Beginner's Guide to Drum'n'Bass Vol. II

John Luther Adams
Monty Adkins
Eric Chenaux
Sarah Davachi
A. Die & Lorenzo Montana
Dikeman / Serries
Ricardo Donoso
Terence Fixmer
Hotel Neon
Islands Of Light
Fernando Lagreca
Lake People
K. Leimer
Daniel Lentz
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Tesla Manaf
Metcalf, Roach & Thomas
David Michael / Slavek Kwi
James Murray
Áine O'Dwyer
Fabio Orsi
Matana Roberts
Nadia Shpachenko
Subtle Lip Can
Robert Scott Thompson
Christian Wallumrød
Woven Entity
Yodok III

Compilations / Mixes
Joseph Capriati
Nina Kraviz

EPs / Cassettes / DVDs / Mini-Albums / Singles
Digital, D. Phiz., Response
Igorrr & Ruby My Dear
Rima Kato
Mako, Villem & Mcleod
Second Moon Of Winter
Manfred Waffender

Igorrr & Ruby My Dear: Maigre
Ad Noiseam

A lot of ground is covered on this twenty-one-minute EP by Igorrr and Ruby My Dear, but it's attributable as much to the genre involved as the industriousness of its collaborators. Breakcore, an especially frenzied and wild companion to hardcore, is by its very nature a fast-moving machine, and the five cuts on Maigre (French for ‘thin') offer no small amount of evidence by way of illustration.

Igorrr and Ruby My Dear are accompanied on the EP by a number of guests, among them vocalists (including Igorrr's live singers Laure Le Prunenec and Laurent Lunoir), a guitarist, cellist, and accordion player. Strings are, in fact, the first sounds heard on the opener “Barbecue,” but it doesn't take long for them to be joined by rapid-fire beats, operatic vocalizing, slashing guitars, and accordion. It's a frenetic scene-changer to be sure, but “Barbecue” is also rendered memorable by a pretty classical-tinged melodic dimension.

Like “Barbecue,” “Cuisse” opens in classical mode, with in this case Bologna Violenta's strings providing an elegant intro before the breakcore insanity sets in; a mid-song violin solo is also nicely complemented by prototypically complex drum programming, after which the track rides out on a grinding wave of beat madness and strings. The title isn't the only French-related thing about the EP. Samples of French speaking voices surface now and then, and the tracks' core melodies often possess a nostalgic character emblematic of the musical style associated with Paris night-clubs. A strong classical dimension is present, too, as exemplified by the inclusion of strings, operatic vocals, and (on “Alain”) harpsichord, though not so much that the fundamental breakcore identity of the material is compromised.

As Maigre unfolds, it becomes clear that there's a method to Igorrr and Ruby My Dear's madness, a guiding intelligence at work that turns the EP into something more than a one-dimensional collection of overdriven beatsmithing. That said, the breaks do come fast and thick, and the listener is well-advised to strap him/herself in once the action starts.

February 2015