You stand within a crowd in a dark room. You turn around and see that a hole is growing amidst the throng of people. You push through the bodies until you’re at the perimeter of the empty space, and watch intently. Seven hooded individuals with heads lowered enter the chamber, march through the horde, and step into the circle. They form a line, and stand perfectly still. A beat starts to thump loudly through the chamber. They nod their heads . . .
Drum & bass is a constantly evolving genre, one that pervades a plethora of styles with its influence. The spirit of its rapid-fire rhythms haunts nearly every species of electronic music, while its chemical structure is regularly contorted to breathe new life into new sounds, which begs the question: “what exactly is drum & bass in the year 2016?” Who Is Richie Brains? is the debut full-length from new production collective Richie Brains.
Seven artists, each with respective solo catalogs, conjoin like heads of a hydra to create a marvelously cohesive album. Alix Perez, Chimpo, Fixate, Fracture, Om Unit, Sam Binga and Stray are the elements that make up Richie Brains, and each brings unique flavoring to the drum & bass-tinged concoction. Grime, g-funk, footwork, hip-hop, jungle, and techno are all displayed in various amalgamations with unbridled, intoxicating energy.
Although almost none of the compositions resemble drum & bass in its traditional form, they all utilize minimal components of the genre to bolster the sounds that are present. Scattered among the instrumentals are stellar performances from featured vocalists, including Fox, Killa P, Rider Shafique, and Trigga. The whole thing reeks of communal genius. If you’re seeking eclectic, unbridled electronics, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)