Dev Pandya is the undisputed king of the 170 BPM breakbeat, completely engrossed in his art he returns under his Alaska moniker with two fresh cuts in the form of "Jasheri" and "Zoranine"...
Recently listening to DJ Flight's Rinse FM show, she said of Dev Pandya AKA Alaska AKA Paradox "Love him or hate him, you can't deny the fact that he loves this music and loves what he does, respect to Dev ploughing on". And that just about sums the guy up! Irrespective of passing trends or fads within drum & bass, Dev stands firm, preaching a mantra that holds true to b-boyism and junglism alike. Be it early work on Reinforced, excursions on Metalheadz, Hospital or Samurai, or the large body of work on his Paradox Music group of labels, the music remains true to the vision.
I wanted to do something extremely sad and "Jasheri" captured it with its escalating orchestral ethos and keys. Pain is the best form of music emotion. Depression can be so heart-warming.
- Dev Pandya
As Alaska, Dev's music has a leaning towards the more ambient side of his palette, and this is certainly true of "Jasheri". The composition is laden with clean crisp percussion that whistles by you like a cold arctic wind. The atmospheric pad sounds are equally glacial, echoing the solemn coldness of the artist namesake. Where much of drum & bass can be formulaic and predictably structured, "Jasheri" needs to be listened to from edge to edge, this is music to be listened to rather than merely heard.
Jasheri is an emotive piece that took around two months to complete, and follows on from "Zeal" which was written with Robert Manos.
Recently Dev hit 150 vinyl releases as Paradox, and this clocks in at the 33rd as Alaska. Two sides of the same coin, splitting Dev's personality between the b-boy and the textualist. The Alaska sound has a heritage that owes to the likes of Good Looking Records and other fusion sounds of the 1990s. This is maybe more true with this 12" than others as it exercises music at different tempos, not unlike GLR's Earth series.
I can’t work on both artists at once. What happens on the mixing desk stays on the mixing desk. In the recording studio once a Paradox 12” project is over the desk gets wiped and an Arctic Music 12” begins, or vice versa.
- Dev Pandya
"Zoranine" is by no means Dev's first excursion into the lower tempo range, extensive album work, single releases and b sides which have no doubt been informed by collaboration with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Mark De Clive Lowe have peppered his career. The tempo may change, but to me, this still feels like intelligent jungle music, at least in its feeling and vibe.
About a month of research went into the sample stages. Sample etiquette is paramount. You can’t rush this type of music. "Zoranine" is based on sleeze-funk and jazz from the early 1970s.
A sign of well made sample based music is often that it doesn't sound like sample based music. It seems silly to say, but it really does ring true, "Zoranine" could easily have been written for an orchestra or be part of a soundtrack to a feature film. Again it harks back to '90s leftfield, a streak of grandeur runs throughout.
Alaska "Jasheri" / "Zoranine" is out on Arctic Music