30 January 2010

Ronin - The Battledrums EP

Cult-as-all-hell scottish D'n'B label Nerve recordings, headed by the mighty Paul Reset, also run a free download wing entitled Nerve Breaks. It is rather awesome.
Most recent release, Ronin's The BattleDrums EP, is four wicked tracks of grand scale, genre-splicing turntablism that I've been running on repeat ever since I downloaded. Opener Quarantine, weaves back and forth between laid-back hip-hop and double-time drum and bass, managing to maintain smoked-out atmospherics, even when the percussion gets hectic. If You Fear Dying similarly balances between widescreen melodies and frenetic beats, sampling Zach DeLa Rocha to great effect.
For all it's breaksy elements and double-timed percussion, Ronin's keen to state that it's as much a hip-hop record as his previous turntablist foray Best Laid Plans; "99% of it is still MPC work, filters & turntablism, its just used to different effect in parts." His ability to sample, dissasemble and rework is what gives the EP it's unique flavour - Ronin doesn't just play nine different varients on the amen break; he picks music from his roots (RATM / Deftones / Thom Yorke), and recontextualises them with modern sensibilities. Admittedly, if you didn't "get" My Own Summer the first time round, Ronin's retake will probably leave you cold, but for those who grew up screaming along to Chino Marino, it's bloody awesome.

Get it in yer boombox, and turn the monitors up full.
Download here.

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