Blocks & Escher: Moods / Razor (Metalheadz)
It’s been interesting to give drum & bass a try after so many years away from it as a genre in general. In some ways, nothing has changed — part of the reason I’d more or less abandoned the genre when I felt like it had largely started to loop back upon itself instead of forging new territory. The same breaks are there, the same sounds. But it all feels injected with a little bit of new life in the wake of dubstep, drumstep, and whatever other micro-genre has popped up in the wake of the last 10 years or so. “Moods” lives up to its name with a 3:1 change up in its main breaks, ferocious and then clipped alternately. It fits the Metalheadz ethos quite fully with the expected bass zaps, industrial clang, and relentless pacing.
“Razor” begins unassumingly with an airy prolonged pad, but the duo’s knack for skittering, furious breaks is in full effect once more before long. While neither of these cuts is so startling in terms of new ideas, it fuses various tropes of the genre with relative ease and also has a furiously technical ear for detail, with all kinds of reverb depths and a nearly-perfect mix. Like its title implies, there are some sharp edges here, like the wailing streaks of noise that swirl overhead while breaks skitter frenetically in the foreground. It’s another indication that after all this time, Metalheadz is still going strong with tight production and champions of the breakbeat underground.