L 33’s Debut Album Is A Karate Chop To The Ears
Posted by Ben on 26th May 2016
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Central and Eastern Europe has become an absolute hotbed for neurofunk Drum & Bass, and my favourite label to come out of this maelstrom has been Jade’s Hungarian imprint Eatbrain. It’s already developed a hefty reputation for releasing some of the best heavy Drum & Bass around at the moment, and L 33‘s forthcoming 15 track LP, Karate, is no doubt going to reinforce this reputation.
L 33 has already racked up an impressive back catalogue on labels such as Program and Titan Records, and I’ve been a massive fan of his grating but fluid style of neurofunk since he first appeared on the scene. Karate is more of the same; expertly created, dancefloor orientated drum n bass.
I’m a sucker for the MC/neuro combo, and Stand Down featuring Nuklear scratches that itch and then some, with it’s wide open, criss crossing basslines and basic but solid drum section that would undoubtedly sound fantastic through a sound system. Disco Funk has an absolutely destructive set of synths that give the track a really unique feel to it, whilst steering it in a direction that actually reminds me of some Niche era bass line tunes.
The title track Karate is probably my favourite from the LP. A suspenseful, atmospheric introduction proclaims that it’s ‘going wild’, before dropping into a frantic cacophony of sounds that somehow manage to all work in perfect harmony, creating the sonic equivalent of a brick in a washing machine. Drop It Down Low is just straight up filthy and honestly wouldn’t sound that out of place at a jump up rave, which I mean in the best way possible.
Is this album worth picking up? Definitely. Every single tune on Karate is solid, sonically excellent and guaranteed to make you pull a bass face. My only slight criticism (and I mean slight) is that there isn’t very much variety, because with all the tracks being in a similar style it would’ve been a nice switch of pace if a half-time or perhaps a slightly lighter tune had been included as well. Regardless, L: 33 has created an envelope of music that I both hope and expect to hear out for months and months, and if I’m being honest I can’t fucking wait.