Tuesday, 14 July 2009

EL-B – The Roots of EL-B [Tempa]

Ammunition & Blackdown Present: The Roots of EL-B is a killer retrospective of rare gems from garage legend and dubstep innovator EL-B aka Ghost, if you want to know the history of it all Blackdown has done his thing on the liner notes explaining what its all about and why its so important. So I wont / can’t go into to much detail here as I don’t have the knowledge, as I mostly missed garage at the time apart from the odd bit from Wookie, MJ Cole, Zeb Bias and dark breakbeat stuff from Zinc. But with a heavy garage influence in much of today’s dubstep and even funky from everyone from Burial who has confessed to being heavily mesmerised and influenced by EL-B and his effortless way with swung drums and grooves, to the likes of Pangaea with his soulful explorations and Roska on a funky tip even remixing Neighbourhood by Zed Bias just as EL-B does on this compilation. The garage vibe is still alive that’s for sure.

Every track on here is a gem the drum workouts are something else they are all so punchy, rolling EL-B has a sick sense for a groove. There is also a lot of darkness involved with big bass and melancholic synth hooks but this is balanced out with soul and melody, it’s the contrast of light and dark that makes EL-B so special.

A few favourites for me are the Ghost tracks ‘The Club’, ‘2000’ and ‘Lyrical Tempo’ the latter having a deep rolling almost Detroit techno feel to it that I really relate to, plus the bassline is stupid! You can really hear dubstep in its infant stages on tracks like the dubby ‘Express’ with its ragga infused vocal hook, the same goes for the Juiceman featuring track ‘Digital’. The Neighbourhood remix often has me reaching for a rewind and singing along the bass drop is something else it really kills it after the jaunty piano licks, toasting and female vocals. ‘Serious’ has everything I want from an EL-B track. This really is the roots of something special.

If you’re after some killer garage you really can’t go wrong with the Roots of EL-B. It shows the past and points to what came after, plus it will give you a head start as EL-B is still in the game and working on new material that sounds damn exciting. Just check out the EL-B showcase on Ramp Radio for evidence of that.

Download: EL-B Showcase on Ramp Radio


For an added bonus watch EL-B at work in the studio flexing his dubstep muscles:

Untitled from significance on Vimeo.

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