It very well might be the case that you still haven’t heard of the label called Locked Concept. There is nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s of utmost importance to fix this as soon as possible. Actually, it may be the best time to do so as the label’s getting ready to unleash one of its finest releases so far. A passion project of Lockjaw and his close friends, Locked Concept doesn’t confine itself in the borders of Drum & Bass music, but focuses on the deeper themes, bringing its followers the sonics of the distant future.
Release #8 is a collaboration between Lockjaw himself and Machine Code – names which by this time must be known by any fan of neurofunk or just the futuristic side of the genre. Their signature sound can be recognized in seconds and they’ve been doing their best to push the boundaries forward for years now. It’s far from being the first time Current Value, Dean Rodell and Lockjaw got together to create something completely unique, but that’s exactly what makes this musical affair so truly exciting. Their debut collaboration was an absolute untamed beast called “Alpha Barrier”, then it was the turn of “Cry Me” – a clear demonstration of how unique and mind-blowing the combination of Machine Code signature sound with Lockjaw’s attention to details and thoughtfulness can be. It was followed up by a groovy roller going by the name “Countdown” on Neosignal, which captured the very essence of tech-funk, which is comprised of, you guessed it, tech and funk. And for those, who like to dig a bit deeper on their journey to discover the freshest vibes – you can hear a brand new CV & Lockjaw masterpiece in Blackout Podcast #62. Anyway, the point is – whenever these three end up in the same studio big things happen.
So what the new collaboration EP has to offer then? Starting off with the title track, “DoubleGate” delivered to you by the duo alone and it’s a groovy little roller in the best traditions of Machine Code. Techy, sharp and precise. Right from the start you can already feel and hear their classic flavor. An alluring drum break with a developing atmospherics on the background take you the minimal drop that keeps on evolving, yet makes great use of the gold “less is more” formula. There is nothing to distract you from the clean groove made up of perfectly processed sounds right on the drop, but as it continues you get to appreciate how thought out the progression of the track is. While being rather conventional, the title track does its best to set up the tone for what’s to come by conquering your complete attention and making you ready for something more brave and experimental.
With “Array” we delve deeply into some sort of hi-tech utopia, a world completely taken over by technology in its prime form. The world, where there was no nature and everything was born out of 1 and 0. Everything is perfectly smooth and blindingly white, functional and imbued with purpose. It is 100% synthetic, but for the same reason feels most natural. There is nothing excessive or redundant in this world, everything it is made out of is an integral part of it. “Array” is an ode to this world, so synthetic in its substance, but when all of its parts come together it sounds so organic and musical. Evoking emotions, where there are none. You can clearly hear how both sides contributed to the track to create something, they’d never create on their own, something so fresh and beautifully alien.
Lockjaw and Dean Rodell’s “Phenotype” is a counterpart to “Array” in many senses. It stays true to the futuristic theme, yet it the techy drums and synths were gracefully intertwined with heart-warming melodics. You are met with a captivating keys, chorus and strings atop the sounds of the storm and when the drums kick in, even though they are in such an obvious contrast to everything else, they work perfectly together with all the other elements.
When some people see Lockjaw and Machine Code in the title this is not something they’d expect to hear, but isn’t that great? People, who are unwilling to accept something different and who stay fixated on neurofunk only, may come to a conclusion that this release is not their cup of tea and that’s perfectly fine. But for those, who are more open throughout their musical journey, this release is a somewhat hidden gem you’d be happy to discover.
Words by Vlad Yaremchuk
MACHINECODE, LOCKJAW, DR - LCKD 008
Digital release date // 2017-03-26
Label // Locked Concept
Cat. No. // LCKD008
Artwork by // SHVLFCE
BEATPORT LINK //
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/machine_code
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/machinecodednb/
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/lockjawdnb
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lockjawdnb
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/dr606
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/606DR
Locked Concept //
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/locked-concept
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Locked-Concept-752020888203909/