Moving towards the end of the year and it's time for a temperature change as Critical gets ice cold with the talents of D&B scene newcomer, Foreign Concept. Although a relatively fresh face Foreign Concept has already made quite a name for himself have signed tunes to the likes of Samurai, Ingredients, Shogun and Commercial Suicide. Here Kasra picks possibly the cream of the crop with a release that has been hitting clubs hard all over for the past few months. Sometimes the only answer is 'Mob Justice'. A staggered break, industrial fx and drifting pads open it up with the by now familiar to most 'hang from the gallows' vocal that signals the drop into some enormous droning sub-bass with twisted fills and oldskool amen edits. Cuts deep in the mix on any worthy sound system; a Critical anthem for all the Fabric regulars. Flipping over and label boss Kasra joins him in the studio for a joint venture with devastatingly good consequences. Kicking off with a more regular two-step break, piano chords and old soul vox 'Show You' rolls into a bouncing stepper with a surging b-line that keeps things moving with pace. One for the marching crew and another good sign of Kasra's own production progress. Definitely much for to come from in the future from Foreign Concept.
Fresh for the summertime shine is yet more goodness from camp Critical with a diamond dubplate burner straight out of the Code 3 studio. The production trio made up of SP:MC, Jubei and Dakuan show their pedigree for CRIT055 with two slabs of almost retro D&B that could only have come been from scene stalwarts like these. Quality through and through. 'What You Sayin' runs out with simple two-tone chords and a staggered break to ease us into this creeping cut of subtle but definitely dangerous drum & bass. Snapping snares roll out, sub thuds from beneath as the gnawing b-line wrestles its way to throughout rearing its head then ducking beneath the surface only for the smooth keys to return to the mix. A classy piece of contrasting moods that'll sit perfectly on the Critical collector's shelf. Over the page 'Double Dipped' intros with another big break and spooky, quizzical pads and a winding double-bass that weaves its way in gently to the drop. Perhaps reminding of the Full Cycle and Talkin' Loud golden era this one is a hard-stepping, funked up track that'll have the floors calling for the reload. Awesome! DJ support from Hype, Friction, Jubei, Fabio, Marky, Kasra, S.P.Y. and many more.
Critical Music marches forward, tapping into yet more new talent for 2011 resulting in an absolutely filthy D&B excursion that has had the likes of Andy C going ballistic for it. Hailing from Russia, Enei, who has already bagged himself an exclusive album deal with Critical, Eastcolors and Noel may be familiar with a few but with this release they look set to cement themselves in the collective consciousness of drum & bass aficionados the world over. 'Cracker' is rough, rugged and very, very raw. Ultra-tech D&B could be the term to use as the trio of producers come together to deliver what could possibly even be one of Critical's biggest releases to date. Full of sick mid-ranges, snapping drums and sneaking subs, this one is cold, dry and full of funk that'll have people full-on skanking around clubs until the early hours. Absolute gold. Enei then goes it alone on the more experimental 'Danger Dance', that intros with a sparse arrangement of stalking pads and fx that set the mood of unrest. In bounces a low-slung bass and it's away we go on this gorgeously glitchy, 808-laden ride that sits perfectly alongside the likes of Rockwell and indeed Critical.
Super limited white label hand stamped promo. Rockwell's rise to prominence as a rare, distinctive talent has been exciting the electronica music circuit the world over. Critical, thankfully, being the trusty forefront for all things audio-aesthetically delicious, presents the 'Aria EP' ? 4 tracks of sound sublime, exemplifying Rockwell's refreshing angle on energy in the club combined with the characteristic, meticulously playful technicals, precise and thrilling as ever. The charmingly rustic intro of 'Aria' unleashes striking Flinstones-esque wooden triplets, scaling the track as stirring vocals weave through; haunting and uplifting at once, the title-track exudes sheer class. Slightly more buoyant, 'Live For The Moment' infuses an energetic tempo with profusions of ear-carressing funk and those ever-characteristic percussive twists ? naughty all over. Swiftly plunged into apocalyptic darkness, the Ulterior Motive boys take a sinister liking to 'Noir'. Distinctly menacing and genuinely frightening, what better to bully the atmosphere than Hell-raising bass and staccato violins. Listen out for the breakdown bass ? horrific and enriching, this track is dark by Devil's definition. Icing on the cake collaboration with underground legend Untold comes in the form of 'Rehoku Sunrise', a tribal earthy worldly masterpiece of running drums and raw, wild samples, glazing the soul in bliss. Bellissimo.