If I had to sum up this release in one word - which I am doing in this very sentence - I would describe this release as Unsettling. Both sides of the latest single, on Texas based label Warm Communications, take the understanding of drum and bass to it's very limits. Stray and Halogenix are both producers, who pride themselves on pushing boundaries somewhat, and this release certainly does just that. The release has been getting support throughout the drum and bass scene, for over twelve months, since Kasra featured it in a podcast and it is a hotly anticipated twelve, if the comments online are anything to go by - which depends on how you view the world of internet commenters.
The Pursuit combines funky aspects of the Autonomic world, which is where Stray cut his teeth a couple of years ago, with hypnotic and - as previously mentioned - unsettling industrial samples and scattered breaks, to remind you you're supposed to be listening to Drum and Bass.
Stray teams up with Halogenix for the other side. Poison takes place in an unusual setting. The 3/4 time signature completely throws you off course. In a world, where everyone is so ingrained into listening to 4/4 tunes broken down into intro, drop, breakdown, and drop, this tune completely blows your mind. Again there's something very sinister about this track, and the 3/4 shuddering time signature only serves to make you feel more off balance. Stray is not afraid to push the boundaries of these perceptions, as mentioned in a recent interview with Organic Beats. "I've always felt that whilst it's a shame that so many people miss out on the whole world of musical possibility that lies beyond the 4/4 time signature (not to mention things such as 170bpm and the intro / drop / breakdown structure) that there is something satisfying about fitting the most interesting material you can come up with within these guidelines."
Warm Communications, along with it's sister label, Pushing Red is solidifying it's position at the forefront of what represents drum and bass and bass music at the moment. The labels' owner Heath has showed in recent years, by way of his A and R choices, that he is completely unafraid to take risks with his signings, in order to push the boundaries of what the music represents.
Warm 022 is out from July 16th on Vinyl and Digital.