The imprint Born on Road provides a platform for music inspired by a wide array of genres, something which is exemplified throughout their discography. This is why they’ve been leading the way within drum & bass over recent times. Each track they deliver on their imprint has reflected the blossoming roots within the underground scene, helping to push forward a range of new talent, as well as jungle-influenced producers who’ve made their mark within the contemporary industry. Always pushing boundaries and focusing on the fresh sounds dominating club spaces, whilst their initial focus was on vocal tracks since their first release they’ve worked with multiple raw and emerging artists to build the army which is so revered today.
One of these artists is Kumo, a name which has been dominating cyberspace recently with the selections he’s provided throughout his appearances behind the decks. Based in Manchester, he now provides five brand new tracks for a fan base that’s been steadily building since his first output, but one which is now at an enviable size.
Kumo perfectly packages a number of cuts, each of which give an insight into the artist whilst highlighting how he’s taken over so quickly. Although with Born on Road as a pedestal, the only way was up for the producer.
KUMO – 90’s Dreamer
Lightly filtered drums with heavy reverb on the snare make for an easy, mixable intro as this one starts up. Quickly percussion starts to filter in to build tension and before you know it you get the familiar sounds of LL Cool J and his infamous alphabet line from “It Gets No Rougher” which is manipulated to spell out KUMO. This was a fun and welcomed twist to the tune as it presents an air of familiarity while at the same time presenting it in a new way. This theme continues as the hoover style Reece bass used is reminiscent of early jump up bass. Eclectic edits and a well-balanced mix keep this tune running from start to finish. This one is going to be in heavy rotation with all the junglists as it really captures the vibe of early jungle but presents it with the current mixing and mastering criteria and the result is one big tune!
KUMO – Education
A nice clean break starts us off which makes for a mixable intro. Scattered atmosphere helps to fill the void as the break trucks along. The build and release on the first drop is quick and you head right back into the break but this time you get a wonderful, bubbly, downcycling bassline that is again a throwback to early jump up dnb. Lots of FX scatter throughout this tune to keep the listener interested. From sound clash lasers to early jungle beeps, sweeps and blips this track stays busy every time that bassline isn’t running. As soon as the bass drops the FX is drawn back into the background so that bassline and break can continue to command your attention. A nice steady tune that will be a great fit in the middle of a jungle or early dnb themed set.
KUMO – Elephant Dance
Wide open cinematic space with white noise that sounds like breath from a giant. The extremely detailed intro leaves a lot of space for the dj to play as it is not held down by any percussion or drums. When the drop finally hits and you get your steady rhythm moving it feels natural and not forced, as if you were expecting the drums to come in at just that time. The sound design on the bassline is really cool as it initially sounds like manipulated reece that’s been run through an LFO. However, as the tune develops you get quick little teases of the filters opening and closing and this gives the bassline some life. This is a well produced tune with lots of depth and detail to it while also being a fun, simple dancefloor tune with one agenda, move those feet!
KUMO – How I like it
A low pulsing reece and a high passed break and a well processed vocal snippet repeating “this is how I like it” start this tune off. Once the vocal starts tripping up it quickly transforms into a stepper with the vocal edits staying constant. The listener is totally drawn to the constantly changing edit until the vocal stops suddenly. At that point the listeners attention is drawn to the warping bass stabs. Well calculated production and processing really separate the layers on this tune and provide the listener a unique experience of an almost predictable nature. By the time I hit the end of this tune I was singing along with each vocal edit in my head. A catchy and fun tune to start up a set or wind down a heavy set.
KUMO – Top Boy
Lush atmospheric pads take over your eardrums and set you at ease as the tune starts up. Fun reggae vocals are quickly added in and edited to wrap around the break work perfectly. It’s no surprise that the tune quickly changes pace and drops with a vengeance. Key dropping subs create an intense bassline that will no doubt have the bass bins working overtime. The top layers of the tune are high passed high enough to leave a ton of room for the sub and it really gives the bass room to play around and bounce through the key changes. The tingling, crisp break is processed to perfection and sounds like it could cut through any mix. Classic hats accompany the break giving it an old school feel and help round out the top end of the tune. Most of the focus of this one is on the bass and I have no doubt that it’s a showstopper once it’s dropped on the right system.
Words by Bad Martian