- The press notes for the very first artist album in Metalheadz history compare it to landmark drum n bass full lengths such as Timeless or New Forms. Unfortunately, the reality is a little less glowing. Rather than the Pendulum-fueled headbanger breaks that have dominated DnB over the last few years, Call To Mind is more retro-tinged, inhaling the likes of Bukem, Photek, and Two Pages-era 4 Hero and synthesizing them into something that has a lot of variety. Well, at least the CD version released last year did. The 3x12” vinyl—held up at the plant for months due to a pressing error, apparently—unfortunately strips away that range and focuses squarely on the most dancefloor friendly choons.
The first disc is the best of the three. ‘How You Gonna Feel’ has a nice urban feel and features the warm smoothness of Steve Spacek’s voice, while ‘Change’, featuring a guest appearance from fellow Cambridge hip-hop producers the Nextmen, is even better. This side may not be tough enough for kids in the States raised on a steady diet of Linkin Park and Timbaland, but it will certainly get love back home in England for being authentic.
The second disc is more progressive-sounding, underpinned by a touch of blunted Philly soul that’s overall reminiscent of mid-nineties Photek, while disc three is the weakest of the collection with two peak hour steppers that, beside the lush electronic strings on ‘Emily’s Smile’, offer little of the forward thinking drum n bass movement that Commix are said to be a part of and that’s seriously disappointing.
Call To Mind is a decidedly ordinary album. It’s retro feel might be fun, but there’s little of the innovation shown by Goldie and his Metalheadz label the decade previous to show here. Hailed as the return of the genre on its release, ultimately the record only speaks to how low the bar is for DnB these days.
A How You Gonna Feel
D Japanese Electronics
E Emily's Smile