2022 sees the mighty Viper Recordings turn 18 and to celebrate this mammoth milestone, label head honcho Futurebound has painstakingly picked one release from each year and created the ‘18 Years of Viper’ compilation.Over the last 18 years, Viper has signed some of the biggest artists in drum and bass including Sigma, Camo & Krooked, and Koven to name a few, and each and every artist included on this track list is held in the highest esteem amongst critics, peers, and fans alike. Just one peek at the label’s discography and it’s plain to see how challenging it’s been to pick just one track per year from its rich and varied story.
Starting back in 2005, the album opens with label boss Futurebound and his production partner Matrix with their stone-cold classic ‘American Beauty VIP’. With its haunting sample paired with future-proofed twisting synths and high energy drums, the track can and still does easily tear down any dance today. Moving further through time and further through the album, also featured are ShockOne’s ‘True Believer’, DC Breaks’ ‘Babylon’ and Fred V & Grafix’s ‘Just A Thought’ with Reija Lee before The Prototype’s unbelievable track ‘Pale Bue Dot’ marks the midpoint, a release that dominated the scene at its time with its ever-present forward-moving chug wrapped in sci-fi swaths and hollow-sounding hits and highs.
Picks from more recent years include InsideInfo & Miss Trouble’s iconic ‘Metamorphosis’, Cyantific & Benji’s ‘Colour in The Shadows’ and Jaguar Skillz & Mind Vortex’s ‘Riot Squad 2’. The album finishes in the present day with up and comer Jack Mirror & Champion’s ‘Oculus’, a track which showcases and cements the exceptional standards that are promised when a release is marked with that infamous twisted snake – the energy and excitement of a party banger, effortlessly combined with the integrity and grit of authentic drum and bass, and, of course, masterfully produced.
Here’s to the next 18 years, but for now, enjoy 18 Years of Viper Recordings.