You guys like jazzy, smooth and soulful vibes that never tread into cheese territory? Then this 2 song EP is what you’ve been waiting for!
Right off the bat I don’t want people to think this review is a conflict of interest, Drumcatcher is a friend of mine, but my reviews are always 100% honest, unfiltered. And I must say I am a fan. He manages to bring to jazzy smooth DnB, or liquid for those who must abide by strict subgenre terms, what most producers can only dream of.
Beautiful melodies, calm atmospheres, very realistic interplay between the instruments and very organic sounding arrangements (he knows how to work the Kontakt 😉 ). To these sublime elements he adds carefully sequenced and chopped up basslines and drums that would challenge any skilled drummer, again they are programmed in a realistic organic fashion. All of these together sound like a band in their prime, incredibly precise and tight, yet still human. Is Drumcatcher actually a group of Replicant musicians?
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and look at what’s on display in a bit more detail. It starts with the title track, “8th Avenue”. Wonderful, soothing strings and female vocals atop a sparse piano arrangement in the intro, which develops into an awesome drop of chopped up double bass and jazzy drum play with the occasional syncopation and attention grabbing fills, marked with punctual trumpet licks as well to further jazz things up. Throughout the course of the song, the basslines and melodies gradually evolve and change quite a bit, thus this is structured like a true jazz song. Again I cannot express how natural and organic everything sounds in this song, is it simply mesmerizing! It is a true masterclass in jazzy DnB along the lines of early Roni Size and Amon Tobin.
We are then treated to “Why Note”, built yet again on a solid foundation of acoustic instruments (piano, strings, vocals), and incredibly tight and varied drum programming (I am a huge proponent of varied drum programming, which I find to be sadly lacking in a lot of DnB these days). However this song is centred around a techy synth bassline, which is meticulously programmed and chopped up for maximum aural impact. The atmosphere of this song is not as enveloping as its predecessor, as this one visibly aims for a delicate balance of dancefloor action and listening in the comfort of your home, but once again the melodies are serene and beautiful. The rhythm of this song also lends itself to the dancefloor a bit more due to its high energy, kinetic bongo action a little further down the road! So once again, a masterclass in jazzy drum & bass, this time infused with quite a bit of techy arrangements but never too in your face and never grating or noisy like so much neuro or dancefloor DnB has become!
This EP is a must, and shows how Drumcatcher is poised for DnB domination! Félicitations, Tiew, you fuckin made it! 😀