Tik&Borrow – Neurality [In:flux Audio] [Review]

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After a string of successful EPs on various labels as well as their own creation, In:flux Audio, Tik&Borrow have worked for 9 months on their debut album, drawing influence from a huge variety of music whilst maintaining their signature gritty style across 8 tracks.

Intake

Tik&Borrow kick off their LP in epic fashion with tension-fuelled, cinematic strings that rapidly build to a climax before dropping into facemelting Neuro style basses and immaculate drums. The glitchy percussion is very much on point, working in tandem with the sketchiness of the bass sounds, and also does a brilliant job of filling empty gaps along with ample amounts of reverb. As far as album openers go, this is a statement and a half – pure aggression on a huge scale, straight from the off. We’re slightly intimidated…

Come Selecta (ft Tengu)

Any thoughts of an early breather are dashed out the window the moment the weighty 4×4 kick of ‘Come Selecta’ starts up, as subtle drum rolls and dubby lasers sound off in the background and a stab teases ahead of the drop. The main bassline is chunky and chugs along in tandem with the drums, making this one a certified stomper and ready for the dance. The assortment of drum rolls is genuinely pleasing, and along with the staccato strings and brief flashes of brass, they add a natural feel and a more interesting texture when placed against the rigidity of the main sounds. Lets be honest too; anything Tengu touch is sick.

Wastelands

‘Wastelands’ starts by throwing back to the cinematic vibe already visited by the opening track, though this time it’s not as tense. The main bass sound struggles to contain itself as a sinister vocal sample builds to the drop, where the long drawn out strings are switched out for shrill staccato stabs. Though the bass is again on a Neuro tip, the drums are actually more aligned to Grime, skipping along with flourishes of hi hat and other (extremely well produced) percussive rolls and occasionally thinning out to build up and drop again. With elements constantly coming and going and patterns subtly switching up, the attention to detail is incredible.

Predicate

If you need to catch your breath, the first 30 seconds of ‘Predicate’ is the time to do so, as an assortment of sounds from the East gently swell around stuttering claps and snares. The state of calm doesn’t last long however as the track lurches into a huge melting pot of UK Bass influences. Elements of Grime, Dubstep and Breaks are all present as ‘Predicate”s drums rattle forward over a steady bassline made of pulses, wobs and more drawn out, metallic notes. There’s another short reprieve during the breakdown, before once again being thrown into the blender of bass, drums and percussion.

First Child

Talking of blends of UK genres – ‘First Child’ actually starts on a far more positive vibe than every other tune on the release, with genius Sean Paul samples and a bright string riff. There’s percussion galore once again, wrapping around more grime drum patterns, with a snare that would sound right at home on a UKG banger. ‘First Child’ is more measured and precise than ‘Predicate’, though the patterns are still skippy and with Neuro basses appearing again alongside low end content that’s more modern Bassline inspired. There’s even a couple of synths that sporadically appear that put us in mind of Joker, adding melodic content and higher frequencies. With so much going on, the mix down for ‘First Child’ must have been a bitch, but it’s been executed brilliantly and the tune itself is incredibly versatile.

0101

The closest thing to a 2step beat on the album, ‘0101’ is a monster. Long, guttural bass notes stretch themselves out as shorter, more metallic sounds duck and dive between the scattershot snares and an assortment of vocal chops. It’s like an audible warzone and energy is high from the start, with the intro clocking in at a rapid 28 seconds. Intensity gradually builds as more and more ideas are brought in, but ‘0101’ never actually seems over crowded – in fact there is still space for reverb tails to weave round each other – which only highlights again how good the duo’s mixing skills are.

Vision VIP

If the hints of Dubstep so far hadn’t been enough for you then ‘Vision VIP’ is your tune. Chainsaw basses and rasping Reeses wrap themselves around the barrage of kick drums and shuffling hi hats. The typical, reverb smothered snares are also present and though the main sections of the track are dark and sinister (especially with samples of Heath Ledger’s Joker), the breakdowns are hugely contrasting – a gorgeous, angelic choir acts as a vivid shard of light. Another mad tune.

