Steph’s Countdown #10

20 12 2010

ShapeshifterBefore I start this I want to point out that my countdown is in no particular order, just as I uncover and/or remember gems both old and new.

So today’s country of choice is New Zealand. A place that I long to visit, it has been producing drum and bass for a long, long time now and it pushes the boundaries in ways different to what I’m used to here in the UK. Yes, some may come to this post and think it is a cliché when I reveal the artist I’ve picked as my countdown, but for me they are deserving of the spotlight because of how much they have influenced the scene not just in NZ but around the rest of the world.

Shapeshifter started life back in 1999 (when I was 12 and far too pubescent and full of angst to appreciate the beauty of their music). They were formed by a group of jazz school graduates and it really shows. Their style ranges from an avant-garde modern twist on traditional jazz (with their characteristic ever perfect live drumming) to compositions of filthy, “get me to the dancefloor now” bass. It is that transition they can make from musicality to pure bass music that for me makes them epic.

Their scores are not just about the drums and the bass. Every time I listen to any of their albums I notice something new, verging on cinematic at times. They have released five major albums to date; Realtime (2001), Riddim Wise LP (2004), Soulstice (2006), Live (2007) and their most recent album The System is a Vampire in 2009.

Being a jazz head through and through, Soulstice is the album that wins my vote. But in all, I can safely say they have produced gold every time they write and their music and the memories that came with it will stay with me forever. If you have been stuck in a cave for the past 10 years and haven’t heard them, do it now.

My countdown wouldn’t be any good without a pick of the best track. It totally has to be without any doubt Dutchies from The System is a Vampire. I can’t imagine being in a better place than on a dance floor when this drops.

Can someone please find me a ticket so that I can go and see them live please?

I’ll be back tomorrow with country number two…




One response

21 12 2010

super stuff! great group and track to kick off your countdown.
Looking forward to country #2!!

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