July 22nd- Fixate- March On EP

The second drum and bass appearance on my blog and a second recommended record for Exit Records, following the brilliant and diverse Richie Brains album. Exit Records continues to be the most exciting drum and bass label in the UK and represents a diversity of sound, which post LTJ Bukem and Andy C’s Bodyrock is often lost within the genre. I can safely and happily say Fixate’s new EP continues this Exit Records trend.

Things kick off with the heavy and aggressive March On, whilst the track itself features a pummeling bass unlike so many of their lesser affiliates a bass driven track doesn’t have to mean sped up to ridiculous levels for Fixate. Rather the aggression of the track comes from the strength of the bass not the rhythm. Things are subtle yet threatening and enough to get the blood pumping in any bass head’s veins.

The phenomenal Bandicoot is the real show stopper on Fixate’s EP. With its off-kilter rhythms, synth lead-in and Crash Bandicoot sampling drop, it is a display of diversity, restrain and bass driven brilliance. The track has been getting huge support from Toddla T and deservedly so.

Turbocharge sees Fixate employ a footwork stylised rhythm to the track, something which Exit Record affiliates have been experimenting with for some time, see Alix Perez and Richie Brains. The current love in between Drum and Bass and Footwork is an exciting one, which serves two purposes. One to reignite lost experimentalism in Drum Bass. And two to increase the awareness of one of this decade’s most exciting underground music scenes in Footwork. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, which produces great results on Fixate’s new release and will hopefully do so for others in the future.

The EP closes out with its weakest track Molecules, which is centred round an Indian drum sample. It’s not that it’s a bad track, it’s just not as good as what else is on offer here. Also, the Indian drum sample has been done to death in Drum and Bass, there are a lot more world music sounds and drum loops to sample. It would be refreshing to hear something new.

Fixate’s March On EP adds to Exit Records continuing cannon of experimental and exciting drum and bass records and is a release that anyone with an interest in the longevity of the genre should seek out straight away.

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