Review: Prism & Valor – Biodigital Jazz EP [SUBALT002]

The second release from London UK based label Subaltern Recordings comes in from Boston USA based producer Prism. Accompanied on production from Valor, their track “Biodigital Jazz” marks the backbone of this vinyl & digital release. Subaltern Recordings has fashioned a solid branding with regards to the caliber and direction the releases are taking already, as well as having concise motive to showcase sounds that hold true to the diverse sounds of 140bpm music. SUBALT002 comes together with 3 tracks on the vinyl as well as an added 3 remixes for the digital format. Turkish producer Gantz takes the helm on remixing both “Biodigital Jazz” as well as Prism’s solo production “Ghost Hawk”. Also featured on the digital release is a 130bpm spacey remix from producer M.ezm.yR. The Biodigital Jazz release imprints these sounds as apart of the ever-growing insurgence of creativity coming from within the Dubstep community. These tracks each put forth strong production quality, intellectual composition and definitive emotion.

The title track “Biodigital Jazz” from Prism & Valor launches from the edge with warm, permeating synth work. A natural mysticism comes into play from the soft chords and birdcalls worked into the atmosphere. Crisp percussion and deep bass kicks mould into the rhythm of the track. All of the elements build fluently with progression before a deep, jazzy vocal signifying the title of the track. All in all “Biodigital Jazz” works in many situations. As a DJ, I can see the versatility of this track as an opening track, as well as something for the lounge or after party. The percussion offers refreshing vibes and the general roll of the track leaves me nodding my head with a verifying smile on my face.

“Ghost Hawk” departs from the standard 140bpm sound. Exerting a strong, consuming fusion of dubstep & jungle breaks. This track builds ever so progressively to the drop. Hazy synth pads undulate through the intro, building into pungent granulated mid ranges. The jungle breaks formulate, mingling well with the build and progression from the atmosphere. The vocal sample Prism uses on “Ghost Hawk” offers a strong insight to the thought behind his beat. The release of sound following the drop carries high-energy movement. The 140-influenced jungle sound demands your feet to move. Subtle vocal sampling burst between the drum breaks, alongside a relentless low-end bass pressure that is sure to hit you in the chestplate.

Gantz, a rising figurehead in dubstep, brings forward two remixes for this release. The off-tangent remix of “Biodigital Jazz” boasts an autonomic-like kick arrangement. Gantz was sure to tackle this remix with his own individual bank of sound design. The intro still retains that spacey presence brought together from Prism’s synth work and birdcalls. However, Gantz was sure to specify his own unique rendition of accents to the overall pulse of the track. Shifting emphasis from the high hats and snare work to his more direct kick roll, the Gantz remix departs from the originals’ overall pace. Techno influenced high hats clang in the background amidst the interesting pitter-patter of the drum work. Scattered white noise and shifting percussive hits add to the uniqueness of this remix. Also notable is Gantz’ signature tone to his bass lines, if you are familiar enough with his developed sound, the bassline here will resonate of that Gantz-esque sound.

Gantz’ Cloud Remix of “Ghost Hawk” provides a retrograde addition of synth work and a lead groove that concretes the momentum of the tune. Scattered breaks switch up, diversifying the drum lines in his remix. It seems Gantz has solidified his own blend of vocal work for mostly all of his productions and remixes. This remix of “Ghost Hawk” is not partial to shying away from such simple yet brilliant usage of such creative vocal work. Both versions lay out an emerging pace with their jungle infused sound.

Finally is M.ezm.yR’s remix of “Biodigital Jazz” which completely overhauls the pace and tempo of the original. Coming into inception with a techy drum pattern and fluent house driven kick drums, this remix does not omit the solid progression featured in the original work. Slow but consistent progression carries across the track, as the varying percussion arrangements lull the listener away from their conscious mind. M.ezm.yR’s remix keeps it deep and ethereal, yet doesn’t lose sight of the flow of the original elements laid down by Prism.

SUBALT002 is released November 18th and is available from Juno Download and the Subaltern Records Store.

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