Saturday, 2 February 2013

T.Power - The Mutant Remix (Rollers Instinct)

T.Power - The Mutant Remix - Rollers Instinct (Remixed by DJ Trace) (SOUR, 1995)

'The Mutant' is a seminal record, a brutalist masterpiece that changed the face of drum'n'bass forever. T.Power's original 'Mutant Jazz' is a piece of smooth funk with a horn riff and gentle synths but Trace removes any sign of jazz, even from the title, and turns the track into a dystopian nightmare. It is somewhat ironic that Trace had actually been a rare groove and jazz enthusiast from a young age thanks to his jazz club-running father, a fact reflected in some of his early tracks such as 'Teach Me To Fly', co-produced with LTJ Bukem. However his productions gradually got darker, culminating in 'The Mutant' which birthed the techstep movement that would come to dominant the scene.

It begins with rough beat switching between the 'Life Could' and 'Apache' breaks before foreboding strings and a sinister reversed synth create an eerie atmosphere enhanced by a distorted sub bassline. However 'The Mutant' doesn't truly raise its ugly head until nearly two and a half minutes in, when Trace deploys a cavernous 'Reese' bassline which comes in and out of the track for the rest of its duration. Originating from 'Just Want Another Chance' by Reese (AKA Detroit legend Kevin Saunderson) this bassline had been used before in drum'n'bass, most notably in Renegade's 'Terrorist', but Trace put a unique, twisted spin on it which made it sound that much nastier and the rest is history.

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