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BCee Northpoint
Spearhead Records Sept. 8, 2017

BCee — Northpoint (Sept. 8, 2017)

                            BCee — Northpoint (Sept. 8, 2017)   BCee — Northpoint (Sept. 8, 2017)•     36. věc od BCee (Steve Jefroy/Steve Jeffery) návratem dupe ke svým základům — pro něj asi ta nejlepší cesta. Vidím to razantně jinak. Rozmanitost je kořením života, takže širší směs zvuků by byla pozitivní změnou. Dead Reckoning je pravděpodobně nejtěžší hitter alba Northpoint, jakýsi náladový pěstník, jež zdokonaluje partity LP čistě díky větší rozmanitosti, kterou přináší. Je lehké podlehnout této hudbě, pokud nemáte kreativitu v sobě už vrozenou. Ale zas tak úplná nuda to není. Vezměme to od prvních dvou tracků jako vzorku: pokud má Surfacing (Feat. Lucy Kitchen) nepříjemnou instrumentaci, je následující Little Bird opačným příkladem: otevřen poryvem uklidňujících strun, třpytících se do uvítacích klavírních akordů. Připadá vám, že první dvě stopy z Northpoint zobrazují dva odlišné přístupy myšlení; v Surfacing vše probíhá v popředí, včetně bubnů — jakýchsi ratlíkujících cikád. Na druhé straně Little Bird dovoluje sdělit svůj význam i malým detailům a klidnému backgroundu. Vokální vzorek je nenápadný, klesá do nejnižších bodů notové osnovy, horní část rozsahu fúzuje na dno, celé to kroutí, což by mohlo i poměrně standardní track vynést až k nádhernému zázraku strunných doteků a klavírních ťukanců, jak se to kdysi dělo v tzv. bumpu 80. let. Jinak vše probíhá pocitově lineárně, teprve v 9. tracku přináší Dynamite MC (Dominic Smith, Gloucester, Anglie) osvěžující změnu s produkcí. Jeho šablonou je bublinková syntetická linka podobná houpavé kuličce, obíhající kolem ozvěnové komory, která se zasune do perkusivních groovů, připravená na všechno a až k tomu dojde, čeká na funky set barů, aby to dokončily. Dynamite MC burcuje obrazotvornost tím, že jeho plaše klamný americký zvuk může někdy vypadat neprůhledně, ale Bceeova produkce mu notuje idylickým způsobem a jeho volně tekoucí kaskáda naznačuje, že tato dvojice byla vždy skutečně Born To Spin. Ocenila to i BBC a na trhu jsou trička také s potisky názvu této skladby. Triko pro spinnera, který se spinner legendou už narodil. Chápeš to? BCee  k tomu dodává: chtěl jsem vytvořit album plné d&b, které by stejně dobře fungovalo v klubu, jako v autě. Žádná plnidla, žádná představa o tom, jak dokážu vyprodukovat house nebo hip~hop nebo cokoliv, jen čistý drum & bass a žádné nesmysly.
•     “I wanted to make an album packed full of d&b that would work in a club just as well as it would in the car. No fillers, no showcasing how I can produce house or hip~hop or whatever, just pure no nonsense drum & bass”.
Location: Palgrave, UK
Genre: Electronic
Style: Drum n Bass
Album release: Sept. 8, 2017
Record Label: Spearhead Records
Duration:     72:35
Tracks:
01. Surfacing (Feat. Lucy Kitchen)      5:14
02. Little Bird      5:19
03. More Than Words (Feat. Charlotte Haining)      5:17
04. Armed & Dangerous      4:33
05. Black Sky (Feat. Thomas Oliver)      4:53
06. Had It All (Feat. Logistics)      4:07
07. Northpoint (Feat. Riya)      5:51
08. Angel Of Light      5:57
09. Born To Spin (Feat. Dynamite MC)      4:07
10. Your Body (Feat. Jemimah Read)      5:38
11. Hollow Eyes      5:01
12. Keep Moving On      5:06
13. Dead Reckoning      5:15
14. Generations (Remastered)      6:09
Notes:
•     Dynamite MC (born Dominic Smith, 7 October 1973, Germany) is an MC from Gloucester, England. He originally gained prominence in jungle/drum and bass, working with Roni Size and Reprazent, but has also released hip hop material.
•     Logistics (Born: July 30th 1981 / Origin: England, UK) is the stage name of Matt Gresham, a drum and bass music producer and DJ from Cambridge, England. He is signed to Hospital Records. He creates his music using the Ableton sequencer. His music style tends to be towards the more soul~influenced styles of drum & bass but is also targeted at a club audience rather than a home audience, which is described as such by Hospital Records as “bridging the gap between a lacklustre subgenre, liquid funk, and more exciting, dancefloor orientated drum and bass”. His two brothers — Dan Gresham (best known as Nu:Tone) and Nick Gresham (known under the names Other Echoes and, formerly, Bastille) — are also producers signed to Hospital Records. Matt has also collaborated with Dan under the name Nu:Logic.
Review
Ben on 6th September 2017
