Stepping up for his first outing on #Aries & #Kelvin373’s esteemed multi-genre label #BornOnRoad, Gillingham-via-Bristol’s #DJGaw offers up five thumping rollers in the form of the #HandSignEP. The defiant project serves as his second to date, coming just weeks after the #HeadpieceEP, a collection of resonant rollers and twitching jump up numbers released in July via #NickyBlackmarket’s label #Kartoons. Having already secured the support of drum and bass royalty including #MackyGee, #BryanGee and #Aphrodite, the young producer is fast becoming one to watch, with #HandSign serving as yet another clear indicator of his musical credentials.
Opening with luscious, serene synth pads, the EP’s title track quickly explodes into a bouncing, jungle-inspired groove, dominated by throbbing sub bass and bullying breaks and broken up by momentary pauses. Meanwhile, “#Hyper” is a collaboration with North Devon-based hip hop artist #JoeBurn, who channels his Jamaican roots into a patois-slanted topline, spitting over a vibrant amalgamation of reggae skanks, dub sirens, sampled breakbeats and fluttering basslines. “#IFeel” transitions from an airy, nostalgic intro into a quivering, jump up-inspired drop, with gritty formant basses offset by juddering sub-bass fills and overlaid with soulful slabs of sampled vocals.
Penultimate offering “#Signal” is an exhilarating aural journey, with soothing chords and twinkling percussion giving way to sporadic, squelching basslines and frantic, shaking drums. Seeing out the EP is “#Rasta”, a booming collaboration with labelmate Disrupta and their second tag-team following the atmospheric 2019 effort “#Danger”. “#Rasta” is comparatively furious, with an old-school homophonic intro quickly descending into a roaring, riotous drop, furnished with bitcrushed screams and waspish reeses to make for the rawest cut on the EP, showcasing the pair’s fluency in yet another style of D&B and concluding the project with flair.