Xtrah Makes His Solo Debut On Dispatch Recordings With The Disturbance EP
Posted by Ed on 14th March 2017
Tech D&B is as strong as it’s ever been. Bursting at the seams with masses of talented artists and incredible labels such as Invisible, Flexout, C.I.A and Samurai Music, with countless others pushing raw and intelligent music. One of the senior establishments in such a circle, I’m sure many would agree, would be the esteemed Dispatch Recordings. Consistently producing fantastic audible artistry, their latest EP from Xtrah, has risen above and beyond the already sterling reputation this label has cemented.
Although a fairly new name amongst a game full of veterans, Londons very own Xtrah has churned out some majestic pieces and has already collaborated with industry leading artists such as Break, Mefjus and Mikal. His latest 6 piece bucket of fried gold sees features from Mako, Hybris and Skulpture, and in a sea of similarity within the Tech drum & bass discipline, Xtrah manages to shine through with identity, and impeccable production.
For the cardinal track on the Disturbance EP we have Embankment, and it sets the tone for the rest of the release perfectly. Managing to maintain raw & tribal features with futuristic elements render this track a resounding success. An abundantly energetic piece with skittering and exuberant components throughout, this one got 5 stars instantly. Second up is Purple Skies featuring Mako. A more simplistic song than its forbearer, this piece is industrial and hard hitting. Unapologetically heavy with crisp snares and distorted bass stabs create an atmosphere littered with dread. Tribal meets industrial with this one, and it is not for the feint of heart.
Babylon Shall Fall steps in at number three, and is my favourite track on the release. An awe inspiring introduction is met with a serious bassline, an iconic sample, and some tearout amens during the breaks for good measure. Intimidating and rough, this is raw, savage, drum & bass in it’s purest. Operating within similar parameters as the prior song, coming in at number four is the EPs title track, Disturbance. Another fierce and tribal number, yet one which incorporates some funky features to keep it grooving. Although in a somewhat a similar vain as Xtrahs prior work ‘Operator’, this song manages to build on what made the latter such a success whilst pushing it forward and forging something new. A murky breakdown is met with an equally fierce second drop, and the shakers inject additional life into the track throughout it’s progression.
Similarly to Embankment, the penultimate song Tibetan Funk blends grubby industrial attributes with clean and refined injections of funk. Nebulous bass stabs sitting above the warmest of subs amalgamate to create a real sound-system heavyweight. I look forward to hearing this one out live with keen anticipation. Seeing the EP off is an astounding collaboration with Hybris & Skulpture. The only Neurofunk track, in it’s purest form, is this dynamic and aggressive piece which is absolutely full of life. High powered and rugged, this sprightly track continues to twist and turn keeping the listener on their toes, unprepared for the state of tameless brutality this track manifests.
One of the most consistently strong releases I’ve heard in a while, each track brings it’s own unique identity whilst all managing to hold true to Dispatch’s flagship vibe. If this is the level set by an Xtrah EP, one can only pray for an album in the not to distant future. This release can boast unrivalled production, incredible attention to detail and a rich orchestra of sonic delights. I pray to the most high that Xtrah has plenty more weapons in his arsenal and that they are unleashed very soon, as, much like I was, you will no doubt be hungry for much more after wrapping your ears around this monolith of a release.