Monday, 8 April 2013

Fierce & Nico - Input

Fierce & Nico - Input (Nu Black, 1996)

This Friday dBridge's innovative Exit Records imprint will be celebrating their 10th birthday by holding a huge party at London's Fire venue with an incredible line up of DJs who have influenced and appeared on the label over the years. I'll be attending and am really looking forward to it as many of the DJs will be paying tribute to particular periods in drum & bass history - for instance Doc Scott will be playing a Blue Note set. So this week each of my posts will be based around one of these sets, starting off today with Fierce & Ryme Tyme's No U-Turn set.

Before we get going though I'd just like to mention two recent mixes by dBridge that are well worth your time, one looking to the past and one to the future. Firstly his Dubs On Doves mix for Trap Magazine sees him spinning classic jungle and hardcore from the nineties in rapid fire fashion, top selection on this one!

Just released today is his podcast for Resident Advisor which features plenty of forthcoming Exit Records material, including several tracks which will be appearing on the Mosaic Volume 2 compilation due out later this year. Sign up to RA to download it if you haven't already.

Back to the matter in hand: Nico's No U-Turn label pioneered the dystopian techstep style, putting out crucial releases by the likes of Ed Rush, Trace, Dom & Roland, Fierce and Ryme Tyme, with Nico's engineering giving the label that trademark grungy sound. 'Input' appeared on the Nu Black sub-label and was Fierce's debut release at the age of just sixteen. He would go on to put out records for Prototype, Virus and Renegade Hardware amongst others before forming his own Quarantine imprint in 2002. It opens with skittish drums, foreboding synths and live sounding bass before introducing heavy drums that use the cymbals from the 'Tighten Up' break along with what I think is the 'Life Could' break. It then drops an awesome growling bassline that sounds like it's been put through a guitar distortion pedal, eventually adding sparingly used blasts of Reese. Despite being at a regular drum & bass tempo the track creates the effect of trying to move through treacle and is incredibly disorientating. The effect is increased in this brutal podcast for Self-Titled magazine by extreme metal/industrial pioneer Justin Broadrick, who plays it at 33 RPM to open the mix:

Hopefully 'Input' gets played on Friday, although preferably at the right speed!

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