“Compilations can be easily forgotten, but I want this one to stand the test of time and be looked back in time as something special. It’s a present from me to everyone. Thanks for being with us, here you go, I hope you love it.” Bryan Gee – February 2020
Bryan Gee, widely known as one of the most influential selectors and A&R men in the business, has taken his time to compile and curate something that’s more than just another album. This is Bryan’s personal vision of what’s to come, not only for the V brand, but for Drum & Bass music as a whole.
The future that this album sets out before us is one where pigeon-holes and categories are unimportant. Certified legends rub shoulders with breakthrough artists. Heavyweight dancefloor bangers co-exist with soulfully melodic flavours. This music is unified, not by style or by marketability, but purely by the vibe. If that’s what a V Recordings future looks like, we can relax. The scene is in safe hands.
It’s really hard to come up with a label that has been more influential in the world of Drum & Bass than V Recordings has been in recent years. There’s a lot of reasons for this and Bryan Gee has collected many of the best ones here for us to review what’s on the menu for what the future holds. An amazing collection of 25 tracks, this compilation is loaded.
Just in case you missed any of the vibes coming out of V Recordings in the last year or so (I dunno maybe you were stranded on a desert island or something) they’ve been collected here in one place. Just to show off I guess. In addition to the big hitter classics from recent history that are gathered here in one place; Bryan Gee curates an incredible array of new takes on classic tunes. Giving us some choice remixes and VIPs. Crossing styles like no other collection that we’ve heard recently.
The name of the collection is ‘Future’ right? Well, you guess it, there’s a fine selection of what is to come from producers across the spectrum. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the new releases on board.
Bladerunner – Rollers Movement
Does Bladerunner ever miss? Naw I don’t think he ever does. Rolling in with a crisp snare and background ambience, vocals at the drop and a smooth bass line accented with voice samples. Some nice synth fills at the break with a key change to the bass line that keeps your ear searching. A few sweeps later and it’s over too soon. Always want more with this guy.
Alibi – Big Man Jungle ft. Cleveland Watkiss & MC Fats
Alibi give us the jungle treatment. Drifting in with synths and vocals, a smooth build up and the drop gets right to the biz. A Bass line with an upward sweep and stabs that sound heavy but feel light. Really subtle and clean snare and hi hat carry it quietly in the background as you float right into the breakdown hungry for more. Round two in the back end of the track has some clever variations and added elements that help carry it and keep the dancers feet moving. Old school echo synths call out like a homing beacon to guide you back to the coast after being out to sea. Landing you right where you started.
Paul T & Ed Oberon – I Don’t Trust You
If you thought these two only did smooth liquid anthems….well, you’re dead wrong. Paul T & Ed Oberon seem to be making a point to remind us all that they can deliver a banger when they’re in the mood. Comes in nice and angelic with the intro vocals and then hits with a stuttered stabbing bass line and subs with the gravity of a black hole. Vocals accent the breaks and fills, followed right behind them with a snare line that carries it and builds up the intensity. Then you hear the eerie synth line sneaking up on you. Got trust issues? It’s ok, cuz you’re not alone. Here’s a nice one to play the next time you go there.
Dave Owen & TRAC – The Moment
A nice jazzy number with light keys to draw you in and soulful background vocals. A smooth keyboard line and is that a xylophone that I hear? TRAC‘s unmistakeable voice comes in with the drop, along with a great drum line backed with a bass groove so smooth you almost don’t notice it. Complete with some wicked scratching and horn swells in the background; and Dave Owen transports you to the center of a swinging party. Those backing vocals carry it through the breakdown. Pure vibes inside.
Drumsound & Bassline Smith – All Crews
That big sound that Drumsound & Bassline Smith have become known for might seem out of place here. It’s not at all and only shows the range of V Recordings. A great driving drum line with power bass 1-2-3 from underneath that really punches it. Sweeping atmospheric synths at the breaks and a call of “Massive”. Background echo effects and fills for days. A Big sound that doesn’t overpower and fits right in to the collection rather well.
Current dance floor hits, future vibes we’ve all been waiting for and new takes on some of the best the past has to offer. Things may be dark these days, but there’s some hope. And Bryan Gee gives a reason to believe it with The Future.