A dissonant sound of discord disrupts the mind of those who will let it, or it can create a sensation of melancholy arrhythmia that is both beautiful and nostalgic as it reminds us of the human struggle. Drum and bass is a heartbeat, sometimes irregular and layered to the point of being something totally outrageous and banging, and other times it sounds like anything else played in a local club. Hipsters and millennials are based in trends and the return of the past in new forms, so it is no wonder that so much music sounds like music I grew up listening to - just autotuned and digitized to give it a cleaner sound.
I have heard some interesting sounds in the last few months, but nothing vocally that stood out with drum and bass. It isn’t often that one thinks “vocal” and “drum and bass” in the same thought; usually there are synthesizers and drums and the rest is just sampling. I am very happy to say that the beauty of discord, hip-hop, funk, and drum and bass are nothing like anything else on the market in the new single by Turno & North Base featuring the vocals of Harry Shotta entitled “Third Eye.” This heavy British sound mixed with unique sounds of Turno and North Base that put them on the Beatport top selling tracks is all about the struggle to be human in a world that is broken.
The opening sound to this single is full of discord as the notes slide up and down between lower octave synths to create a build up of tension and suspense. Slowly there are some drums that echo in from the background and the an opposite spectrum up and down of higher pitched synths that are reminiscent of old school Pac-Mac games. About forty-five seconds in we get our first drop in the pattern as Harry Shotta breaks in with some cockney British rap reminding his listeners he is a bad man and “following the rules ain’t part of the plan.” This guy puts Slim Shady back in the shade as he burns the world with his “verbal execution.” Checkmate and served - you want some fries with that? This guy might be going out with a bang, but it isn’t any time soon, because talent like this is waning right now.
Our higher note synths come back a little over a minute-and-a-half in and pick up the slack from the bass to create a serious dance beat against a more subtle drum and bass sound. This one is much more oldschool than it is jungle with subtler beats and more EDM sounds to back up the hip-hop lyrics, but that doesn’t last too long, because as Harry is waiting on the tables to turn, so are the listeners. About three minutes into the song that’s exactly what happens as another drop hits with some serious beat drums and more vocals saying that even if the world burns, he will rise from the ashes. Harry and the Order of the Phoenix? Huh. Wonder if he did that on purpose.
In either case the synths and drums play off each other in a more correlated way as the song nears its end and this begins to sound more like a heavier drum and bass beat, but I like the fact that it doesn’t lose its more oldschool roots - this isn’t just something you hear in a club - and it creates a real fusion between genres with its layering.
This is a great beat, a great vocal, and a great smash into what we know about drum and bass. Let the world burn, because we will rise out of the ashes of discord to make music. Funny enough I am a 90s kid at heart and when I hear the initial chords on this one I think I can hear a throwback to the theme song to Duck Tales. Seriously, play the first few bars to Duck Tales and tell me you don’t hear them in this.
“Third Eye” is available now from Viper Recordings. Pick it up and enjoy! Da-da-da-da DUCK TALES! Wa-oo-oo!