Warface

Rounding things off is ‘Warface’, which actually takes things down a notch in the form of another string-centric Grime cut. The atmospherics and vocals chops are especially eerie as a variety of bells and hats shuffle away amongst crisp claps (again with a healthy dose of reverb applied) and a well rounded kick and. The strings taking centre stage and the bassline takes the form of metallic wobbles and longer, sustained notes. ‘Warface’ is more concise and compact than the other tracks on the release, making it a perfect album closer, tying up all of the lose ends tidily whilst not losing any of the attitude or menace the previous 7 tunes have either.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: First Child

Overall Rating: 8/10

 The way we see it, the point of an album is to put together a body of work that encompasses all of your influences whilst simultaneously being original and it all resulting in great music. Working to that brief Tik&Borrow have smashed it with ‘Neurality’ – they manage to reference all of the music they love, including Grime, UKG, Bassline, Drum and Bass and Dubstep, across 8 high quality tracks. The attention to detail is brilliant and we can only imagine how frustrating some of the mixdown sessions must have been. If releasing your debut album isn’t a daunting prospect enough, imagine doing it as the founders of a label that prides itself on releasing diverse, hugely creative, authentic music. If these guys were feeling the pressure, we don’t think it’s shown; they’ve definitely delivered with this LP and if our recent interview is anything to go by, it’s likely this won’t be their last album project

You can buy Tik&Borrow – ‘Neurality’ here.

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Shook Events team up with Nu:Motive in early December

Leeds and Bristol combine forces on a huge lineup

After their last sell out event, Shook Events are back on December 2nd, teaming up with Bristol’s Nu:Motive Promotions to bring a sick lineup to The Old Red Bus Station.

On the night will be a mixture of Bassline and DnB’s finest, including sets from Palizé, KDot, R3dX, Cargo and the mighty P Money performing a special Bassline set.

As both of their previous events have sold out, we expect tickets for this one won’t be around long either so make sure you get yours ASAP. You can get them here, and also don’t forget to check out the Facebook event here.

Check out Dwaal’s promo mix below:

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Blending genres, challenges along the way and a very busy future; we spoke to Tik (from Tik&Borrow) about the duo’s forthcoming album, ‘Neurality’ [Interview]

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Tik&Borrow have had a very busy 2017, both on personal levels and as co-founders of label In:flux Audio. Most notably, they’ve released a steady stream of their own music, as well as keeping up with In:flux’s demanding release schedule and celebrating the label’s 4th Birthday. Somehow in amongst all of this, they’ve still found time to sit down and work on their debut LP, ‘Neurality’ – an 8 track release with influences spanning Drum and Bass, Dubstep, UKG and beyond. We caught up with Tik to talk about the album process, collaborations and what to expect next from both themselves as artists and the label.

You guys have been releasing music for a long time, as well as working hard behind the scenes on your label, In:Flux audio. How long has this album been in the works for?

We finished the first couple of tunes for the album in January of this year and we finished the last tune in September, so all in all it has taken 9 months to piece this all together. We’ve had a few other releases along the way this year as well on amazing labels such as Southpoint and Project AllOut Records, which has been really great for us and helped us to expand our horizons a little bit.



Did you sit down and decide to do a full length release or was it more something that ‘just happened’?

We finished the ‘Vision’ EP that went out in February towards the end of 2016, so as there was 9 months until the deadline for our next release on In:flux, we decided we really wanted to give making an album a try. We had a few tracks in the bank, so it really seemed like a logical move forward, especially with the fact our last few EPs on the label had all been really well received.

There’s obviously a huge amount of variety in the sounds on ‘Neurality’ – where did the inspiration come from?

Our sound has always encompassed a lot of different influences, but more so on this release than ever before. The biggest new influence to our sound for the album has been Grime and Dubstep, which was a welcome addition to our composition as the drum structure in those genres really went well with our Neuro-inspired synth design. Our sound has really come full circle now with the Neuro sound from Borrow’s DnB days now combining with my love of Dubstep. It was obviously meant to be!


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Tik&Borrow have put together a Juno playlist of  tracks that acted as influences during the creation of ‘Neurality’. You can check that out here.


What was the most challenging part of the process?

I think the longevity of the process was the most challenging part. Making sure tracks you wrote at the start in January stayed as strong as the most recent tracks written in August is always tricky, and it meant some tracks fell by the wayside along the way. It’s also important to make sure the sound across the album is consistent and tells a story, but we feel in the end we’ve put the best representation of ourselves out there in the 8 tracks.

There’s a big collaboration with Tengu featured, was it a conscious decision to not have more collabs on the release?

We had more collabs lined up but they didn’t quite materialise in time for the album. We are however absolutely chuffed with the one we did piece together for it! The collab we had planned with Pelikann is on it’s way and will now be appearing on his ‘Presents…’ compilation in March and we’ve just lined up another load of collaborations with Sample Junkie, Hamdi, Pharaoh K, Ali McK & IYZ and Aerontonin. Will keep us busy for sure!


