DNB Vault

Various Artists – Peace Of Mind LP [Mindtech Recordings]

Mindtech Recordings

Mindtech Recordings is a Belgian label focused on providing fans of dark techy Drum & Bass what they crave, with past releases from Akov, Myselor, Axi, Rregula (of Zombie Cats fame), Allied, Billain and even L 33’s first album!

Their releases have a quality standard of the highest order and I really love the sound they are representing in the scene, whereas in the current state of affairs there is more and more screechy one-note neuro (much like brostep 6 years ago or so) – so releases pushing the deeper, yet still urgent and edgy sounds of techstep and what one could call “old-school neurofunk” are not as prevalent as they once were.

The “Peace Of Mind” various artist album aims to remedy this situation! Eleven cuts of deep, dark, brooding DnB oscillating between the stylings of techstep and neurofunk. It contains tunes from up and comers – Akov, Axi, Kije, Okuli, Cruel Culture & Keosz, Hello Danger – and established (even legendary) artists alike – Allied, Chris SU & Nickbee, Rregula, Skynet remixed by Neonlight and Optiv remixed by Dose. Yet there is no apparent gap in skills to be found, every contributor bringing their A-game to the fore!

The album is very well paced with a nice balance between rollers and tracks with more jagged, stepping rhythms, as well as between smoother and harder tracks, to keep us wanting more and never making us feel exhausted from a non-stop barrage of 170bpm madness!

Fans of rich atmospheres drenched in delay and reverb such as myself will also be very pleased as the cuts herein are as heavy on the atmospherics as they are of the heavy drums and mind-bending basslines!

And boy do we have some crazy sound design on the basses here, especially on Rregula’s “Camber” and Okuli’s “Shift Grip”. Breakbeat lovers will also find much to salivate over, especially in the Neonlight remix of Skynet’s “Disorder”, Cruel Culture & Keosz’s “Sagittarius” and Chris SU & Nickbee’s “Frozen Forever”.

There are some excellent deep rollers such as Kije’s “Stare Into The Sun”, which gets a special mention for some awesome synthwork, cut-up throat-chants and a dialog sampled from Darren Aronovky’s π. Let’s not forget Axi’s “Exosphere” and Allied’s “The Awakening” which also provide some excellent deep-roller action.

On the heavier side of things we have the Dose remix of Optiv’s “Stereotype” which wonderfully combines both artists’ styles with Optiv’s heavy neuro basses and eerie tension-filled arpeggios and Dose’s insane, off the wall, bouncy rhythms. We also have some heavy business going on in “Shift Grip”, “Disorder”, Akov’s “Mantra” and Hello Danger’s “Hornets”.

As much as those tracks murder the dancefloor, I found myself more attracted to the deeper, slightly more off-kilter offerings of the album. I really love the opening track “Frozen Forever”, which has a sublime atmosphere and a few melodies paraphrased from the Blade Runner “End Titles” and some excellent drum work.

I also really love the atmosphere and the beyond cool basses and techno stabs of Rregula’s song “Camber”, as well as its subtle but very effective rhythmic shifts and unique percussion. “Stare Into The Sun” also ranks as one of my favorites for reasons previously mentioned.

My favorite song on, the album however, has to be “Sagittarius” by Cruel Culture & Keosz, not just because I am a Sagittarius, but everything about it just grabbed me and floored me. The ambience and the melodies that develop throughout are stellar, and so are the complex drums and the bass that sounds like a slow pulsating robotic breath.

I know this album came out a while ago now (April…really?!) but I just had to talk about it because, as you have just read, it is a fantastic collection of songs that should please fans of both deeper and balls-out techy DnB… better late than never!
Check it out and stay alert for my upcoming review of another album Mindtech just released: Human Error’s “Intersection”.
You can grab “Peace Of Mind” directly from Mindtech Recordings on their Bandcamp page, with a number of different packages available: https://mindtech.bandcamp.com/album/peace-of-mind-lp

You can also get it on Juno (the link provided here is for the vinyl):
http://www.juno.co.uk/products/peace-of-mind/606114-01/

And from Beatport:
https://www.beatport.com/release/peace-of-mind/1730344

For more information on Mindtech Recordings
Mindtech Recordings website: http://www.mindtechrecordings.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mindtechrecordings
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/mindtech-recordings
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mindtechrecs
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MINDTECHR