Unless you’ve been living under a rock or completely ignoring D&B for the past few months, you’ll know that Killbox are back on the prowl, releasing a series of singles on RAM that are teeth-crunchers no matter what system you’re listening on. Combining that classic neurofunk/techstep rawness with modern clean production as they do, the newest single “Beaker” will drop on Monday, unless you read this article (which clearly you are).
All the tracks thus far have been teasers to Killbox’s upcoming album Devine Profits, which will obviously be a smasher in its own right, but the guys are purposely spacing out the singles because they want fans to really let each one sink in. With “Beaker,” they’ve brought out the fast snares in a big way plus lots more so it’s a good thing we’re getting a minute to adjust.
From pretty much the first phrase of “Beaker,” listeners will know they’re in for it with an eerie sine wave synth rattling in and out as the drums, crunchy mid-bass synth and grinding, metallic sounds start to stack up on each other. The drop is about as heavy as they come from any era and from there the weedwacker snares come in and that actually, interestingly, also comprise the main beat. The boys have built the kick into those cool, circular snares and subtle though it may be, it makes a big impact on the way the track moves.
Driving the track even further is that crunchy mass synth, a creepy ambient melody and something we haven’t seen in hard drum and bass for quite a while: the deep bass amen break. It used to be a stable for phrase transitions in the days of techstep and darkstep and it’s what it sounds like: an amen break tying two phrases together with a short, extremely heavy deep bass melody consisting of two or three layered chords.
That little break, though smalle, is one of those things that make acts like Killbox so important: they have this library of sounds that they can pull out at any time and apply to modern techniques to make a new level of production and merge the best of all eras. “Beaker” will remind old school heads of things they forgot they missed while continuing to push the boundaries of the new era of D&B. To that end, it’s almost a perfect track, and thanks to Killbox and RAM, there’s more coming.
“Beaker” will drop on RAM Monday, December 14. Keep an eye on the RAM website for links to stream and buy.