A1. ‘One Rain’
A2. ‘Creative Elements’
B1. ‘Monday Madness’
We mentioned not too long ago that Samurai and its associated labels do get a lot of love here on EDJ. Rather than simply being a mouthpiece for Presha and his ever expanding musical empire though, Samurai’s relentless release schedule coupled with the consistently high quality of said releases means that more often than not they will be up there with the best D&B released in that particular week. So, here we are again with another ’12 of the week’ accolade, this time for Genotype’s Lessons In Depth EP.
It is Geno’s most substantial and complete body of work since 2010’s much lauded ‘Ritual Dance’ LP on Exit. A few sporadic releases betwixt that and this (most notably a killer 12″ on Ingredients) has kept his profile low-key but still just about in the conciousness of the savvier heads. He has obviously been keeping busy in the studio though despite the lack of releases as this project was put together from a slew of tunes sent over to Samurai all in one go.
For those that rated the LP on Exit then what we have here is a continuation on that theme, of sorts. Ritual Dance was, shall we say,’club minimalism’, as in there were lots of 64 bar, hi-hatted intros and the bouncing dubwise b-lines worked well on the floor. This project, whilst sharing is stripped back, minimalistic approach to the construction of the tunes themselves, moves into more experimental ‘home-listening’ territory through the sounds used and the way these then play out and interact with one another.
It inhabits this territory so well that in fact the one true dance floor tune included in the package, ‘The Day After Night’ seems at odds with the rest of the music. However, having been locked down by dBridge for years now, its hypnotic rolling bassline now freed is better than it not making the cut at all and leaving people clamouring for it for ever more. Personal highlights from across the two EP’s include ‘Jam That Feel’, ‘One Rain’ and ‘Monday Madness’. Jam That Feel in particular is a stand out track with its smokey dubwise vibe created by delayed reggae vocal snippets and brilliant use of the steel pans/drums. He has a long standing history with this instrument having played at Notting Hill Carnival and more, and even teaching the use of the instruments in schools in the UK. They are a truly unique instrument, and to combine his personal and cultural history and heritage into his music with little touches like this really adds that extra dimension to things. Too often modern D&B references only past D&B, it is a fact much bemoaned by those with a long standing interest in the music, and so to bring in outside influences in such a way is something that really makes this release a cut above your standard rollers and club bangers. The title really is very apt indeed as this is not a release that may ‘make sense’ straight away. I for one was left very underwhelmed the first time I listened but the more you allow yourself to open up to it the more you ‘get it’. It’s a slow burner, one that rewards an open mind and repeated listens, something that cannot be said for the vast majority of Drum & Bass out there today.Genotype ‘Lessons In Depth, EP (Samurai Music)