- By no means the biggest or best know of drum & bass's deeper outlets (Soul:r, Critical and label-of-the-moment NonPlus+ are just a few of those), Texas-based Warm Communications has been a consistent, if irregular, source of excellence since its inception back in 2000 (I count five releases in the last three years—hardly prolific). But if a recent, exhilarating studio mix from its head honcho, packed full of tantalising in-house dubs, is anything to go by, things are about to heat up considerably.
Not least because this 12-inch, which sees two of said dubs pressed to wax, very much hits the spot. The A-side is what everyone's been raving about (well, not everyone, but a fair few of "those in the know"), and for good reason: it's stunning. Swung drums, deep, morphing bass and mournful, oddly transcendent neo-'80s synths, underpinned by a languid 85 BPM kick, mark it out as primetime Autonomic gear, and, such being the quality of the production, make for the kind of deeply immersive, heads-down dance floor experience not heard since dubstep's pre-purple/funky/tropical heyday. Landing up somewhere between Burial, Instra:mental and Seba, "Hydrate" is, in fact, a near perfect example of the good turn drum & bass has taken of late.
Consequence's re-rub is equally impressive, if a good deal mellower, starting out in bleary, pitch-bent drone territory a la Oneohtrix Point Never or Geogaddi-era Boards of Canada before funereal pianos and pluming trails of cotton wool bass beckon us, gently, to the dance floor. Again, it's unashamedly nu-school stuff, but whereas DJG keeps things relatively tough and driving, Consequence opts for glacial abstraction, distilling the original into something almost reverential in its ghostly, glowing splendour. A better remix of a better original you'll struggle to find all year.
B Hydrate (Consequence Remix)