 


What’s your favourite track on ‘Neurality’ ?

I think both of us have different tracks for different reasons. The opening four tracks on the album are all solid for different reasons, but for me it has to be ‘Intake’ and Borrow it’d be ‘Wastelands’. The best part about doing the promo for this release is that everyone has come back with a different track that is their favourite.

After experiencing making an album, is it something you’d do again in the future?

It’s something we will do in the future yeah! It is a process that really helps you to develop massively as an artist and when finished is an amazing representation of yourself, something you can look upon with a good bit of pride because of the effort that goes into it.

What were your favourite studio snacks throughout the process?

For Borrow it was beer and cigarettes and for me it’s all about squash and crisps. We definitely lead very different lifestyles!

Which track took the most amount of time to wrap up and why?

The longest tracks were ‘Intake’ and ‘Wastelands’ for the very simple reason that these were tracks from 2/3 years ago that were originally Garage tracks we weren’t too happy with, but when we started on the Grime/Dubstep flex we had another punt at them and they’ve turned into absolute beasts.



What have you got lined up following the release of the album?

We’re going to take the next year to be a little more free with our production and try to write tracks one at a time rather than for a full release. We’ve got a nice little ditty called ‘Fision’ coming out on Southpoint: Introducing in January, and hope to be working more with those guys next year. We then have our beast of a collab with man like Pelikann coming out in March, and of course all our other aforementioned collabs we plan on starting in December. We also have a couple of compilation releases on In:flux lined up, a free Dubstep compilation that will be going out in the New Year and Get Fluxed Vol. IV that will be going out in June. Other than that, we’re interested in putting a few more freebies out next year so we’ll see how that works out in amongst all of this madness!

You can stream the showreel for Tik&Borrow’s forthcoming album, ‘Neurality’, below and pre-order the release here.

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Pavv – Falling EP [Southpoint] [Review]

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Pavv returns to Southpoint with a 5 track EP featuring original vocals, a huge remix and his signature style of UKG influenced bassline.

Falling (ft Charlie Brix)

We have to open the review by saying the title track to this EP is a piece of music that all new producers in the Bass scene should look at and learn from. Original vocals – check. Musical elements – check. Good drum programming – check. Big, but clean, drop – check. Original, fresh ideas – 100% check. We loved ‘Falling’ the moment we heard it, partly down to the rich, floating strings and partly because of Charlie’s brilliant vocal, which is incredibly catchy. Both elements bring an instant degree of genuine class that we haven’t heard on a Bassline tune in a very long time. The drums are chunky and full but still manage to shuffle around each other with ease, not fighting for space in the mix and when ‘Falling’ drops we can imagine it goes off thanks to the wonky, metallic riffs bouncing off of each other. Probably Pavv’s best tune to date.

Scatter Dub

Contrasting to the brightness of ‘Falling’, ‘Scatter Dub’ takes things to darker territories. Though the reggae stabs in the intro seem lighthearted, it’s a false sense of security as dark screeches and wobbles lead the way over a heavy sub and 4×4 drums, which once more sound brilliant – we loved the shuffling fills. As well as the reggae stabs, there’s dub sirens and ragga vocals, as Pavv effortlessly merges 2 different musical styles and cultures together.

Pick Up The Pace (ft Duke)

With the second feature on the EP bringing more original vocals, Pavv reaches for sinister brass and builds tension with chopped and pitched cuts of Duke’s vocal. The bass on the drop is a bouncy one which sits juxtapose to the drums that start out with a very straight 4×4 pattern. Duke rides the beat with ease, delivering clever bars and a drawing for a variety of flows as Pavv switches from the aforementioned rigid 4×4 pattern to a more UK Funky influenced beat. ‘Pick Up The Pace’ is a sheller and also a marker of Pavv’s ability to work with vocalists; off the basis of this we’re genuinely excited to hear what he’s got coming with Bru-C and Dread too.

Gully Face

Starting off with lush, dreamy chords and scattershot snares, we can’t help but feel things are going to flip thanks to the name of the track – a feeling that’s confirmed when the bassline starts to tease itself in ahead of the building kickdrums and first drop. ‘Gully Face’ delivers exactly what it says on the tin; a weighty bassline that chugs along and destroys all in it’s path, riding the drums that almost seem to roll in to one another, as you pull your best bass face and extend your gunfingers in to the air. The bass switches are timed perfectly and we’re amazed at how well those chords work with the gully-ness. A definitive Pavv production as soulful music works hand in hand with mad basslines.

