Wednesday, 8 September 2010

C.R.S.T - 'Revival' EP (WRN006)

The Brighton based label Well Rounded continue to prove their ever growing reputation in the UK Bass is more than deserved with their latest release. Well Rounded's 6th EP sees the Welsh quartet C.R.S.T (comprised of the 4 DJ's/producers Chesus, Rodski, Stroud and Tony Blitz) provide 4 tracks which pay homage to the vibes of old skool garage (recalls the Ice Cream records days 95-98), with skittery and stuttering beats in abundance alongside lofty synth chords. Each of the four tracks is well produced, however, I believe 2 tracks on the EP really display the quality which has quickly become associated with releases on Well Rounded.

My favourite track on the EP is without a shadow of a doubt 'Need You'. This track is a real old skool influenced cut, recalling the works of R.I.P Productions and the D.E.A Project from the mid-late 90's. The track's build up is lovely, with the gradual introduction of the shuffling hi-hats and distinctive kick drums on top of the 4x4 rhythm to create that classic skittey beat. In addition the ethereal sounding synths and diva vocal clips round of this classic garage model, which whilst sounding like old skool material still very much contains a future sound in its clean cut productions. The track is thrown into full swing after 1 minute of anticipating a drop with the accumulation of increasing elements. All instrumentation is dropped whilst the diva vocal sample fills the empty silence with a wonderful wailing cry, immediately followed by the introduction of a strong bassline typical of UK garage accompanied by the previously established shuffling beat. 

'May Not Be Real' is very similar in its approach and format to 'Need You', taking from the past to create the structure of a track which still sounds up to date with such well thought through and modern sounding production values. A very standard UK garage structure can be seen once again, skittery shuffling beats with a layer of well arranged synth chords adding more substance to the cut. Emotion is provided once again in the form of the soulful diva vocals which have much more of a presence in this track than the previous. I have a feeling some may dismiss these tracks as merely copying a past trend. However, I think you have to appreciate the homage and pastiche such an EP displays, with a good interpretation of such a classic genre very much a skill in itself. C.R.S.T also leave their own mark on these tracks, with their vocal sample arrangements and manipulation of well arranged synth chords very much work of their own. 

The 'Revival' EP does exactly what it says in its name. It revives an old skool garage sound, but provides new elements which provide a new future for such a sound. If you're a fan of the future garage sounds of Falty DL, or even a vetran of the old skool garage days of the mid-late 90s, then this 4 track EP is definitely essential listening. You can purchase it now on MP3 by clicking here, with the 12" to be released in the next couple of weeks from the same site. Look out for both C.R.S.T and Well Rounded releases in the future, they're both doing great things. Check out both 'Need You' and 'May Not Be Real' in the players below.

'Revival' EP:
1) 'Need You'
2) 'May Not Be Real'
3) 'Dial The Operator'
4) 'Walk On'

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