Sub Zero – Protection (review)
Sub Zero, a producer now firmly cemented in the DJ Hype’s Real Playaz label, has come a long way in a short time span. Not to be confused with the classic Mortal Kombat character, favoured by many for his fire breathing and skull ripping, this talented producer made his debut (as a solo producer*) to my ears in 2010 with his remix of ‘We Came To Entertain’ on Formation Records.
At the time of release this was exactly what Jump Up Drum & Bass needed, a solid well thought out tune with all the attributes of a dance floor anthem. Sure, most people with half a clue on how to operate a computer based DAW can bash out throwaway Jump Up – just toss in a few movie samples, a mid ranged bass tone and various samples from a Vengeance pack, but this is the point I am trying to make. Sub Zero brought what was perhaps the thinking man’s production style back to Jump Up.
Moving slightly forward to 2012 and the ‘Bi Polar EP’ released under Playaz Recordings featuring Grimm and Supreme Being (after much social networking embarrassment, less said about that the better). To make an EP is no small task and to make one at such an early stage of a producers career could potentially be quite daunting so the expectation surrounding this, as you can imagine, has been pretty big.
So, you were expecting a track with loads of wobble? Wrong review, this is indeed a dance floor track but not for the under 18’s – it’s a thinking man’s Drum & Bass smasher, perfect for the scarcely lit club with your head down, feeling the music as it was intended. This is a combination of a DJ friendly intro, clever pad and percussion work and a simple yet slightly distorted vocal. Add to this a nice, sub low bassline and to make a refreshing change, no mid ranged sine wave action.
You can imagine the scene in the studio when this was licked, if I was Sub Zero the smile on my face would be that of a Cheshire cat. It’s thankfully not aimed as a cross over cash in, this is, in my opinion, aimed at the real heads, regardless of age, just those that know good British music when they hear it.
If I was to ask for anything different it would be a switch up in the second breakdown, perhaps some additional vocals? To be honest though, what’s presented here works, and works as intended.
In summary, this is a superb effort, one which shows diversity and dare I say it – maturity.
Certainly a success for the label, a special end mention must also go to whoever produced the artwork for the vinyl release which suited the production perfectly.
Remember the roller? You do now.
*Sub Zero was previous half of the Generation Dub duo.
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