The drum and bass scene is looking strong. From the sweaty recesses of the grimiest jump-up raves to chart-topping, ad-soundtracking mainstream acceptance, 2015 has shown that this music has the full spectrum covered. And Technique Recordings, as always, has been up there at the forefront of the movement. This compilation, drawn from Technique’s releases over the year, is here to confirm that point.
As you’d expect, the veteran artists are representing in force. The mighty Tantrum Desire is a consistent presence showing off multiple facets of their anthemic sound, with tracks like “Sea Breeze” and “Oblivion”, plus quirkier offerings like the stripped-back DJ weapon “Pump”. And of course, their huge collaborations with Matrix & Futurebound and Drumsound & Bassline Smith are here too. Talking of the label bosses, they haven’t held back on their contributions either, treating us to the euphoria of “I Need Somebody”, the filth of “Spring Heel Jack” and plenty more besides. All that before we even get into the floor-filling monsters provided by the likes of L Plus, Crissy Criss and MaxNRG.
Alongside those battle-hardened Technique warriors are newer recruits to the team. Document One have made a huge impact this year and the soulful vibe and dancefloor energy of tracks like “Follow Me” and “Jazz Club” demonstrate why. Aussie representative Spectrem brings some melodic jungle sensibilities to the album with “Say Goodbye”, while Erb N Dub & Skope deliver something powerfuly individual with “Drummer”. Neuro-specialists Gradual and big-room filler Kronology each deliver a couple of heavyweight pieces to cement their status too.
Then there are those artists whose names you might not instantly associate with Technique. Brian Brainstorm drops some full-on break-twisting jungle with “Pon Di Streets”, for example. Melinki and North Base take us back to the sunshine with “Summer Solstice” and “Bikini Dance”, and even the legends Digital and Decoder & Substance grace us with their presence.
Like the drum and bass scene as a whole, this compilation has flavours in abundance. As a marker of the work Technique’s put in this year, bringing through new artists, showing off the best of established ones and delivering a rarely-paralleled variety of D&B styles, this delivers on all counts. The only thing left to the imagination is the question of how this can possibly be equalled in 2016. Better strap in for the ride.