In the fast paced world of modern Drum and Bass to be successful as a label it is vital to remain ahead of the game in terms of the sound you bring and the artists that represent you. We at Natty Dub pride ourselves on having a reputation for finding and nurturing some the best up and coming talent in the Drum and Bass scene today. Helping them along their journey from fledgling producers to the main stage artists of tomorrow.
It was with this in mind, following the success of our previous remix competition which unearthed talents like Version and Jaxx (who have notably gone on to become regular patrons of the label) that we decided a second comp should be held and this time have the chance to have a release alongside Natty General, T>I.
After the announcement of the competition early in 2018, (the chance to remix the outstanding roller “Raggamuffin” by DJ Hybrid which was originally released on the “Ammo Box V2 EP” back in July 2016) Natty HQ was inundated with hopeful entries. The unenviable task of selecting a winner from the plethora of excellent entries we received fell to the ears of label boss Sam Frater aka Cabin Fever UK and the producer of the original track Brighton’s new-school jungle don DJ Hybrid.
Picking a winner was never going to be an easy task, however after much deliberating it was decided that this time round the honours would go Suffolk based Soundboy Tom Diaper aka Damageman.
Not strictly a total newcomer to the Drum and Bass scene Damageman has previously had releases on labels including Ten Ton Beats and Eternal Music since debuting in 2014 with the unmissable “It’s Over/What Are These Narcotics” on Audio Overload. Damageman is an artist who is beginning to show some real promise, his distinctive bassline patterns and tight powerful drum edits perfectly compliment the vibes of the original DJ Hybrid release and make for a tasty little roller that keeps a firm but funky pressure on the dance floor in characteristic Natty Dub style.
Providing us with some seriously heavyweight backup for the competition winner is a remix by East Anglia’s production maestro T>I. His intro grows assertively from rhythmic bell taps, metallic atmospherics and subtle gyrating percussion loops dropping into a smooth pumping bassline that flows masterfully over skipping drum scores complimented perfectly by pitched vocals teases and glitchy FX that that ensue to create that majestic hip winding swagger you know only T>I is capable of bringing to the party.
Dj Hybrid – Raggamuffin (T>I Remix)
T>I starts his remix with haunting spaced out chords and distant horn stabs. As the percussion joins in to shape up the track you get a quick vocal sample asking “what are you doing in here?” … then drops the ragamuffin lyrics and the beat. With the absence of the standard drop the tune takes on more of a floor pounding approach. The sub rumbles along and squishy, filtered synths stab in a sequenced pattern that hits the dancefloor from side to side keeping the crowd bubbling. With a layer of distortion coating the song you can’t help but get that rudebwoy grime feel as you nod along. Get your stink face on for this one and turn it up!
Dj Hybrid – Raggamuffin (Damageman Remix)
Damageman takes a similar approach on the intro using the same haunting chords and horn stabs from the original, however he adds a synth layer that elevates in key. He also chooses to keep the sounds clean and crisp so when the vocal sample comes in you can clearly hear a female asking the “what are you doing in here?” which changes the mood up slightly. A nice clean break and continuous use of the chords throughout the main sections really glue this remix together and make it an all-encompassing nod to the original. Underneath that clean break is a roaring sub that stabs along with the key changes and even adds in some subtle variations. Leaving out the top end of the bass the break has plenty of room to breathe and grab your attention. Later in the song the synth layer comes back in to remind you of the intro and it really helps to wrap up the neat little package this remix has been put in. Great remix here and it’s sure to make some floors sweat.