Being a teenager in the 1980’s with a distinct taste for underground music, and a frequent attendee of gay dance clubs in the same era, I had very early exposure to the concept of remixes. I loved what was still referred to then as a “twelve inch”, that is, literally a full sized record album, on which would be extended mixes of songs, of course mostly dance songs, for club use only. My dad is a radio DJ, and was a hugely popular household name for decades in the city where I grew up…as a result, he had gigs in discos in the seventies, into the mid-eighties. So, while he spun mainstream hits using these twelve inches, I spent the time that I wasn’t un-sleeving, queuing, and re-sleeving the Top 40 twelve inches onto his Technics turntables, I was going through the stacks of his discards, which were the soundtrack of the underground and gay new-wave clubs that I snuck into, under aged, with my friends from art school whenever I could. I swiped them all, and still have many of them, with their gold-foil “for DJ use only” stamp on the sleeve.
Rene LaVice has released a set of mixes of the track Richter Scale, beginning with a drum and bass mix, which so righteously deserves the genre label…it is throbbing and energetic with the drum line snaking through the bass line, creating a serpentine, pulsing beat that is irresistible, absolutely evocative of the timeless vibe of a crowded dance floor, with enough musicality with the beat to make this mix the one you will want to jump to. Next, there is a house mix that sounds like a bit of a retro throw-back, compared to the drum and bass mix it follows…it is infectious, bouncy and upbeat…also makes me want to be on a dance floor, for the rest of the night! These are the two most danceable mixes in my opinion, with the trap mix, being grittier and grinding, a bit slower in it’s feel if not its BPMs, is a great sound to get ready to…picture this playing while you pre-game…getting ready, whatever it is that you do before you go out…as well as perfect for after the club…if you get my meaning. It’s sexy, and it’s sensual, and it’s hot. The extended Multi Genre Mix is just that…a very complex and sophisticated audio trip through all of the incredible versions that come before it, and it is a masterpiece on every level…clap track sounding beats, with deeper, heart-throbbing beats underneath and chasing each other into one sound…if it wasn’t so skillfully executed, it would be a mess, but it’s perfect…hang on for the ride, if you dare! I, for one, definitely dare you…
The one other track on this release that isn’t a version of Richter Scale is called Some Things Never Change, and I have a hard time making a decision about which genre that I would put this one in, because like the Multi Genre Mix of Richter Scale, it is complex and defies ordinary pigeon-hole labels. It’s got a very unique vocal and takes several listens to allow your ear to want to move on…
As a whole, this release is one that any fan of Drum and Bass, as well as newcomers to the sound, absolutely needs to own, because it is an education and an affirmation, regardless of what kind of music you think is your favorite, because this release challenges all of those pre-conceived notions. It is unique and it is mandatory. Give it a listen, you will be just as lit up by it as I was, I promise you! XTENE16 Managing Editor DNB◉UNITED.COM
In the last five years, Rene LaVice has certainly cemented his name amongst the big leagues. His debut LP ‘Insidious’ on the Ram Records imprint was met with critical acclaim across the board, building anticipation for every subsequent release. Whether it’s receiving daytime radio airplay on the Radio1 A list or being played out at the UK’s most underground clubs, each output has shown impeccable production standards.
His second LP ‘Play with Fire’ and its remix compilation once again pedestalled the Canadian producer’s talent. He delivered a carefully woven set of records that channel an energy which is inherently his.
Capitalising on this endeavour, the ‘Richter Scale’ EP follows the same path, dipping into an array of sub genres to create his own signature sound. With an extensive collection of track mixes, from Trap to House, he shows a cross pollination of BPMs that bring together the very best of his discography. Although, this only comes naturally to a consummate artist… Especially one who delves into the world of both film making and music.
Title-track ‘Richter Scale’ was the product of a Bud Light campaign earlier this year, which saw Rene take centre stage and inject a 174 infusion of cranking drums and tell-tale snare. An elusive intro with gradually rising and falling pads takes you deep into the crevice of his mind. Following in quick succession is the House and Trap edits; whilst the House edit transports you into a first thumping dimension of bass, its Trap counterpart takes you on a journey given momentum by its 808s.
‘Some Things Never Change’ is a totally fresh offering from LaVice, with metallic, distorted instrumentals taking you on a frog march, ramped up by its energetically slick bassline. Weaving through the mix is a vocal which adds to its loftier air, giving it a more haunting twist between its stockier elements. And finally, the multi-genre extended version of ‘Richter Scale’, giving you a full frontal assault of every genre switch up provided throughout the EP’s entirety. Even more proof that Rene LaVice is a master of his craft, from beginning to end.