Hydro, Habstrakt, War, Mateba & Sam KDC: The New Age / Voyage Nocturne
Utopia Music

Guernsey-born David Pearson aka Hyrdo has made many contacts in the two decades he's spent DJing, issuing music on Metalheadz, Dispatch and Critical, and collaborating with the likes of Break, Fields, and Villem. That collegial spirit carries over onto his first appearance as a roster artist on Mako's Utopia imprint, and although the label head doesn't join him on the single, esteemed friends such as War, Mateba, Habstrakt, and Sam KDC do.

The material on offer reveals Pearson to be the kind of producer whose life-long affection for hip-hop, jungle, jazz, funk, dub, and, of course, drum'n'bass has translated into music that defies easy categorization. On the A-side's “The New Age,” Pearson's joined by dubstep producer Habstrakt plus War and Mateba on a meticulously detailed and elegantly sculpted exercise in atmospheric bass science. For seven minutes, samples of various kinds add dark textural colour to the arrangement while a wobbly bass and swinging drum groove provide the rhythmic heft. The B-side adds Sam KDC and Modabke to the proceedings for the equally atmospheric “Voyage Nocturne,” an eight-minute journey whose muscular bottom end Hyrdo and company slather with brooding, late-night textures so plentiful the result verges on symphonic. Voice samples are subtly threaded into both cuts, a gravelly male voice's “It's the New Age” surfacing once in the first and a female's echo-drenched “You just had ... a bad dream” appearing twice in the second. As much soundscapes and drum'n'bass productions, the two tracks clearly reflect the sensibility and touch of a seasoned hand, someone well-versed in the art of moodsculpting and sound design.

December 2015