To celebrate 5 glorious years in the game, Samurai are dropping "Way Of The Samurai 2 - Code Of Honour". And guess what? It's absolutely disgusting... In a good way of course, let's check it out!
The first thing you notice about the WOTS2 compilation is the outrageous roster of artists. The album is a curious blend of names you know very well alongside others who are new to you. There is of course Samurai staples like Tokyo Prose and Klute typifying the labels bread and butter sound, but dig a little deeper and you start to unravel some unexpected musical twists and turns. It is important to remember that Samurai is essentially several label all under one banner, which lends itself to the apparent diversity amongst the artists and styles presented.
It's taken us here at Organic, a good week or so to get our heads (and ears) around the whole package. Totaling at 22 tracks from over 25 artists it is simply a lot of music to take in at once. When you consider the vast array of styles from artists like Marcus Intalex, Clarity, Sam KDC, Consequence, Tokyo Prose, Cern, Nymfo, Loxy & Resound and beyond, you could be forgiven for not seeing any obvious parallels musically... But it works. There is a unifying current running throughout, that even if hard to define, binds the package together solidly.
Refreshingly the album offers up some new artists that we haven't seen before in the form of Mercy, M-zine, Scepticz, Distant Future, Subtension, Minor Rain, Borderline, Dally and Paragon. Having heard little or nothing from these guys before, you get that feeling that you used from underground music. You know the one? Yes you do! The mysterious faceless quality behind the tracks. A sense of intrigue. It's a gutsy A&R move that would be welcome within drum & bass if more people were happy to take a bold chance on newcomers.
The best way to understand and truly appreciate "Code Of Honour" is going to be to buy yourself a copy and play it from start to finish. However! If you want to know what we think, we have chosen some of our personal highlights here at Organic HQ and thrown in our thoughts...
Marcus Intalex - "Redan"
If in the summer of 1999, Dillinja & Lemon D went on a romantic weekend getaway with Derek May, "Redan" is how it would sound! Picking up we're he left off on his own "Sell Your Soul", Marcus pays another homage to pre 2000 break master Dillinja. The toughness and raw appeal of the break is juxtaposed by some sublime pad work.
Clarity - "Cold Blank"
"Cold Blank" has been doing the rounds for a little while now. Featured in Clarity's own guest mix for Organic, it would seem that Samurai have been sitting on this beauty, saving it for this project. It's not really fair to describe Clarity as an emerging talent as he's writing music well beyond his years and better than many of his more seasoned peers. "Cold Blank" is the track that unifies everyone in the dance, moving together, faces screwed. All too often, tonal tracks can be overly punishing dynamically, too sharp and generally compressed too death. Not here, "Cold Blank" feels balanced and powerful without the painful overture. This is how it should be done.
Tokyo Prose - "Reach"
One of Samurai's A&R success stories Tokyo Prose have laid down "Reach" amidst a flurry of post summer nostalgia amongst this years festival goers. Piano liquid is a really hard place to be for producers I think, mainly because everyone is living in Calibre's shadow, fighting to attain the same level of consistent balance. Tokyo Prose have in a sense carved out there own pocket away from the bunch. Hands in the air for the piano!
Consequence - "Noisy Spirits In This Soul"
Consequence steps away from the deep contemplation that defined his "Test Dream LP" and opts for directed aural assault in the form of "Noisy Spirit In This Soul". Straight kick, snare, kick snare (even if it is a clap) drums give firm foundation to suspended anxious synth lines and dry bass switches. All the variation is in the morphing bass, saturating and double up from one bar to another. This one is a adulterous little number... On the surface it seems simple but there are dirty tricks lurking behind the curtains!
"Way Of The Samurai 2 - Code Of Honour" release details
NZ019 // 12" Vinyl // Code of Honour LP Sampler 'Honesty'
A/ Tokyo Prose & Phil Tangent 'Parity' (Klute Remix)
AA/ Clarity 'Cold Blank'
REDSEAL017 // 12" Vinyl // Code Of Honour 'Wisdom'
A/ Consequence 'Noisy Spirits In This Soul'
AA/ ASC 'Snow Wolf'
NZ020 // 12" Vinyl // Code Of Honour 'Respect'
A/ Nymfo 'Floating Point'
AA/ Borderline & Subtension 'Reaction'
REDSEAL018 // 12" Vinyl // Code Of Honour 'Honour'¬†
A/ Marcus Intalex 'Redan'
AA/ Tokyo Prose 'Reach'
NZ021 // 12" Vinyl // Code Of Honour 'Courage'
A/ Loxy & Resound 'Tropopause'
AA/ Overlook 'Slowroll'
NZCD003 // 22 Tracks on 2xCD & Digital // Way Of The Samurai 2 'Code Of Honour'
01. Marcus Intalex - Redan
02. M-Zine, Scepticz & Distant Future - Magnetic Fields
03. Clarity - Cold Blank
04. Villem, Fields, Mako, & Linden - Fuse
05. Mercy - Blackjack
06. Tokyo Prose - Raised By Wolves
07. Loxy & Resound - Tropopause
08. Overlook - Glass
09. Subtension & Minor Rain - Sklep
10. Pessimist - Ceaseless
11. Sam KDC - Sepia
01. Dally - General Sherman
02. Paragon - Heirship
03. Consequence - Noisy Spirits In This Soul
04. Overlook - Slowroll
05. ASC - Snow Wolf
06. Nymfo - Floating Point
07. Borderline & Subtension - Reaction
08. Tokyo Prose & Phil Tangent - Parity (Klute Remix)
09. Mercy & Hollow Crooks - Outline
10. Tokyo Prose - Reach
11. Cern - Apparition
If all of that wasn't enough, Samurai will be smashing London's Cable club to bits this weekend alongside V Records, So get your arse in gear if you don't want to miss out! All the info is HERE.
We've got of the double CD album to give away. Simply click HERE and submit your email address to be entered and we'll pick a lucky winner out of the hat...
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