Setting out its tools like a masked psycho in a slasher flick, #ConfucianSound is ready to pull out some fingernails on its nasty new compilation, #Quinquewave. But it's not rusty hacksaws being laid out on the workbench - this is weapons-grade technology thrown down by some of the label's leading names, all chipping in with immense cuts of dark, techy drum & bass.
With black-hole basslines across the board, #Quinquewave is as much about the producers as the sounds they spray out - South Korea isn't a nation known for its 174 output, but some of the chops on display here are formidable. Opening track '#MidnightLamp' comes from #Hollyland, whose uppercut sonics sit on watertight drums for an aural assault which lands punches with each synth stab.
This is followed up by '#BlackNWhite', a crunchy neuro cut with scientifically precise drums from 15-year-old producer #Jevy - he's still four years away from his first legal drink in his home country, but he's already laid down a marker for himself and for #ConfucianSound with the track '#Was' from his #CrisisEP, which was picked up and featured by DNB Dojo earlier this year.
'#Bayonet' comes from #Ovzerver, who goes so heavy on the sub frequencies it feels like your skull might collapse. And if it did we wouldn't even know who to sue for damages - the producer is totally anonymous, to the point that even label boss #Xeomi doesn't know who he is. "We don't even know where he came from or what he does," said #Xeomi. "He suddenly came to our label and he proved his skills. Anyway, his tunes are great so why not take them?"
One of the biggest names on the record is #RAFA, whose half-time tunes are well known in South Korea already - '#Anomalia' is his contribution to #Quinquewave and it stomps in and trashes the place, blowing holes in the furniture with laser-beam synths and scorching the carpet with controlled-explosion percussion. And as is only fitting, #Xeomi closes off his label's compilation, going in with German producer and #ConfucianSound advisor #Kaiza on punishing neuro banger '#Para' and putting his money where his mouth is having said that it's the sound, not the location, that matters.
"Dragging new talents who have their own dark and tech style in the drum & bass scene to our label is one of the main reasons why I am running #ConfuciusSound," he said. "We have to evolve our scene worldwide so it really doesn't matter where you are from. We are continuously searching for new styles and new sounds. Everything must be innovation."
The philosopher who gives his name to #Xeomi's label probably didn't know too much about drum & bass (possibly more of a hip-hop head?) but when he spoke about life as being "simple but we insist on making it complicated" he might as well have been speaking about the genre. There's a lot of rubbish to wade through, but when you boil it down it's a straightforward case of if the tunes are good then nothing else matters. And #
Quinquewave is simply five deep, dark, techy bangers - enough said.