In recent years the Drum and Bass gods’ have most certainly been smiling down on East Anglia, with the plethora of talent that has emerged from the region being nothing short of phenomenal. One of the artists behind this movement is the man of the moment T>I. With his trademark ruff and rugged sound, T>I has taken the scene by storm. He has become one of the most exciting acts to grace the drum and bass scene in recent years. After his recent exploits on the iconic Critical Imprint,T>I returns to the Natty Dub ranks this winter with his floor shaking Blue Panda EP. This EP consists of four heavyweight sonic projectiles ready to be locked, loaded and aimed squarely at the dance floor.
- Blue Panda
Blue Panda starts out with SciFi samples, sweeps and a nice crisp hat for the beat matching duties. While the sweeps start to build momentum the SciFi samples speak to you about the future and what is to come. At the end of the speech you get a nice clean drop with crisp, running drums and a bassline that starts poking at you to nod your head. TI continues to tease the vocal samples throughout the tune, stopping the break once in a while to draw your attention to the speech. Then he takes you right back into the running beat making sure he keeps you on the dancefloor.
Beautiful lush pads start you off as you head into a virtual landscape of sounds and drums. Quickly your attention is focused front and center to the stepping break and relentless snare that is driving through the mix. The running bassline keeps you feeling militant as you march along to this one. The bass stabs keep you wanting more and the sub stays driving as the tune moves along. The lush pads creep in and out once again moving you into a futuristic landscape of sound. This one is a nice, well rounded dancefloor tune that will get even the old school heads nodding along.
- Serve Cold
TI wastes no time getting creepy on Serve Cold. The intro is scattered with fragmented, chilling vocal snippets that leave you guessing at what nightmarish soundscape is coming next. All of a sudden the phone rings and we have the break run in. With a nice clean and unique break this one takes off immediately. Continuing to use creepy, industrial style sounds his bassline seems to float above the creepy landscape he has set out. Once in a while the bassline twists into more of a distorted and twisting stab which builds and releases tension perfectly. This track is minimalist perfection leaving you wanting more as it slowly winds down.
Visions of industry flood your head as the almost mechanical basslines starts its menacing approach into the tune. A classic and well processes break keep the tune moving along while the industrial style bass builds and releases over and over again creating a complete technical head banger. With unique sound design and a consistent approach this tune dives deeper than the rest of the EP. Taking you subterranean and asking for your underground card at the door, the gate keepers of the tech sound would surely approve of this stepping banger. When that mechanical bass starts creeping in, you can’t help but get excited for the tune to start moving!
words buy Dave Hauser
Natty Dub Recordings