- Elegant and soulful drum & bass that'll still catch the ears of house heads.
- Amy Dabb's first release, "Allure," was a slice of breakbeat house that Paul Woolford snatched up for a compilation after running a competition for bedroom producers. That's a pretty impressive way to start a career in dance music and, bolstered by the Woolford co-sign, Dabbs started sending off tracks to labels like Lobster Theremin where she kept her take on deep house hazy and nostalgic. But over the past year, rather than get pigeonholed, she's pitched the energy up, making some jungle tunes alongside Coco Bryce. Rather than marking a linear progression—house producer turns junglist— on her latest EP, Baddest Gal, she marries the gentle caress of house melodies with the agility of drum & bass.
On Baddest Gal, Dabbs manually programs her drums as opposed to using loops, which gives them a noticeable human touch. This approach is a tall order when it comes to making music at drum & bass tempo, but the payoff is clear on track like "No You", where the rattling hand drum and outsized snares add a hint of warmth to the darkside bassline.
Dabbs' penchant for house melodies also add personality to her production. Pitched way, way (way) down, you could imagine someone like Space Ghost or Theo Parrish playing the first few minutes of "Don't Go," with its hazy, jazz chords, Juno noodling and broken drum patterns. She works with mellow and melodic chords on the title track over carefully chopped breaks, shaking up a cocktail of elegance and precision.
Here Dabbs harkens back to the mid-'90s when the boundaries between jungle and drum & bass were porous and exploratory. You can hear the influences of labels like LTJ Bukem's Good Looking Records or the lethargic sci-fi of A Guy Called Gerald's Black Secret Technology across the EP. I have no doubt that there would have been a rewind if you played any of these tracks at Bukem and Fabio's legendary Speed party.
01. Don't Go
02. No You
03. Baddest Gal
04. Your Move