•     A while ago we described our experiences at Spearhead’s takeover of Lightbox in London, a night of floor~filling liquid, LED covered walls and double vodka Red Bulls. It was also Bcee’s birthday, a personal milestone for the Spearhead boss which I suspect will rank lower in his mind than his latest, the release of his fourth album — Northpoint.
•     Birthdays are inevitable whilst your fourth album is anything but, a serious achievement even for the man who’s now~successful label started life on a laptop in an internet cafe. Bcee’s music has always encapsulated the style Spearhead has pushed and Northpoint continues that trend, except this time around the sound is smoother and more well~polished than ever before.
•     It’s one of several hotly anticipated albums this summer has brought us and whilst its 8th of September release date technically puts it in the autumn, summery ambience is an integral part of what makes Northpoint worth listening to.
•     The title track is back~to~basics Bcee in the best possible way. He’s built up a reputation for his strolling journeys through vocal powered drum n bass and as such there’s no better accompaniment than Riya to epitomize that notoriety. Riya is as big a vocal veteran as they come in drum n bass and Northpoint isn’t lined with frills or gimmicks — it doesn’t need them. The pair know that and as such have kept the tune limited to Riya, the drums, the bass and a consistent feeling of emotive travel. It’s a fitting title tune for his 4th long play and an even better benchmark for others to aim at.
•     Lucy Kitchen is another recognizable name, most widely known for her features on Technimatic’s two albums Desire Paths and Better Perspective. In Surfacing her uniquely dulcet tones sweep the brush of melancholia over the track in a similar fashion yet with a different backdrop, namely punchy amens and stunning low frequency depth. Surfacing feels minimal but also full, the reliance on percussion for instrumentation injecting substantial character whilst avoiding cheesiness; it’s satisfyingly solid not frustratingly thin. If I had to choose this would be my favorite, absolutely stunning.
•     If Surfacing lacks any voluptuous instrumentation, Little Bird  is the opposite as it opens with a gust of soothing strings that shimmer into inviting piano chords. It feels like the first two tracks from Northpoint display two divergent approaches to making you think; Surfacing all took place in the foreground, rattling drums included. Little Bird, on the other hand, lets the small details and serene background impart its meaning. The vocal sample is unobtrusive but drips down into the lows, fusing the top of the range to the bottom and turning what could’ve been a fairly average track into a gorgeous mirage of faint string touches and piano bumps.
•     After all the wistful glances and half~closed eyes in the previous, Born To Spin featuring Dynamite MC makes for a refreshing change with a production that smacks of Random Movement or something out of the V Recordings camp. Its template is a bubbling synth line, akin to a bouncy ball rattling around an echo chamber it slots into the percussive groove, ready and waiting for a funky set of bars to finish it off. Dynamite MC provides just that, his faux~american sound can sometimes come off tacky but Bcee’s production suits him idyllically, his free~flowing cascade indicating that the pair of them were indeed Born To Spin.
•     The key component of Northpoint is its rolling nature. Bcee doesn’t stray away from fast~moving, energetic music even when crossing between sub~genres, a nod to all the heads out there who hate halftime or drum n bass that tries to switch it up rhythmically speaking. I think perhaps some more variety in that respect would improve the album, but maybe that’s just not who Bcee is or what he enjoys making, and it’s clear that he’s gotten even better at the style he does enjoy making.
•     There were also in my opinion a few quite forgettable tracks on Northpoint, which might be difficult to avoid bearing in mind there are 14 in total plus of course everyone’s different tastes, but again diversity is the spice of life, so a wider mix of sounds would’ve been a positive change.
•     As said earlier though Bcee is much more than simply a guy who makes albums, he and Spearhead are a conduit for some absolutely stunning music that certainly ranks right at the top of the drum n bass pecking order.   •     http://ninjaninja.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bceespearhead/
Label: http://spearheadrecords.bigcartel.com/
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BCee Northpoint
Spearhead Records Sept. 8, 2017

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