Forged in the vibrant suburbs of Newcastle the 'LEVEL 4' EP sees veteran producer Calculus join forces with local 8-bit hit squad Trinity Lo Fi to produce this 4-track excursion into the deeper, darker side of digital dub.
Ever a mad scientist when at the controls in the studio, Calculus is always pushing the envelope when it comes to forward-thinking dubwise music and this latest release is as experimental as ever. Fusing futuristic analogue sounds with older, more classical reggae structures he creates a series of heavy-hitting rhythms for Trinity Lo Fi to chat their unique, conscious and versatile styles of lyricisms over.
Hardly strangers to collaborating with a variety of vocalists and producers both locally and around the globe, Trinity Lo Fi have an ever-expanding catalogue of talent at their disposal, and the LEVEL 4 EP sees them in fine form. Featuring regular contributors Jody Bigfoot and Zico MC, as well as local mic magicians J-man, Aurora Rose and Libby Coxon, this release comes in a strictly North East style and fashion, and speaks volumes for the talent bubbling away in the further reaches of the North of England.
The opening track 'Stars' kicks off proceedings in a digital steppa style, featuring a sample from Alan Watts dubbed over pan flutes before launching into Trinity Lo Fi's flow. Their lyrics ride over the top of the rhythm, reminding the listener that whilst it's all too easy to get dragged down by the negativity and badness we see in the world, it's important to remember how individual and 'amazing' we all are.
'Space Age Kung Fu' moves into darker territory, combining rough and tough vocals with an extra-terrestrial, almost apocalyptic version that's sure to rattle speaker boxes and devour dancefloors wherever played. The song encourages listeners to come experience the shaolin style with which these 'martial artist rebels' throw down in a dancehall, and to revel in 'the bass and the beats' produced there.
'I See Pride' is perhaps the most classically digital track on the EP. Combining a heavyweight rhythm that echoes the likes of the Jahtari releases with a conscious lyrical hook from Trinity Lo-Fi the track blurs the boundaries between digital dubwise, dubstep and hip-hop, warning the listener against the corruption power can bring.
The final track on the EP, 'Soundman Big Up', came out previously as the third release on the 'Wheel Up Records' label after a successful crowdfunding project enabled it to be pressed to 7?. Already getting played in dancehalls up and down the country it is an anthemic piece that fuses a steppas bassline with a ska rhythm, driving the track forward in an up tempo style. Trinity Lo Fi's lyrics flow effortlessly over the track, blessing up all soundman over the land. Add into that a playful horns line that rides over the top throughout and you've got a tune that's guaranteed to get people moving.
The combination of Trinity Lo Fi's conscious brand of vocals with Calculus' distinctive, experimental production makes this EP a crucial acquisition for any collector or DJ who likes innovative dub music. Check it out!