Gully Face (Hamdi Remix)

Hamdi is a dangerous producer and proves it once again on this remix. Pitching the vocal chops and chords up from the original, things once again start fairly chilled out until Hamdi does what Hamdi does best. The drop is mental – elastic, metallic bass notes stretch out then bounce back off of the rapid drums in a way that can only send a dancefloor into a frenzy. The second drop switches from elasticity into abrupt, staccato notes for the ever-favoured second reaction and it’s a simple but great idea. Top work from Hamdi.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Falling ft Charlie Brix

Overall Rating: 8/10

When we last reviewed an EP on Southpoint we said they ‘don’t release any music that isn’t original or inspired‘, and they’ve once again proved that it’s true. Pavv is back on top form for ‘Falling’ and he’s put himself into a brilliant position by proving he can work with vocalists – something less and less producers are doing but that the scene needs. ‘Falling’ features everything we love about Pavv including genuine musical flair, big basslines and influences from other music. Every track is more than suited to the rave, and Hamdi continues his mission to destroy dancefloors with his remix. A very sick release from everyone involved.

You can buy Pavv’s ‘Falling’ EP here.

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Killjoy releases 2 huge new tracks on RDWRK

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The fledgling London label enlist the sounds of Killjoy for RDWRK002

Though he’s not one of the most prolific producers, Killjoy is certainly more about quality than quantity with a string of brilliant releases on labels such as Tumble Audio, Project Allout and Champion’s Formula Records. He’s back again with 2 huge tracks on fresh label RDWRK and, as usual, he’s not pulling any punches.

With the underground UK Funky scene picking up more and more momentum every day, ‘Understand / Banzai’ is a brash reminder that when it comes to dark Funky vibes few can compete with Killjoy.

A-side ‘Understand’ is a moody cut with bulky drums and flashes of ragga vocals lead by a chunky square wave bass riff. The aggressive main bass does give way to a more rounded, sub focused sound but even that is backed up by an angry wobble. ‘Banzai’ leads you into a false sense of security with soaring pads and vocal chops before descending into a sub rattling bassline/high pitched lead combo with another foundation of expertly mixed drums. Both tracks are dancefloor destroyers; then again we didn’t expect anything less from Killjoy.

You can stream ‘Understand’ below and buy the full release here.

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Talking about huge forthcoming collaborations, changes to the Brighton scene and getting into music production with Pavv ahead of his next EP [Interview]

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Pavv is an artist who, for us, is synonymous with consistently sick releases balancing effortlessly between soulful UKG cuts and rave-ready Bassline bangers. ‘Falling’ is his first EP on local label and scene heavy hitters, Southpoint, since ‘That Talk’ back in May ’16 – a combination already proven to yield brilliant results. We caught up with Pavv to talk about the EP, future projects and more.

You first cropped up on our radar back in 2015 with huge EPs on Project Allout and U Wot Blud and since then you’ve been a go to name for high quality, ukg infused, bass heavy tracks. Was that always the sound you wanted to pursue?

Most definitely. UKG has been a massive influence throughout my years of production, with Grime, Dubstep, House and even hip hop in some ways. When I first got in to producing Bassline, everything just naturally sounded garage-y so I kept that sound throughout.

What was it that made you take up production and Djing?

When I left school I didn’t really have any type of career in my mind (like most kids) that I wanted to pursue. I used to MC for fun in my spare time and I’ve always loved music and been fascinated about how it was made, so I looked through a college course book and saw a Music Technology course and just thought why not!? When it came to Djing, the moment I started getting relatively good at producing I thought if I were to ever get booked to play a night, Id need to be able to DJ. So I bought a pair of 1210s as I was already collecting vinyl (addictive personality) and was taught by a good friend of mine.



Where do you draw your inspiration from and what would you say your biggest influences are?

Without sounding too pretentious, I draw inspiration from everything around me. Whether it be music from different cultures that I like or simply watching other artists work rate. That makes me want to work hard.

As a Brighton local, how has the scene changed from your point of view in the last few years?

I’ve been here five years. When I first got here the scene was ripe, mid-week raves were very common and the array of artists that played was crazy. Gradually the city has turned in to a very university focused city. Club goers are drawn out by free entry and drinks deals and not really for the music. But, that has been changing over the last year or so, there’s so many club nights promoting underground music and artists and the students are starting to get into the music rather than the nightlife alone.

