Essential breaks and beats and drum'n'bass from Calibre and Mura Masa
July 14, 2017 8:52 PM   Subscribe

If you're a fan of drum and bass and other beat-driven music, the past two BBC Essential Mixes have been gems. Last week saw the relative up-and-comer Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa, blend vintage jungle sounds with a range of modern styles (BBC, MixesDB, Global DJ Mix), from Thom Yorke to MF Doom. The week prior, Dominick Martin, aka Calibre, spun two hours in the studio, oscillating between drum'n'bass and more ambient soundscapes (BBC, MixesDB, Global DJ Mix), weaving in a bit of Charles Bukowski to set the mood. Where Mura Masa presented in advance of his new self-titled album (streaming via Spotify embedded), Calibre has a dozen albums to date, with his newest, The Deep (official track samples on YouTube), released this past March. More music and musing below the break.

Mura Masa's new record is "brimming with nowness," with "dancehall-lite tones of [the] slightly problematic ... tropical house," though "Mura Masa manages to miraculously transcend its generic core" (Guardian), and his production is paired with A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX, Jamie Lidell, A.K. Paul and Damon Albarn. Contrary to most reviews calling that album his debut, this is actually his second. His first, Soundtrack to a Death (Bandcamp), was released in 2014 on the JAKARTA label. "Soundtrack" has a lot of the same mellow "tropical" dance/house vibes as his new album, but without the bevy of guest artists found on his new album. And some of his new album features older tracks, like the A$AP Rocky-featuring remix (official video) of the stunning Lovesick (Fuck) (official audio), which came out in 2015 on the Someday Somewhere EP (Bandcamp). As seen on Discogs Crossan also has a few more singles out as Mura Masa, plus official videos on YouTube.

Calibre, on the other hand, is an older name on the drum'n'bass scene, with 12 albums (and a ton of singles and EPs) to his name. The Signature Recordings founder has championed a unique brand of future Funk and syncopated Soul that has left an indelible imprint on the Drum & Bass landscape forever (The Sound Advice). But with his prior album, Grow (sample of tracks on Soundcloud), Martin ditched his usual drum & bass fare, but it's still full of high tempos, low-end menace and bluesy atmospheres, touching on deep house and dubstep, if you're looking to pin down a genre or two. Flip back to the prior record, Spill ("full album mix" by a fan, on YouTube), very much so Calibre and a bit more feel-good in comparison to previous albums (DNB Dose). Calibre and Signature Recordings haven't posted any videos to YouTube, but there are track samples there (and a copy of his recent Essential Mix, fwiw).
posted by filthy light thief (3 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Fantastic. Just getting back into D&B - this will soundtrack my weekend - thanks!
posted by dowcrag at 1:02 AM on July 15, 2017

The Camo and Krooked essential mix from earlier this year was also great.
posted by empath at 4:08 AM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nice, and thank you, filthy light thief!
posted by carter at 7:20 AM on July 15, 2017

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