In 2015 Jade’s Eatbrain label has cemented itself as one of the premier, if not the new queen, of Neurofunk labels, so any announcement of a new release on their part usually triggers waves of salvation from hardcore neuro-enthusiasts the world over. Out this week, their new EP, “Eatbrain Goes To Let It Roll” is simultaneously a preview and celebration of what we can expect at the summer’s hottest DnB festival.
Just looking at the line-up for this EP probably has most people salivating, too. Agressor Bunx, L 33, Machine Code and Mindscape, what’s not to love?
Let’s start with Agressor Bunx’s offering “Big Daddy”. Upon hearing the intro, it sounds quite promising, with a “something epic this way comes” intro which paves the way for a huge-sounding strictly dancefloor oriented drop. This tune ain’t about progressive musings or emotive melodies, it’s all about the huge, crunchy bass! In the DnB spectrum, I would say it is leaning a bit more towards Jump Up, with a neurofunk aethestic in the sound design and ultra clean mixdown. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as his previous EP on the label, “The Order”, (because I am not particularly a jump up fan) it is a powerful track for filling the dancefloor and making the crowd go wild.
Let’s move on to L 33’s “Stand Down”, featuring Nuklear MC. This one will get you pumped from the get go with Nuklear’s sci-fi, post-apocalyptic rhymes. Another huge dancefloor-destroying drop ensues, with a cool call and response riff with the various basslines and punctual synths. The bassline has more of a progression or melody to it, reminiscent of a big rock riff, which will definitely make heads nod and feet juke…or skank, depending on your flexibility! The only minor issue I have with this track is I think it is a bit lacking in sub-bass, but then again a lot of heavier neurofunk tunes are mixed this way, and on a big soundsystem with a powerful sub, we barely notice.
Things take a turn towards a more progressive sound when Machine Code step in with “Planet 9”. From the intro, you can already tell this track has a lot of energy, and the drop definitely confirms this. It is very engaging and the interplay between the basses and other synths and the way they progress within the first drop alone really makes this tune much more enjoyable. The bass sounds and all the modulation they go through sound amazing, and combined with the evolving dubby, techy stabs, you get a killer tune!
And once the breakdown makes way for the second drop, Tim and Dean change the arrangement enough that it sounds fresh and the energy level is kept to a maximum all the way through. Pure Fire, as we say! It sounds closer to the more “mainstream”, or commercially viable, neurofunk than what they usually produce, but it is an excellent track!
Finally, we have “Buzzkill”, a roller in pure Mindscape fashion. It doesn’t start off with an epic, cinematic intro, which is the current trend in neurofunk, but rather states its intent to go straight for the jugular, with a minimal approach build up that rapidly escalates. Then are smacked, “hammer-smashed-face” style, with a huge drop with Mindscape’s signature, distorted-as-all-hell bass. As the drops progress, there are a bunch of synth risers, vocal snippets, incidental sounds and bits of eerie pads that keep the arrangement fresh and our ears interested throughout its length. The production is crisp and the mixdown is clean, and it’s a very satisfying track overall. It’s not as heavy as his “Phantoms” EP on Blackout Recordings, but it is nonetheless a killer tune that harks back to his “Martian Chronicles” album.
My favourite track on the EP is Machine Code’s entry for it’s progressive nature, closely followed by Mindscape’s heavy-as-bricks roller, while Agressor Bunx and L 33’s tunes will most definitely set fire to the dancefloor! So if you’re wondering what the Eatbrain camp will bring at Let It Roll this summer you better brace yourself, cuz it’s gonna HURT!