Gydra – Junk Box


Hello again – I’ve been away for a little while managing a few challenging things but Gydra’s new album – Junk Box certainly pulled me out of the dirt and made me determined to get reviewing!

So who is Gydra? They are a duo from Russia composing of Bes and Mentfort, which started in 2015. With releases on all the huge labels including Eatbrain and Trendkill Records and with their own imprint Neuro punk records. This new album comes out on their own label/ Lets have a look at it now.

Artifact – The album begins in true Gydra style with a huge epic intro which evolves into a very tight techy drop. A large squelching bass and super tight drums errupt like a volcano. Some of the percussive elements are very cool with lots of reverb laden movement. The snare is perhaps a little too tiny and lacking some steel. The bass has got a real burr oak feel to it and it has got lots of movement and power. It’s not the most memorable track on the album but it is very solid and leads into the next track nicely.

Every day – This tune perhaps could have been a great opener for the record. It’s really strong and got an instant rewind from yours truly. It has a nice flowing female vocal and some absurd and ridiculously huge build up, and although they have opted for really tight drums again these have more power and purpose and move the tune along perfectly. There are some tasty fills and some really well put together and intelligent musicality thrown in. The 2nd drop is awesome and surely will become an important weapon in a DJ’s arsenal of tunes.

Knives – Huge brass intro synths begin the tune which has an almost old skool jump up feel to it. The drop keeps the vibe going and I’m getting a Gridlock vibe. The tune Dump truck springs to mind instantly. Either that or Asteroids by Noisia and Prolix. There are lots of fantastic building ideas and lots of rhythm throughout and it’s going to dig the dancefloor out of any slumber. I feel groove and movement are so important in a successful tune and this really nails it.

Lock – This starts of a bit more powerful in the intro and drops into a really dirty half time thing. I’m not sure if I like all of it, but I appreciate it for standing out as a unique piece. I haven’t heard many tunes like this before and that’s always refreshing. It certainly borrows ideas from lots of other genres. The groove is spot on and there is some very cool production on display.

Lost Ninja – More of a standard neuro funk tune here in initial appearance with a Mefjus style build and for my money the best drop on the album so far. This is a certified banger and will literally melt the dancefloor. Drums, bass, production all top of the pile. The 2nd build is even crazier than the first and bangs yet again till the end.

Parasite – A cool intro erupts in to a 90’s rave style build up which drops into a relatively old skool sounding tech slammer. It has that gridlock, Mindscape vibe to it and I think it has great crossover appeal and would appear in many DJ sets over the next few months and beyond.

Personal killer – The intro sounds straight out of an early 2000’s breakbeat Kaos compilation album. Think Future prophecies and you are on the right page. I love it. Easily the biggest dnb tune so far on the album. It’s a stand  out track with lots to offer. The sound is wider and fuller than those before. the 2nd build is a bigger than the first and a bit more modern. It’s super epic and really enjoyed it from start to finish.

Rats – An epic end of the world build drops into a rolling neuro record. I really love the snare they have selected. It has some super smooth production and would sound great mixed in with a ton of other records, due to its composition. It evolves into quite an understated gem. It evolves into quite a deep technical tune and the 2nd drop although similar to the last works well as the tune continues to roll out with great style through to the end.

Sprung – I really like the opening section of the tune as it drops into a fluid roller. It’s got a bit of a Benny L vibe to it with a slightly more neuro twinge to give you an idea. The bass is nicely carved out and works well with the drum work. Not the best tune on the album, maybe what you might call a filler but it still has plenty of positive production of note and worth a listen. As always everything is precise and masterfully constructed.

Step Forward – The tune starts with some 90’s rave stabs and a relatively cheesey vocal which is perhaps a bit surprising given the previous tunes on the album, but when the tune drops this all goes out of the window as it is absolutely mental. Some really clever and intense drum edits as well as some very cool bass work, I personally would have not included the vocal as I think it detracts from the quality of the music but each to their own and lots of people I’m sure like this style. The musical aspects are amazing with a very pushed and involved beat and bassline The tune stands out with its vibes and is memorable.

Trojan – We start with a big crunchy arpegiated lead which evolves into a doomsday like epic build. A cheeky sounding riser explodes into some lovely neuro funk. Big drums here with some really cool driven understated rhythm. It’s incredibly cheeky and during my raving days I always really enjoyed some cheeky dnb. This tune got me moving in my studio more than anything else on the album so far. The movement is brilliant and everything has been really well constructed and drops heavy.

Spirit – The only collab on the album is with Dextems. It’s heavy on the triplet which is always cool with me. The build swings around like a broken garden gate infused with some dark vocals before a really hard hitting drop which is underpinned by a gnarly bassline. It’s a solid tune from start to finish with the 2nd half having a bit more going on. Lots of movement and plenty of style here.

Overall the album is a success. There is not too much filler and the production levels are inspiring. You can see the inspiration of dnb through the last 20 odd years on the artists involved and everything is made with a preciseness and perfection that makes it stand out. I think it will become a mainstay in many DJ’s sets and will further cement Gydra as a big force within the dnb community.





About Author

Hi I'm Minor Flux. I'm a producer and musician based in Kent in England. I have been into dnb for about 20 years after hearing some DJ Die tape packs and seeing Mickey Finn play live. The music blew my mind and decided I wanted to start producing it. Having played in bands and badly producing beats for many years I moved to Brighton in 2003 and eventually made a friend called DJ Dex and we trawled round all the amazing venues playing with and watching all the worlds best acts. I got into producing much more seriously and by 2012 finally had my first record signed. I ended up releasing music with Formation Records, Abducted LTD, Schedule One, Grand Theft Audio and many others.