Back at it again is London’s very own Double-O ( David Henry). Double O aka 007 with releases on Formation recs , Rupture London , Lab Logic , Syncopathic , Eastern promise , Criminal, Rouge, Digital Wreka, Hidden Hawaii, DZR, AKO Beatz and Dj Trace’s own imprint 117. Double is cranking out new material with the Lost Files series. Thus far, 5 installments have come out in 2020 alone. Each one delivering critical old school jungle into the world once again. And for the heads, new and old, these type of albums remind us of a different era of drum and bass. A time of jungle music that seems to be lost, but never forgotten.
Lets dig into the tunes!!
True is the first look into the LP. Getting you warmed up with melodyne synths, warping around the room. Hi-hats walking you into the cypher. An eerie vocal beckons you into the void ahead. Dropping the hook of the tune, whilst funky drum edits set the pace. The first drop just comes in via sudden low pass sweeps on the entire environment. And then, BAM!! The whole place ignites with explosive amens and heavy heavy sub bass. The layering of discordant synth’s in the background provide a feeling of tension and a deep woods death cabin. Where we hide from bad things. But there is no where to hide in this song. Right out the gate, we get a heavy tune. It lays in the same realm that lovers of old school heaviness like original tunes for the DSCI4, Portica, No-U-Turn catalog. A great way to kick off an album.
Next up is Number One Sound VIP. All ruff n tuff clash style business comes in the room right at the jump point. You get a tune that is not here to play. Real rude boy business. You have an array of heavily edited and stretched drum edits, yet there is a steady hat groove throughout the song to keep your head nodding. Add one part of heavily processed ragga clash vocals, drunk with reverb and slapback, one part drone inspired keys, and two parts slamming 808’s. And we have a battle ready clash tune. And not the kind that is based off of how much you spent on a custom vocal, the kind that is properly chopped and screwed, which could end opposing dj’s career.
My Sound comes around the first corner of this lp to lighten things up some. The light turns green with soft layers of rnb influenced piano lines. Classical female vocal sweeps cut right through and take you into an aural state of bliss. Once the drums start, they seem to pop in and out, with a soft touch of groove. Leaving the heavy edits to come. This track is really playing hard to nostalgic vibes of classical Liquid V/ Renegade/ Penny Black flavor. Once we pass the second breakdown, it goes into full speed. Tons of well balanced amen edits, reverse drums, and technical repeating stabs. Give this a strong place of movement, but without going to hard on the floor. This tune is a nice full journey. It has peaks and valleys. And the arc of the whole composition is a journey in its self.
If you we’re going into this asking , “where’s the funk?” . Here it is. Martian hits you in the front with a drum funk tune that can be readily used to rupture the joints of any seasoned b-boy. This one is a true expression of how powerful a well produced drum pattern can be. But replace the washed out, heavily sampled amen breaks, and bring in some fresh live drum sounds. Let the drummer get funky, and be the focal point of a subculture built around the word “drum”. You have a really good base of atmospherics filling up the space. A classic hi-hop vocal and male groan ad little morsels of flavor, like a good patch on your favorite jacket. But this tune is about creating a dance floor vibe where simply jumping up & down fist pumping won’t be good enough. I love tunes that focus on how less is more, and how good drum work is all you need sometimes.
Time and Jah Parshall come cross. Come cross with the truth! Both have distinctly different voyages, but lie in the ruff. Time takes you back to the basics. To the frame work of mid 90’s jungle breaks. But with enough edits and tricks to bring it into 2020. Like if you took the emperors classic robe, and added a hood to it. Accentuating an already built recipe, with a few new techniques. Jah Parshall is a super vibey tune. There are many elements from an array of jungle styles featured on this release. All seamlessly weaved together with intent. There’s a real dubby aspect to this tune that doesn’t go unnoticed. And once again, the edits are blissful. The samples make sense and provide context. And the tune takes a full trip around the sun.
And we approach the encore track of the album. Creation is an all out pleasure. While exhibiting everything one would love about a modern total tear-out jungle tune. It pays homage to the stylings in the past of ShyFx/ Nookie/ Rude n Deadly/Bug Kann. This work displays heavy influence from the days of acid techno in the realm of sampling and vocals. But maintains ridiculously strong foundations in a place that modern jungle music must have. This tune is rooted in teaching about the culture, and returning the metaphorical “crystal skull” back onto its platform. We need more jungle music like this. So good thing there are 4 other volumes to scoop up!!! This was a great way to end this release on the highest note possible.
The Lost Files are a representation of jungle music that is lazer focused on the drums, and the bass. At the traditional tempos (170 ppm), with longer & more developed compositions, and sometimes less developed sound design, it becomes a living time capsule of drum and bass history. This series of tapes are a much needed addition to modern drum and bass culture. They are a necessary bridge to connect the new and the old school. I highly recommend purchasing every volume of this series, and laying down the foundations of the dance floor.