MethLab 2 Is Dark, Deep And Definitely Worth Checking Out
Posted by Ben on 9th June 2016
I don’t know about you guys, but over the past couple years I’ve been loving the proliferation of artists that have decided to take the genre into murky, unseen waters and push both sound design and the eardrums of their listeners to the limit. Methlab and Bad Taste Recordings are two of the players that have been responsible for this, and their new collaborative effort, Methlab 2, is aimed at exactly that; pushing limits.
Jumping straight into it is Current Value, who off the back of his Biocellulose LP from earlier this year, brings Pelham 123 to this release. This track is classic techy DnB, and wouldn’t sound out of place on an old Dom & Roland or Loxy album which I love, and it’s guaranteed to please anyone who is into that older, grittier sound.
It isn’t the only tune that rolls it out and brings perhaps a little sanity to the EP. Sub Surface is by Optiv & CZA, and it has a lovely bass line that slowly ebbs into the track before wrapping itself around a characteristically tight drum section. This is one of those tracks that stays in your head for a while after every listen (trust me), which is actually kind of rare for techy DnB, so shouts to Optiv & CZA for this one.
As soon as I saw that Signal, Disprove and Audeka were behind this next one, I knew that it would be something a little different, and that’s exactly what Ritual is. Signal is still new to the scene, but has been making quite the splash over the past year or so whilst fellow collaborators Disprove & Audeka are well known for their dark, aphotic music. Ritual kicks off with a slow but incredibly atmospheric intro that sets the tone perfectly, building layers of tension that come tumbling down on the drop, destroyed by the wonky beat and disgustingly distorted lower end. The drums get more and more crazy throughout this tune, and it has a feel to it that makes you think it’s constantly going somewhere, which I love. It’s a masterclass in sound design, and I really, really like it.
But as abstract as Ritual is, it’s still probably not the most “interesting” track on Methlab 2. That award goes to Samurai by Rawtekk and Audeka, and considering how amazing Here’s To Them (Rawtekk’s recent LP) was it’s not all that surprising. Samurai I would imagine get it’s name from the Oriental string samples a lot of the song is based on, that conjure up images of feudal Japan, ninjas and warriors locking swords. It’s aided in this by a fierce, driving bassline that pushes it’s way through the song, giving the track both weight and complimenting the samples perfectly.
The rest of the EP features tracks from Billain, Kursa & Faek and Machinecode and it’s more of the same raw murkiness that makes this release such high quality. I think it’s very easy for bad producers these days to create similar music that sounds semi-decent on the surface but lacks a certain something. I’m not 100% sure what that is, whether it’s depth, creativity, complexity or whatever, but I am certain however that Methlab 2 has it by the bucketload.