When two heavyweight producers collaborate we tend to rarely get disappointed. Both head honchos of their respective labels, 1985 and Sofa Sound — in this instance Alix Perez and DLR go above and beyond said expectations, in this 1985 x Sofa Sound EP that epitomizes both their unique sounds and undeniable quality. Two of the drum’n’bass scenes most adored artists have come together to create a body of work that showcases their dark and heavy underground roots. From the moment they released their massive track ‘walk out’ last year, the drum’n’bass world have been desperate for this link up to reoccur promptly. This exhilarating four-track EP will unquestionably find its way as one of the leading projects of the year.
The gritty and hard-hitting, lead track, ‘Keep Up’ features the one and only SP:MC, who is without doubt one of the top MC’s in the game. This minimal drum flow allows for the distinctive voice of SP:MC to run creatively throughout this MC-led number — with a high intensity that runs consistently from the get-go. Its well formulated sound design gives listeners a unique experience, whereby a dark tone and high-spirited energy are fused together. The roller, yet groovy, feel definitely leaves a signature mark from two of the best producers in the game. This track undoubtedly kickstarts a feeling of the supernatural, prevalent throughout this project.
A real edgy number that insights a tech-roller blueprint within this four-track assortment. ‘Blips’ gives us an essence of early Virus Recordings releases. It’s Techno-style build up creates a euphoric aura as the drop is greeted with piercing synths and mechanical enchantment. It’s simple, yet effective, style is reminiscent of a drum’n’bass sound from the late 90’s. There is some real weight behind the bassline and an irregular drum pattern, which truly showcases the variety both Alix Perez and DLR possess as artists and producers.
With a slow and airy introduction, ‘Snake Style’ works into a drum concept that is very impressive and distinctive. The dark and electric attributes of Alix Perez, combined with the funky and minimal style of DLR are very notable in this piece. A dynamism which many producers would love to boast seems to come naturally to these two exceptional heavyweights. Listeners are pleasantly met with various wobbly reverberations that are bound to get ravers bouncing. It’s deep and mysterious quality shines through, making this song feel like an authentic underground rhythm.
Bassline heavy tones and regimented drums combine to create ‘Crawlway’, the last track on this truly innovative EP. A journey into roller and minimalistic drum’n’bass successfully gives us a flavour of different supernatural noises that welcome us throughout this tune. With a slower drum orientation, we are allowed to completely take in the array of ideas put into such a creation. Making this lyric-less track so compelling, and memorable, is a real testament to the eccentric methods of both artists.
This 1985 x Sofa Sound EP is undeniably individual in the way it’s presented. Both Alix Perez and DLR have exceeded expectations altogether. When you listen to this mixture of soon-to-be classics, the likes of Bad Company, Ed Rush, and Optical will come to mind. A true homage to techstep and neurofunk, whilst also evolving the minimal and roller sub-genres even further. Here at Goat Shed, we hope that this label collaboration (and of course this artist collaboration too) has only just got started — with hopefully many more stellar combinations to come.