Neurofunk/laborious DnB from LA, you say? That’s proper. In the late 90s when the Los Angeles scene was nonetheless forming within the sizzling magma of the drum and bass explosion, LA was nearly fully a darkstep, techstep and darkish jungle city. From the DJ types at occasions that would flip even a soar up observe into one thing grinding and evil to the dub-heavy jungle releases on RAW’s N20 imprint, in every single place you regarded the sound was heavy and darkish. It was a wonderful time for the LA and for drum and bass.
LA has maintained its laborious edge through the years however it’s additionally change into extra inclusive and for some time that meant a reasonably hefty liquid and soar up part within the early 00s and even into right this moment. Diversity is the secret in LA DnB however there are pockets of neuro-and-dark goodness nonetheless not solely surviving however thriving. John Reen is on the heart of a kind of pockets. Aside from holding down his personal common DnB night time in his hometown of Lancaster (about 45 minutes from DTLA), Reen could be very lively at a few of the largest membership nights in LA: he’s performed Respect a number of instances in addition to Killahurtz and Xcellerated. And we haven’t even gotten to his manufacturing but.
Thus far, Reen has launched tracks on Counterpoint, Ordinance, Ronin and Abducted Records. His unreleased observe “Subdue” was even featured on Noisia Radio. Big issues for this Socal child, to say the least. Reen’s first observe since mid-2018, “Cerebral” might be Divinations fifth launch since their inception and it’s one other deep, darkish one for each events.
“Cerebral” toys with neurofunk however total it’s extra within the realm of darkstep. While the beat is steppy and danceable, the snares are positively darkstep throwback type. The intro and ambient sound design are additionally very darkish and should remind some previous schoolers of tracks like John B’s “USA” observe, launched in 1996 earlier than John B was even referred to as John B! There are additionally some actually fascinating sub bass and sound design tweaks on the phrase transitions, giving the observe a whole lot of motion although it’s largely minimal drum and bass. The observe was additionally mastered by U.S. darkish and techstep legend Hive.
It’s nice to see producers like Reen and Labels like Divination lighting up the U.S. and Los Angeles drum and bass scene and displaying them for what they're: numerous, vibrant and filled with expertise. Fans of darkstep and skanking will certainly wish to choose up this on the spot traditional.