Technique Goes to Let It Roll /Artist // Youngman (prod. by Drumsound & Bassline Smith)
The biggest drum ‘n’ bass event on Earth, bringing together tens of thousands of ravers and hundreds of artists over three days and nights, is Let it Roll. As if that wasn’t insane enough, this August, the award winning Czech festival will be graced with a Technique Recordings Label Night. And, there’s brand new music to mark the occasion properly. Opening proceedings is a VIP relick of a tune from Drumsound & Bassline Smith’s massive 2017 album Wardance. This version of Control ramps up the energy from the first bar, with insistently percussive synths leading the way. Then the pulsing, stomping drop, driven by a bassline with an extra layer of grit, is sculpted for maximum rave destruction. Explosive. Vybez delivers us into a trademark Tantrum Desire cinematic opening. Expansive pads stretch into the distance as subtle hints of drum edge towards us over the horizon. There’s no way you’re going to see the dark, scything drop coming, with a screwface bassline that screams out for a reload. This is going to cut through sub-genre divisions and take heads off at the biggest festivals and grottiest raves alike. Then Technique’s latest recruits, No Concept, take to the stage. They’ve already proven capable of creating multiple styles, and with Make Noize they’ve built a monster. The long tension-ramping build supported by that “make some noise” sample writes a very big cheque, but the drop is more than capable of cashing it. The warping and twisting bassline, those gut-punch drums, and the adrenaline-shot fills combine into an absolute beast of a tune. Finally L Plus gives us Let Roll the World. Gigantic uplifting arpeggios set the tone in the intro. The “let it roll” dialogue clip adds an extra boost of hype. And then there’s an almighty drop which rattles off a full polyrhythmic ammo belt. A syncopated pattern in the bass weaves in and out of switching percussion instruments while a rock-solid kick and snare provide the scaffolding that holds it all together. Powerful stuff. Even in this four-track mini-compilation, the strength and depth of production skill on show makes it very clear why Technique is such a revered label. And it also demonstrates exactly why their Label Night at Let it Roll in August is going to be unmissable.
The multi-genre songwriter, emcee, host, and singer Youngman has been taking us on a vocal drum ‘n’ bass odyssey over recent releases. Finding new boundaries to push, like with 2017’s three-stage Spinning release or Sorry, his cover of a UKG classic, he’s seemingly always able to come with another surprise. So, what’s he got for us this time? Right from the opening notes of Special, Youngman establishes that we’re about to bear witness to a different side to his style. While his last few tunes have shown off a laid-back RnB influence, this time, there’s a bluesy intensity right from the off. It’s powerfully emotionally charged, almost blending into gospel, and it’s a path Youngman hasn’t quite taken us down before. As Youngman’s timbre-switching falsetto drops us into stripped-back rolling beats and layers of harmony, we’re in summer anthem territory. With enough bass punch to hold a rave crowd on the floor, but with all the sunlit vibes you could ask for, a lot of different audiences are going to feel this. The vocals, matched with those gorgeous keys and horns, make this a luscious, luxurious listen. With Drumsound & Bassline Smith on production, in one of their most liquid soul excursions, this release is infused with class and sophistication. As suited for the radio as the rave, it’s another glimpse into Youngman’s vocal drum ‘n’ bass evolution.