After the success of Dexcell’s first single with Mastermind Records (‘Believe’), which gained worldwide support on TV, radio, dance floors and festivals, Dexcell have now come forward with a new release which displays to their many fans that they are still deeply rooted in the underground production world. With bookings at festivals across Europe and the UK, a number of remixes for major labels and over ten million youtube views, Dexcell are well on their way to becoming a household name. The ‘Face The Music’ E.P is already making waves in the Drum and Bass world, proving that their production is on par with the elite as well as showcasing their tight Dubstep production skills. This EP is the next step on their journey with Mastermind; with their debut album in the works, this EP shows that fans can expect a lot more from this phenomenal trio in the near future. So keep your eyes peeled.
The lead track on the EP, Timebomb, has already received extensive coverage on stations such as BBC 1 Xtra and on packed dancefloors worldwide, and it is easy to imagine why. The track begins with a seductive pad which is rich and warm in texture, and the short stabs of heavily reverbed and delayed synth create an ambient feel. Tribal drums, although not a prominent feature in the intro, add to the mystical texture Dexcell creates. The track itself consists of a bruising and dirty heart wrenching bassline over a rolling breakbeat, and this bleak, forbidding sound becomes a fundamental aspect of Dexcell’s production throughout the EP. The drum sequencing is given further layers through the use of more tribal drums, and unlike many Drum and Bass producers, Dexcell avoids over relying on a simple, repetitive loop. Scramble is the second track on Dexcell’s ‘Face The Music’ EP, and draws strongly on dance floor and roots reggae influences while retaining the thundering basslines and driving kick patterns that makes Drumstep such an appealing genre to ravers. Reggae is a genre that many drum and bass producers utilize, but rarely as effectively as Dexcell does here. The drum rolls and synth’s create a sound similar to that of dancehall artists such as Movado, which leads into an explosion of Drumstep turmoil driven by pistol-crack snares and anarchic bass. This in turn leads into a fully-fledged Drum and Bass sequence, and introduces a more menacing bass sound. The interesting use of westcoast style synths over the breakdown reveals Dre style hip-hop influences; this and the dancehall vibe introduced from the opening makes ‘Scramble’ a multi-dimensional Drumstep hit that will interest fans of many genres of urban music.
The penultimate on the EP ʻArrayʼ showcases the new direction taken by the artists in pursuing a draker and more underground vibe. The intro offers an almost melancholic string section that, coupled with the heavily reverbed pads, create a sense of uncertainty. Unlike many producers, Dexcell employs a much more restrained take on the drop, which is subtle and suits the track perfectly. The bassline is not overdone either; it is simple and repetitive, avoiding the overly heavy basslines that are commonplace in many energy rich Drum and Bass of today, while remaining effective and prominent. The drum sequencing also differs from conventional Drum and Bass in that Dexcell’s choice of snare resembles more of a clap; this helps create a dillinja-esque vibe that seems to be coming back to the forefront in a number of established current producers. Overall, Array presents the listener with a sinister side of Drum and Bass, that is both innovative and captivating.
The final piece on the EP is a Dubstep track, ʻDecoyʼ more conventional in the sense that it is more or less a relentless wave of hard basslines and even harder drum sequencing that is sure to smash raves across the country. However Dexcell’s use of spacey synths and awe-inspiring pads give the track another dimension; while it is undoubtedly a ruthless and aggressive track, it is unsettlingly melodic in parts. The drop is so sudden that the listener is not prepared for it, and is brought from an ominous yet harmonious bell-like sound and dragged straight into an intense wall of heavily distorted wobble basses and snare drums. Coming from producers that are better known for their Drum and Bass, Decoy exhibits Dexcell’s versatility and ability to make club smashers in both the Dubstep and Drum and Bass world.#
Words By Tom Bletso
Mastermind Records Ltd
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