going on Debt?! Thanks for this interview and thanks to Best Drum and Bass blog. 

Ok, after a humbling response from the first release which was titled Dark. I asked 6 of the 7 artists if they would like to contribute to another one and all of them said yes, so, here we are about to release the 2nd volume of Dark only this time we invited some other artists to join us. I wanted to go with a nice round even number of artists so it is easier to manage this way. Dark 2 goes into the darker realms of the DNB genres. Each track has its own unique take on the familiar sounds of jungle and DNB. From a downtempo breakbeat fusion to the rugged style of dark DNB. There will be something familiar that a listener can gravitate towards.

It seems as if there is a definite theme going between the DARK1 and DARK2 saga’s. What was the method behind deciding the theme?

ED808: Well, from the first version to this current one we wanted to go with the same color scheme which is black and red but the foundational 80s VHS horror movie theme came from Juic-e who was inspired by the red tint I was adding to the selfies each of us contributed for our promo “headshot”. Its interesting how all of this came together because Juic-e and I fed off of each other’s ideas. If one notices on the introductory promo video that was released you can see the ID cards images embedded in the video which was inspired by reinforced records ID cards to pay homage to the past. When Juic-e sent me the first VHS graphic image I mentioned to Jason to create movie style posters from the selfies to make this promo uniform. 

These LP’s tend to break away from the mainstream dnb built for the dance floor, club bangers, and festival edm dnb. Was that an intentional move to feature a more “classical” style of jungle music? Or was it just natural instinct to build a release of tunes that really spoke to your taste in dnb?

ED808: There was no initial formula other than just creating around one term, “DARK”. I wasn’t looking for a certain format or style, just creative music. So, instinctively I guess you can say I was looking for something familiar but at the same time unique. 

There are 20 artists on this release. Representing many corners of the earth. And in my opinion many of them are people who have been around for a while, but now are beginning to really carve a place in the modern jungle movement. How did you come about recruiting the suspects or this release?

ED808: 7 of the 8 artists have returned and I asked the group from Dark. if they would be interested in inviting some of their producing friends to contribute a tune as well. Some of us asked others and the rest is history. Solid networking at its finest when recruiting for this compilation. I was truly humbled by their acceptance to help make this project possible.

This album has an amazing promo game behind it. There have been a series of videos, teaser clips, and a grip of online promo. With massive support from the UK and European scene. How did all of that come together? How many people worked on the overall marketing conception of this? And who’s brilliant idea was it to go hard in the paint with the 80’s B movie horror aesthetic?

ED808: The initial idea for DARK was mine, but Juic-e made this project next level. He came up with the 80s theme and I just contributed other ideas off of his initial VHS promo graphic. I asked Juic-e to create movie style promo posters just from this idea and from that idea spawned the idea of making it like a horror movie. So now you have Soundboy Killahs and a Murdah Mystery. I also enlisted Jah Bliddie’s video making talent to help with creating the splash preview videos that are roaming FB right now. This promo project has been a joint effort. Its great to work with people that have fresh ideas to share and make this vision happen. I don’t think Dark2 promotion would be the same without the seed that Juic-e planted. I believe that when people start to believe in a project those involved will naturally spread the word and because we have international talent on the compilation roster we will get some support internationally.

What has been your main influence in your journey through jungle/drum and bass life?

ED808: I would say my main influence are the record labels that have pushed my sound and that have supported my art.

Will there be more additions to the DARK series? Or are we starting a new chapter to the saga?

ED808: There is talks of a possible vinyl release of DARK 2, or DARK3R…. 

Whats next on the horizon for you? What labels , streams, podcasts, and mixes should we be expecting from ED808 to wrap up 2020?

ED808: There are a few projects in the works with a couple of labels, such as, Danger Chamber Digital and Hangry records. I am currently wrapping up a 3 track multi genre EP with my friend FNGRNLS the project is entitled MDDLFNGR set to be released at the end of the year or the beginning of 2021. I will be releasing a single with my friend Axon Genesis this year as well. There will be a launch of a podcast called The Science with my good friend M.Fusion and Capt. Mordrum happening before the end of the year. 

Well thanks for your time. Thank you for this amazing addition to jungle music history. Feel free to shout out the homies and your set my dude! It was a pleasure to cross paths with you!

ED808: The pleasure was all mine Debt. Thank you for your time and creative energy. At this time I want to take the time to thank all the artists of DARK 2 and especially Juic-e, Jah Bliddie and Opius. Thanks to the DJs, podcasters, and the supporting cast for this release you know who you are. I would also like to thank all of the record labels that have pushed my sound. So many to name but the owners know who they are. 

Blessings and Basslines,

ED808

 

THE VERDICT…

So I am really stoked on this release. This isn’t your average lp. Its something different. Something that hasn’t been a staple in dnb for a longtime. But something that never really went away. Just went subterranean. It’s super tough. The production is good, buts its not over polished. It gave captured the essence of old school hardcore and truly thought provoking jungle music. This type of release stands within the realm of being the street punk of drum and bass. Real jungle for the moshpit and head banging massive. Out of the 20 artists featured, some new/ some very well established, I see a atom splitting darkness that should propel all of these producers into your oxygen. If you didn’t know some of these assassins, now you do. And expect big things from ED808  and crew in the future. It was an honor to cover this release, and I hope to hear more jungle like this being made and played around the earth.

DARK2 WILL BE AVAILABLE OCT 2ND 2020

PRE-ORDER LINK HERE…..

https://goodnewsboppers.bandcamp.com/album/dark-2

HERE’S THE LINK TO THE PLAY THROUGH

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About Author

I am a dj/producer/professional drummer/event curator living in Phoenix, AZ. I've been in a passionate love affair with all things drum and bass since 1995. I've been curating dnb events since 2001, and currently operate Melt Drum and Bass. I've produced for Faction Digital, and Tactical Audio as well.