The Dutch label show off their signature sound on this six-track EP
Launched in 2018, Differential Recordings are a Dutch label specialising in, in their own words, "soulful, liquid and deep drum & bass". But if you think that means this EP's gonna be all light n' fluffy, you might be surprised.
The EP opens with Silence by Rift (as remixed by Phil Tangent), a fast-paced but sumptuous liquid roller. The Brainwork Remix of Askel Elere's Tomorrow then follows in a similar vein, before Styke's Outer Space (or rather the Melinki Remix thereof) takes us into far darker, steppier territory, complete with what sounds suspiciously like a vocal microsnip from Johnny L's classic Hurt You So. We stay there for the SiLi Remix of Petroll's Stamina with its cut-up Middle Eastern-sounding vox and ominous industrial synth scrapes, while the Crash Comet VIP of Crash Comet & Linear's Wondering starts out all sampled film dialogue and gently tinkling ivories, before unleashing a furious bass onslaught just before we reach the minute mark. Which just leaves Dustkey's Your Letter, as remixed by Leniz, to play us out on the same kinda liquid-y note we came in on, this time augmented by snatches of male soul vocal.
With a pleasing balance of light and dark, the Defragmented EP overall provides a nice lil' snapshot of where deeper shades of D&B are at as of 2020, and as such is well worth investigation.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 31 July
Review Score: 8