You’re latest EP, ‘Falling’, is being put out by fellow Brighton stalwarts, Southpoint. You’ve worked with them a few times now, how did the relationship kick off?

I’ve known Jay (KXVU) for a good few years now just through being a Brighton regular, so when I heard he was starting a label I was very interested in getting involved. I originally approached Josh Gunston (Southpoint’s other co-founder) to enquire about a remix of a track they had just released. He pretty much sent me the parts the same day and then when we met properly we got talking and arranged for me to do a full EP, which was That Talk. Since all of that, I’ve become good friends with both of them and we are set to do many more things in the future!



Brighton really seems like a hotbed for talent recently – which 4 other artists are you tipping for big things?

Tengu, Zero, Freddie Martin & Hamdi. There are many more doing bits though, and  more than most are part of the Southpoint team!

Vocals seem to be a huge part of your productions, with Charli Brix and Duke featuring on your new EP- is there any plans get some more original vocals down in the future?

You will see alot more tracks with vocals from me next year, 100%. Bru-C and Dread MC are two that I can confirm but the others are still under wraps!

The whole ‘Falling’ EP really showcases your style of soulful instrumentation and gully drops – talk us through how the project came together?

After the first EP with Southpoint doing so well, we instantly had plans for another down the line. I wanted this EP to showcase all the styles of bass I enjoy to make, with all the influences I also enjoy. ‘Falling’ was inspired by old school bassline, big strings and synths with soulful vocals. ‘Pick up the Pace’ is a dark bass driven track so I thought I’d get some vocals to match that, and who better than Duke?! ‘Gully Face’ is just a straight rave banger, and the Hamdi Remix is mad! And ‘Scatter’ was inspired by my love for reggae stabs and ragga vocals.

What was your favourite track to make and why?

Most probably ‘Pick Up The Pace’. Lots of the sounds I used are different to my normal synths so it was more of a challenge to mix and get the levels right. Duke is one of my best friends outside of music so to create something that I loved and then have my good friend vocal it with pure fire is a blessing to say the least.

Hamdi’s remix of ‘Gully Face’ is absolutely massive! How did that come about?

Isn’t just?! The guy is on top form at the moment. Basically, KXVU hollered me asking who I wanted/who we both thought would do the tune justice, and Hamdi had recently had his first release on the label and it was huge so I asked KXVU to ask him and get it sorted. A few days later he sends a clip of pure madness to my inbox, and that was that.



If you could have one more producer on remix duties for the release who would you pick and why?

PVC (Purple Velvet Curtains). He is one my favourite producers, he has a skill like no other to take any sound, and use it in a way that you know its been made by him, one of the best signature sounds in the scene.

We’ve heard on the grapevine that you’ve got some collaborations on the way. Are you able to give us any info on them?

Yeah – Me & PVC have got something in the works that I’m very gassed about. Another one with PVC & DeadbeatUK. One with Tengu which is already sounding mad. A couple on the go with Killjoy and one with Wölfe. I’m also going to be putting out an old one with DJ Direct soon as well.

What else should we look out for from you after the release of ‘Falling’?

Loads more music of course, raves, a collaborative compilation album next year. I’ve also got a couple of projects started that are separate to Pavv but I wont go in to that now…

Finally – what’s your favourite pizza?

Tomato base. Buffalo mozzarella. Smoked pancetta. Prosciutto. Cherry tomatoes and Basil.

Pavv’s lates EP, ‘Falling’ is out on Southpoint on November 16th. You can stream previews of the EP below, and pre-order here.

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NuBass – Meltdown [Premiere]

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1Forty’s first single is here and it’s huge

What a year Leed’s based event and label 1Forty have had! After a handful of successful events hosting some of the scene’s biggest and best DJs, two free compilation releases (with a third on the way),  a couple of festival appearances as well as collaborating on a brand new Winter carnival and now this – their debut single, from highly rated up and comer NuBass. We can’t wait to see what they have to offer going in to 2018.

The track itself is a 4×4 stomper firmly set on shutting down the dance, and is best described by 1Forty themselves.

NuBass makes his mark on 1Forty with a track that would give a lot of sound systems a run for there money. Meltdown does exactly what is says on the tin with a hazardous bass accompanied by a toxic-like shudder climbing down in pitch which combines to make this track one that should come with a pre-warning

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You can stream the premiere of NuBass – ‘Meltdown’ below, which is set to be released on November 14th by 1Forty for free.

If you run or work for a label and would like us to premiere a track for you, please get in touch.

Contact Selecta:

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