Saturday 19 April 2014


I don't often write about drum & bass or jungle stuff because, well, a lot of it seems quite... what's the word? – uninspired. Yes. It just feels, despite ramping up the bpm past the point of caring, unenergetic, lethargic almost. Just goes to show that you don't necessarily need to make FAST music to provoke a FAST (i.e. excited, energised) reaction. So when stuff like this does come along and sounds different to the rest of it, well, it's instantly recognisable. And in some cases it's really good.

Like with 'Battle Race' by Czech producer Andels, real name Lukáš Puška, from Ostrava, Czech Republic. This track feels less like a drum & bass or whatever track, and much more like a theme to some kind of high-speed racing à la F-Zero that just happens to have these d&b beats in the background. Beginning with these fluttering synth chords that pan left and right, we're soon dropped into a bass-bubbling beat littered with many instances of synth all over the place. Bleeping arpeggios, string synths rising and soaring into ecstatic heights, and a vocal sample singing its triumphant wordless stuff. A break in the song plays with the beat, trilling the snares and putting in these amazing little fills that are impossible to ignore.

After this break, things get even better in the second section: saw-wave bass judders to the end, synth leads summon a nostalgic mood, strings hang like a mist. And that nostalgic mood is something that is pretty much inherent in the whole track – even the beat, sampled no doubt from somewhere, is something you'd find in a 90s jungle track for sure. And the synths appear joyfully reminiscent, as if lifted directly from an old-school racing game. It's full of undeniably delicious sounds.

Looking back to the past is something that a lot of people seem to be doing to find their feet in the music world. Whether that's because their favourite music is from when they were growing up, or if they feel an affinity with sounds and styles which, though before their time, still excite their mind with an artificial but simultaneously strong sense of nostalgia – who knows. What it does seem to do, however, is be the basis, the foundation, for a lot of very good tracks in all sorts of genres from all over the world. 'Battle Race' is a prime example: a power-synth-jungle medley from the Czech Republic.

Listen to Andels on SoundCloud
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