Andy Skopes Speechless E.P
Words by Mat Taylor
New Metalheadz releases that land in our inbox always get a positive response but this one really stood out among the rest. I’ve been listening to a lot of old Source Direct and Photek recently, kind of pining for that complicated, careful sound that made that era so good. Within seconds of the opening track, Let Go, my ears pricked up like a dog who just heard he might be getting dinner soon; this is my absolute favourite sound in drum and bass. Light meets dark to create something that isn’t neuro, jungle, drumfunk or any of the seemingly endless sub genre names people throw around, but something that is unmistakebly, Metalheadz. I think it’s the breaks that do it, there’s something in the arrangement that feels fluid and natural, as if the drums are being played by a person, or indeed, an unusually talented octopus with a penchant for paradiddles.
Second track, Seance leads you in with feverish, complex beats until a lone voice talks of “forces beyond our world” before the chest crushing drop. Chopped and spliced drum patterns over deep, round bass and warm chords make this one of the stand out tracks from the E.P. That indescribable alchemy is ever present, too. There are thousands of tracks that use similar elements and production techniques, but they don’t measure up to this by a long shot. Dancefloor friendly (in the right club or at the right event) but complex and progressive enough to be great music to enjoy at home as well.
An aging Dnb nerd like me can remember Andy Skopes posting on www.dogsonacid.com back in the early 2000s, so it’s amazing to see he’s managed to secure a release on a lable like headz. Herion and title track Speechless are less intense, more sombre tracks than the two I’ve mentioned already but they both still have that strangely haunting quality that binds this 4 tracker together so well.
The Speechless E.P is available on all formats now.