Review: It would be easy to say, 'And now something different from Narrative Music', but to be honest, it's not that easy to pigeonhole the label as releasing just drum and bass. Then again, if you compare this to their last tear out release by Outlook, Blocks certainly provide something with contrast here. Balearic sounds are abound on this Seance EP, heard straight off the bat on "Moon & Stars" while rolling D&B basslines lurk like a shark underneath. Piano keys play a big role in "Patriarch" where drums finally enter the record in a solid manner, while the EP's highlight, "Haven" - featuring the vocals of Jennifer Hall - will make you think you're listening to a Massive Attack production from 1998. Finally, the title track blends what we love about Gigi Masin and Jeanne Michel Jarre with contemporary, industrial electronics. A bold release.
Review: Blocks and Escher's Narratives Music label has been building a fearsome reputation over the last few years, in part due to the duo's willingness to embrace the experimental end of D&B, whilst retaining a clear dancefloor focus. This 12" sees them delve into their archives, offering up previously unheard versions of the two tracks that made up the label's debut release way back in 2012. First up is the moody and deliciously atmospheric "Sagan VIP", where cinematic textures and alien electronics rub shoulders with off-kilter, post-jungle rhythms and throbbing sub-bass. On the flip, Reinforced Records veteran Paradox gives "Broken" the once over, brilliantly melding bombastic old school jungle rhythms with fluid chords and darting synthesizer melody lines.
Review: Released four years ago - ages before the current halftime paradigm shift D&B is enjoying right now - Blocks & Escher's beautiful autonomically minded slice of raw cinematica is updated by the perennially on-point fusionist Om Unit. With his established penchant for the unchartered, he's the perfect fit and is able to retain all the synthetic melodic beauty of the original while throwing in a whole host of amen flurries and cosmicity. Stunning - just like the original.
Review: The Narratives lads Blocks & Escher are back spinning another fine yarn, and you'd be wise to pay attention. "Mr Parkers Voice" sees them teaming up with old friend, the somewhat elusive Rhyming In Fives. So simple in its elements yet so soulfully effective, everything is in the chord progression and space and sporadic elements. Pure future. For something with just a smidgeon of past jump on "Drum Machine". A grizzled techstep damager, there's a strong Trace and DCi4 vibe deep in the evil mix here. These guys seriously never fail.
Review: The 15th transmission from the Narratives label comes from the bossmen themselves. Blocks & Escher have already been dropping this one in their sets recently and have given it to key tastemakers like Doc Scott, dBridge and Mantra who have also been giving it plenty of hammer. A-side "From The Ashes" is a seven minute journey into suspensory ambient with epic chords that wash over you like a momentous victory. "Gem" is the dance floor dynamite here with its dark stepping drums and haunting vocal sounds echoing around a giant metallic structure.
Review: The man behind one of last year's most mesmerising tunes "Levanter" returns with two more absolutely mesmerising sonic spells. There's a strong organic feel to the instrumentation and gradual build of "Hermetica" as we're fried and plied around oceanic spaces in a similar way to The Hidden Orchestra. "The Connection" builds on the story with an even deeper tone as an oboe weaves wonders around the loose jazzy drums. As with his previous releases on Narratives, this really is one of a kind.
Review: Sheet metal sonics abound as Overlook steps over to Narratives with two severe hurters. Developing the pedigree established on the likes of Renegade and Samurai, here we find him telling two wholly different tales; "False" pays homage to the uncompromising foundations laid by Metalheadz while "Everything Counts" takes us down a much darker, shadowy path. All sludgy, slo-mo and full of sub bass ghosts, it's the perfect future minded counter to the heritage vibes on the A-side. Not to be Overlooked (SORRY).
Review: With previous on Samurai and Alignment, Overlook is picking up some serious heat the moment. If you're into that stark, near-industrial minimalism that Ruffhouse are currently peddling you'll be all over the pneumatic rhythm and techno-like mindset of "Three Shards". Blocks & Escher ensure narrative closure with the much deeper, floaty "Embers". Timeless yet forward thinking, like the previous Narratives releases, this is nigh-on essential.
Review: We're not sure about five-style rhyming but if we apply classic Cockney slang to this mysterious Narratives-signee then he's making an awesome box of toys right now. Flexing around the cosmic pastures of the halftime axis (think a Lindstrom or perhaps Vangelis inspired Om Unit) each cut is lashed in rich star-gazing synths and dense atmospheres. Great for mixtapes, set-openers or taking your dancefloor to a whole other planet, Rhyming In Fives should be running all the way to the rattle and clank with this one. Army and navy.