Next up on the fine Russian drum and bass institution #Ignescent comes the first ever collaborative project from two of the label’s most respected signees. Having each earned their stripes in the game as individuals, Moscow producers #Valrus (#Eatbrain, #BadTaste, #CitrusRecordings) and #Mayel (#NocidBusiness, #Invasion) have banded together to form a brand-new side project, #IceOLater. Their debut EP, #Gunman, is a high-octane four-track showcase of the new duo’s signature style, expertly juggling cinematic soundscapes with gritty synth work.
The project commences with the drawn-out, inviting pads of “#Subdual”, a suitably monumental introduction to this emerging neurofunk powerhouse. The listener is soon greeted with crisp, percussive clicks, twinkling synth leads and ambient noise, working their way up to an electrifying pinnacle, before the track reaches a frenetic crescendo, marked by distorted basslines, rattling hi-hats and dogged snares. The grimly named “#Cholera” ensues, with unsettling atmospherics leading into a bullish, syncopated drop dominated by cutting-edge metallic synths and making use of a distinctive triplet-led bounce.
Past the halfway mark, title track “#Gunman” is just as militant as its title promises, utilising warped chords and reversed, synthesised choral gasps before bursting into a dizzying drop featuring a novel combination of crunchy basslines, patois-tinged vocal samples and cowbells. Wrapping up the project is “#Parasite”, an epic closer featuring swelling bass, mechanical bleeps and jangling percussion and concluding with a comical burst of feedback to see out the project with a bang. Hearing these four weapons, it’s a wonder that the pair haven’t collaborated before; from now on, though, expect to hear plenty more from the promising new Russian drum and bass tag team.