Thursday, 6 February 2014

Amoebic Breakbeat: Alaska's Jasheri & Zoranine

Breakbeats have been ubiquitous recently in the electronic world, with many house & techno artists re appropriating them to fit their needs: slower tempos and linear rhythms that compensate for their respective style of mixing. But as has been pointed out, they often miss the juvenile madness and intricacies of true breakbeat science. While some have managed a successful fusion, others have just placed it a break loop and repeat; more of a fashion statement rather than a lifestyle choice.

So it's no surprise then that some of the most far out, cosmic, delicate manipulation of the break comes from the often misrepresented and cruelly stereotyped world of drum and bass. Dev Pandya has made a career out off showcasing the true potential of the breakbeat. While 'heady' drum and bass of the past decade or so has either leaned towards the liquid smooth lick of Calibre and the like, or the pointillist labyrinths of the Autonomic sound, Paradox has created his own course and stayed true to drum and bass's jungle roots. There are few artists working at the moment who can manipulate the break like Pandya, both with his more club orientated alias Paradox or Alaska that showcases his more introspective work.

This recent release under his Alaska alias recalls the winding, organic mazes of mid 90s Source Direct and Photek. In Jasheri the breaks twist and and curve around themselves, gliding through a seven minute journey that recalls the organic flora of coral reefs. Zoranine is the more subdued of the two cuts that seems like a fusion late 90s ambient and 94' Moving Shadow. Pianos, violins, flutes and keys float around these two tunes, taking the listener on a tear-jerking journey onto the depths of the ocean.

 While many of the jungle revivalists have capitalized on jungle's innate physicality and puerile energy, Pandya has shown that this more organic, contemplative side can be just as fascinating and relevant in today's club scene. House artists have once again found the artistic potential of the break but it will also be drum and bass musicians that will showcase it's full potential.

Jasheri / Zoranine is out now and you can find it on Surus.

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