Words by Khal, Courtesy of HRDNZ
For over two decades, The Burner Brothers’ name has been synonymous with the term “drum & bass” in the States. Now a duo comprised of founding members DJ Seen and CT Burners, the Burner Brothers name has run rampant throughout the scene, from being a part of Rawkus’ seminal stateside DNB imprint Rawkuts to racking up releases on Technique Recordings, Jungle Sky, Formation, Flex, Subsonik Sound, and of course their own imprint, Patrol The Skies Music. Their next chapter? Returning to Patrol The Skies for the release of their long-awaited debut album, One for the Road.
Written and produced by The Burner Brothers over the course of 2018 through 2020 at The Inferno Studio (with Logam on mastering duties), One for the Road is their definitive artist statement. Soaking in 20-plus years of jungle and drum & bass culture—and a number of intriguing sounds outside of the scene, The Burner Brothers broadened the horizon, choosing to pursue an array of tempos as well as styles within the drum & bass spectrum. What we’re left with is an adventurous long-player, one with an impressive list of featured acts; hip-hop legend C.L. Smooth lays a verse on a massive posse cut with T.R.A.C., Posi-D, and Christina Tamayo (“Alchemy”), while Burner Brother’s long-time homie Pish Posh links with the squad for two tunes, including the appropriately-titled “Vibe Ting”.
On the album’s lead single, the captivating Ill-esha lends her vocals to the smooth, bouncy “Live Again” which, alongside the triumphant “Our Future Is Forever” (featuring Irene Merring), showcases that while The Burner Brothers are mostly known for crafty scorching dancefloor bangers, they have a keen ear for more heartfelt and moving material as well. The duo makes sure to pay homage to the legends—MCs like Foxy and Jamalski both get their chance to shine on cuts that play to their strengths as vocalists—and to the more hardcore side of the scene as well.
No tune stands above the album higher than its second single, “Gold Standard,” featuring another stateside DNB vet, Armanni Reign, on the mic. The perfect party starter, Armanni utters “grow” at the beginning, giving life to the idea that The Burner Brothers, one foot firmly planted in the culture, have taken the last two decades of culture consumption and turned it into one of the more daring and diverse drum & bass releases of 2020.
It wouldn’t be a Burner Brothers party if they didn’t show a little love to their gang, which means that Patrol The Skies Music-affiliate ASHFLO joins the duo for the perfect album-closer, “Blue”.
A warm coda on the album’s mission statement, “Blue” feels like a tune to grow on, hitting you in the feels while cooling down from the wild trip The Burner Brother’s One for the Road became.
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