Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dillinja - The Angels Fell

Dillinja - The Angels Fell (Metalheadz, 1995)

I've been thinking about why so many drum and bass tunes sample Blade Runner and have come to the conclusion that it is a combination of the futuristic feel and sound of the film, some superb dialogue and timing. Although Blade Runner was originally released back in 1982 it wasn't until 1992 that the vastly superior Director's Cut came out, right at the point that jungle/drum and bass was taking shape. It's also worth noting that the Vangelis composed soundtrack wasn't officially released until 1994. The film is now part of the drum and bass lexicon, sampled in dozens of tunes and cited by many producers as an influence on their sound.

While many have sampled Blade Runner it is Dillinja who is most closely associated with the film, with two of his greatest tracks, 'Silver Blade' and 'The Angels Fell', based around Vangelis' beautiful compositions. Although I love both, 'The Angels Fell' ranks as one of my all time top five drum and bass tunes so today I'm going to take a look at this stunning piece of music. It features the plaintive horn-like synths of 'Blade Runner Blues' along with the title-lending dialogue sample of Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty, the leader of the renegade Nexus 6 replicants. The full quote reads "Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc" and is a deliberate misquotation of William Blake's America: A Prophecy ("Fiery the angels rose"). Dillinja masterfully fuses these samples with some incredibly chopped, timestretched and filtered drums that use the Apache, Life Could and Amen breaks along with some seriously low-end bass that you feel as much as you hear. One little detail that I really like is how the "Hey, yeah" is pitchshifted down during the mid-section, enhancing the melancholy vibe. This track sounded like the future in 1995 and still sounds like the future in 2013; a timeless piece of drum and bass perfection.

'The Angels Fell' was included on the Platinum Breakz and 15 Years Of Metalheadz compilations and is also available to download from the Metalheadz store. You can hear it lead off Law's History of Dillinja Mix Part 1 below - check his Drumtrip site out for the other three volumes:

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