Subterra & Cortex w/ MCs Master X and LowQui @ Wildtrax Review



Produced by Simon the Wizard at Wild Tracks Audio Studios in London, Subterra and Cortex blaze through the sound of drum ‘n bass with 23 prime cuts of dancefloor madness. Accompanied by MCs Master X and LowQui, the boys execute lightning-fast mixing in this 62 minute session. Following an “orgasmic” intro, Subterra drops the first trio of tunes, beginning with Hive and Gridlok’s remix of the massive “Are You Ready” from Calyx’s album on Moving Shadow. Master X is quick to spit fire on the mic for this one. Subterra’s quick-flex mixing carries the first tune into Pendulum’s remix of the virus classic, “Bacteria” by Ed Rush & Optical before Break’s “Singular” takes over.

As Cortex steps up to the decks for his first set of tunes, Master X shows his lyrical mastery on his instrument of choice with rapid-fire flows and vicious articulation to accompany a trio of techy rollers by the likes of Bulletproof and Blame. Subterra continues in the same fashion with “Immaculate” by Fierce & