What happens when you infuse new music into the hearts of listeners around the world?
If you are Hospital Records’ sweet darling offspring, Med School Music, you reignite a passionate base of new music heroes who are focused on promoting a slightly more experimental look into Drum & Bass music. The New Blood compilation series first gave life to future heroes in 2010 and became an annual staple through 2014. Then the walls went silent… and the heroes of the new styles of liquid and microfunk became a norm for the label. Fast forward a year, and Med School Music has returned with new talent and great tunes on New Blood 016.
Stream Med School Music’s latest compilation, New Blood 016 below:
Seventeen tracks adorn the veins of this sonic journey. From the onset, a craftsmanship is instantly apparent.
The soft horns and drum patterns are both familiar and haunting – the two-step introduction beat in “Magnetism” by Receptor gives away to a familiar liquid flow. Insect’s “Waterbombs” is notable darker than many tracks in the genre today, and focuses on a neuro-funk style but without the haphazard tempo shifts. Expect big booms in the bass line here.
Lurch brings a shift in tones with “Weather Change,” brightening the LP with warm piano tones and jazzy notes throughout this true-to-form liquid track in the vein of Etherwood or BCee. It is a bonafide gem. Milkyway’s more organic drum patterns peel the curtain back and allow the listener to focus on deep bass tones with “Far Away.” The half-tempo structures in the track certainly cause the mind to arrest itself from the speed of daily life.
Lynch Kingsley & Ilk give us “Spells” – an airy atmospheric Drum & Bass track with grooving deep notes and echoing vocal tones. Perfect for the Autumn months! “Through the Night” by Nami continues soft grooves, but leaves little to roll into memory compared to its peers. That’s not to say it is a bad, it’s just not as amazing in the sea of prior compositions on this compilation.
If Nami’s offering was groove based, oshirijima’s “Peace” takes it up a level by removing the focus on low end, and instead honing it in the midrange with fast-paced percussion. The half-time break in the middle of the track is exquisitely produced. Microfunk makes a return in Sun’s “Roots,” an easy-going affair that perfectly blends the roots of electronic music – good old funk – with the mind’s eye image of a plant slowly growing towards the sunlight. Crafted well here!
The filtered soft tone of Polaris’ “Found You” further brightens the album. A soft pluck and sculpted tonality and filtering truly set the track a step above. Bright meets moody in this track – and it’s a superb piece of “close your eyes and listen” music.
Neve takes the banner of New Blood 016 with “Magic Flute,” and again reiterates the variety of Med School label. Here, a deep bass line and plentiful rhythmic drum lines interplay with stab-driven melodies. The drive is also inspired more by Trap or Dubstep basslines, rather than the common Drum & Bass styles.
Pearse Hawkins “Hawkshaw” flips the script; bordering on House influences, “Hawkshaw” really does not sound like anything else on the album. The two-thirds break though is splendid, and crafted with a fitting attention to detail that puts it at home on this artistic compilation. Integer brings us “Ursa Major” and it floods the ears with warm deep bass, reverse high hats, piano driven melodies, and a very warm sound. Immerse yourself in the stars with this one!
“Hardware” by Distant Future & MT reminds me of tracks off the old Renegade Hardware record label – dark, brooding, without being too fast for its own good. Properly unfolded, it offers yet another rhythm to infect the bloodstream sonically. Hiddenwave takes broken lyrics and restructures them in “Everything” – a depth charge of cool bass and solid slow grooves.
“Blood Shards” brings back the higher tempo mid-tones to accent a well-tuned subsonic boom from the hands of Against. While the initial wave makes one think the song will be a classic liquid tune, but it’s expertly implemented elements are afforded all the breathing room they need to truly envelop your ears. Missing’s “Back to Jungle” does all it can to return to an older style, perhaps forgotten, of Drum & Bass.
The album reaches closure through Surie’s “Pathfinder.” The dark depths of the label’s experimental style really shine through here, recalling the Renegade Hardware and Frequency record labels of yore – dark, brooding, and beat driven without being so overwhelming you can’t get lost in it.
New Blood 016 is a fine return after a year off for Med School Music.
The release reestablished the very nature of what the label stands for – the more experimental and minimal styles of Drum and Bass music and a launch pad for growing talent. Hard at work are these new crafters of the scene, and it is no surprise to find that yet again Tony Coleman and the Hospital Records organization really know how to pull out the diamonds in the rough. Grab a copy of the latest on the cutting edge of Drum & Bass music now on all major outlets.