Spotlight 15
Favourite Labels 2014

Poppy Ackroyd + Lumen
Avec le soleil sortant ...
Brooklyn Rider
Del Sol String Quartet
Nick Gill
Stefan Goldmann
Chihei Hatakeyama
Robert Honstein
Jonas Kopp
David Lackner
Last Ex
Neil Leonard
Little Phrase
The Mark Lomax Trio
LA Percussion Quartet
Near The Parenthesis
Newman and Cox
Pan & Me
Bobby Previte
Marc Sabat
Hein Schoer
Wadada Leo Smith
Templeton + Armstrong
Ken Thomson
Ulterior Motive
Joris Voorn
Andrew Weathers
Ezra Weiss Sextet
Stefan Wesolowski
Keith Worthy

Compilations / Mixes
EPM Selected Vol. 3
Universal Quantifier

EPs / Cassettes / Mini-Albums / Singles
Blu Mar Ten
Michael Jon Fink
Oceanic Triangulation
Northumbria and Famine
Total Science
Simon Whetham

Total Science / Villem & McLeod: So Addicted / Putting Down Roots (Total Science Remix)
Warm Communications

It's rare indeed for a piece of music to leave the listener in a state of awe, but that's pretty much what Total Science (drum'n'bass producers Jason Greenhalgh and Paul Smith) accomplishes with its Grimm collab “So Addicted,” the lead cut on this two-track vinyl outing for US label Warm Communications (the digital release comes with a bonus instrumental version of the track).

Having recorded together since 1994, Greenhalgh and Smith clearly know a thing or two about track construction and pacing, things “So Addicted” showcases in fabulous manner. The track bolts from the gate with single-minded determination, after which Grimm's high-pitched vocal enters, the swoon of its multi-layered languor a dramatic contrast to the furious pace of the backing. The voice drops out midway through, allowing the listener to better hear the muted bass swarm roaring through the background. Grimm might be “So addicted… to your love,” but it's the listener who ends up addicted to Total Science's mighty roller.

The other cut's a quality affair, too, even if it's not the release's prime selling-point. The flip in this case sees Total Science remixing “Putting Down Roots” by Bristol duo Villem (Andrew Wilson) & McLeod (Sam McLeod). Think six dynamic minutes of fidgety jungle-inflected beatsmithing sprinkled with trippy atmospheric effects, bass smears, and soulful vocal accents and you're on the right track. As a production exercise, it offers constant stimulation, yet it can't help but be overshadowed by the epic uplift of “So Addicted,” which, even in its instrumental form, mesmerizes.

November 2014