hydro & war Afflicted / Virtuality (12", £7.95)label: Horizons Music
Horizons Music stands as a respected label within their field, presenting upfront drum & bass with high quality production standards. Showcasing an impeccably diverse artist roster, they’ve stayed principled with their output and this single is no different. Hydro and War feature on both tracks; Hydro utilising his wide range of styles and two decades of experience alongside War’s undeniable talent to create another milestone for Horizons’ discography. * ‘Afflicted’ rolls out first, gripping you from start to finish and beginning just the way you’d expect. Gradually gaining pace, it’s darkly foreboding and pulses with activity. Slowly ticking hi-hats intertwine with a winding up bass line to take you down a rollercoaster of snapping beats and crashing symbols. It’s moodily enticing and War’s tell-tale bass methods pull you in even further. A roller to take you into the murkier waters of any late night set, the steppy drums provide abundant space before letting go into all out anarchy once the track breaks. Mechanical, cleverly crafted and impactful throughout, it takes you between various paces. Instrumentals break out and distortion appears between each mix while you’re disturbed by swathes or creeping sample, leaving you unable to drag yourself away from its grip. This is Hydro and War at their most menacing, but also at their most spell-binding. * On the flipside, ‘Virtuality’ is softer to the touch, despite the pounding kick that fortifies its foundations. Zipping between breaks it presents the single’s lighter side, despite the jungle breakdown that begins to make itself known midway through. LFO stuns its way between tinkling piano notes and shaking hats. For those who complain that a lot of modern drum & bass doesn’t take you on a voyage, ‘Virtuality’ tells a different story. A piece of artwork that switches between a huge spectrum of sound, Hydro and War manage to encapsulate what many producers struggle to do throughout a full body of work. * So once again, it’s time to reintroduce yourself to Horizons Music. A platform that instils class within each of its releases, demonstrated by this next output from Hydro and War.
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