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Continuing their furtherance of the craft Narratives Music have once again delivered two exciting collaborative efforts featuring today’s modern masters…

Great collaborations are the stuff of drum & bass folklore, be it Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce’s “Alien Girl”, Dom, Rob & Goldie’s “Distorted Dreams” or Marcus Intalex, ST Files & Calibre’s “Mistical Dub”. They are “what ifs” of drum & bass production. Some collaborative outfits remain intact for years while some are just a snapshot in the progression of careers. The latest 12” from Narratives sees the coming together of Blocks, Escher, Loxy & Resound and ASC, Blocks & Escher. It can only get good from here on in.

Blocks, Escher, Loxy & Resound – “Monsters”
With this many individuals contributing to a track, there is always one key question; Who’s job was it to make the tea? Piss taking aside, “Monsters” is exactly that, an absolute beast of a tune. What is immediately striking is that “Monsters” is both a very busy but also very complete piece of music. Right up to the end of the track there are new sounds and elements being added into the mix, yet some how this only furthers the balance of the composition. As far as the sound palette goes, this is classic drum & bass. Tough breaks, full bodied bass lines, big builds and intelligent structure, it’s hard to find fault with this colossal joint effort. With four seasoned producers working on one track, there needs to be a level of vision shared by the group. Any personal glory needs to be left at the studio door, and clearly there is no ego here. “Monsters” is a homage to the craft.

ASC, Blocks & Escher – “Heliocentric”
Heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary Sun at the center of the Solar System. Fitting visual imagery to set “Heliocentric” against. Compared to “Monsters” this is maybe the more reflective half of the 12”. The track juxtaposes almost tribal drum work with some lavish pad and synth riffs. Everything is bound together with expansive reverbs creating a very open sound. The influences from ASC and Blocks & Escher are abundant, classic Narratives drums, ASC emotive keys and a structure that compliments both parties. Again as with “Monsters” a fantastically well rounded and complete track, worthy of it's grandiose title.

Narratives005 continues where it’s predecessors left off, with the addition of some fantastic A&R work and an extended head count. Any Narratives 12” should be taken in context of the whole catalogue, where the themes continue the latest edition also adds another dimension to the series. A sense a progression and collective vision. When people hear the words drum & bass, this is the sound that should come to mind.