Madame et messieurs, the master of drum lines is back with a new 4+1 songs EP named Differentia and released with Shogun Audio, the label owned by Friction where many of the most famous artists in the drum and bass world released among the years. It contains 4 original song plus the instrumental version of the first one in the tracklist. For those who don’t know him, well, this guy is one of the most world-wide appreciated drum & bass producers because of his complex melodies and sick drums. Sincerely, very few producers reach his level of fucked-up-ness, and in our experience of producers, DJs and bloggers we very rarely stumbled on similar material. Icicle represents a benchmark for many producers that aim to produce songs that step aside from the mainstream sound, just think about Contemporary, the song he released with Mefjus 3 years ago which still will blow up your heart bypass when heard on a proper hi-fi, or Arrows, where he used japanese traditional music and lightweight drums to construct a beautiful and crazy song. To add some hype, for those who like me follow BBC Radio 1 xtra, in one episode Friction interviewed Mefjus and asked him how did this collaboration start. Mefjus said that they got in contact and when Icicle sent him the project he, first thing, changed all the drums of it. Friction literally jumped on the chair saying wait, did you really touch Icicle’s drums?
The EP starts with The Nothing (feat Tasha Baxter), a song that creates the correct atmosphere for listening to the album: dark, with complex drum lines and with a very nice vocal line from Tasha. The song is a brainfuck, as you expect from this guy, and the vocals are properly placed in the song without getting neither too much or useless. The second song, which is also the title track Differentia, has a sick drum line that reminds me why I regret not having studied more the drums composition theory. Plus, it really shows off how good he is at making really stick-to-your-head riffs. Personally, the third song Ego is the one that lifted my hype to the stars: the drop is nasty, the whole atmosphere of the tracks would make going bonkers every drum & bass club in the world, and still is not commercial or easy going, it takes your whole brain to follow that, plus your whole body to dance to that if you have to. In the end, Icicle gifts us with a drumstep song named Push back, which really reminds of the recent releases of the Noisia‘s labels like Division and Invisible. Slow, hard and industrial sounds make up a melody which seems like the robotic version of a hip hop beat from the early 2000s.
The best song to listen to for discovering this EP, and Icicle if you didn’t know him before, is definitely this one. Enjoy Ego.