Ray Keith - Babylon Dread EP (2x12" Vinyl)
Released 26th May 2017
For over two decades, Dread Recordings have time and time again maintained their seminal output with every release. Managing to present a crossover of old school and more modern day techniques, they’ve given fresh life to the jungle riddims which made drum & bass so prominent during its inception. And for this subsequent release, label head honcho Ray Keith steps up to the plate, bringing with his a deliciously rolling selection of bass heavy proportions. With a massive back catalogue and an even more impressive roster, the figurehead’s addition goes on to expand the credibility heralded by both the artists and imprint. Dread Recordings continue to impress, with a history documented through their stellar releases.
Nothing less than a jungle tear-out, the Penny mix of ‘Feel Some’ cuts open Ray Keith’s production standard and opens its raw centre. ‘Feel Some’ is an example of what Ray Keith does best, striving to hit harder each time with sprawling, smashing drums and guttural bass sounds. Taking precedent are those all-important breaks, still standing as the most prominent feature from start to finish. Penny gives it an extra layer, drawing for a heavier flow and firing shot after sonic shot. Neither artist grabs for the brakes.
‘Do You Wanna Cook’ proves that both Dread Recordings and Ray Keith don’t adhere to any trend, instead they spearhead a subgenre which has run its own show for some time now. Rugged subs and rattling percussion help fill out the mix, whilst tinny kicks help to underpin its composition. Biting reese slips through between layers, giving a brooding, intimidating hook which stalks its bassline. Then comes ‘Zion Dred’, slightly more subdued in its rollout but still surging with every succession of pads. It begins to grow in its intensity, not presenting a full-frontal attack like its predecessors but still powerful with every relay. ‘Virus’ finishes the release, with a clanking set of breaks and punchy drums skittering amongst its clicking hi-hats and swathes of static bass. The track is a lesson through the roots of both Dread Recordings and its stalwart Ray Keith. It’s a gradual build, but one which highlights the ingenuity behind both artist and label.
a. Feel Some [Penny's Mix]
b. Do You Wanna Cook
c. Zion Dred