In the dying light of each day they gathered, the long shadows of the dojo scaffold casting darkness across the solemn faces of the keepers of their art. Each took his turn to tell a part of the story, handed through the generations by their masters. Components of a tale of the overwhelming horror of a past that others preferred to bury in myth. They spoke of a time when the coming of the night spelt death for those in the open blackness, with the pressing undead mass reaching from beyond the grave to extinguish the last embers of life, locked in a desperate struggle to crush the final beacon that sheltered the living. They spoke of he who blocked the crushing sea of extinction in the depths of each night, shielding the fragility of life with the perfection of his brutal and efficient form. The eyes of the living only greeted each new day because of the immortal techniques that had now been passed to them, the new guardians of the beacon, masters of an art now evolved - watching, waiting, perfecting their deadly art... ready for the return of those beyond death.
Following up the immensely successful Karate LP from core Eatbrain artist L 33, comes a deadly second approach to some of the most blinding tracks from the album - reimagined by a collection of apex predators in drum & bass. PROLIX delivers an exhilarating and forward-leaning groove with his take on CLUBLIFE, whilst JOE FORD percussive prowess and intricate and on-point production pushes DROP IT DOWN LOW into dynamic and fresh realms. The freshest name on Eatbrain - SYNERGY deliver their justice to RAZOR BLADE, with its twisted and rough sound whilst NEONLIGHT unravel a paranoia-inducing and edgy take on title track KARATE. These 4 powerful remixes approach one of the label's leading releases of 2016 with uncompromising attitude and the precise approach to production that's intimately connected with Eatbrain.
The Asian influence on drum and bass is impossible to miss, especially over the last decade as the sound of drum and bass becomes more and more internationally heard in television, video games, and movies. The L33 Karate Remixes with Joe Ford, Prolix, Neonlight, and Synergy are prime examples of how this Asian influence has shaped drum and bass for a new wave of listeners.When I first heard the remixed by Joe Ford and Prolix I was not as impressed as I had hoped that I would be. The Prolix sound was generic club music I felt I could hear at a rave and the Joe Ford sounded like more of the same but with a little more synthetic 80s futurist music mixed in every so often. Then when I got to track three and heard Neonlight’s take on Karate I realized what the album had been trying to accomplish: culture clash.The merged sounds of the song create the feel of being inside a video game. There are tingings and clankings mixed with warped voices, quick beats followed by vibrations as if someone just did a jump kick and the shot was slowed down in mid-air. Drum and bass is usually the heartbeat of a younger generation, but I was brought back to class arcade fighting games. Classic karate movies. Classic ties to classic moments of Street Fighter and Jackie Chan films of my youth now leading into a new form of instant classic music. It’s a recipe that cannot fail and I think as the title sound of the album there is no doubt that this is the cornerstone for the entire feel of what Eatbrain hoped to accomplish with this release.I feel that after Karate the album really comes together as everything else seems to borrow from it. Synergy’s take on Razor Blade has that epic suspenseful feel with crescendos in the beginning leading up to a fast club beat and a second return to crescendos near the end for a more epic cyclical feel, whereas Bloodbrain uses a sampling of sounds to create the familiar video game-esque fighting music of Karate with the synthetic sounds from Drop it Down.Really without the first two titles Karate would not have stood out as much and we would not have a final track to listen to. While they may have sounded a bit more generic than perhaps intended, it is the earlier songs that lead into Karate being successful and ultimately the rest of the album as well.Check out the L33 Karate Remixes Black Belt Edition LP by Eatbrain on February 27.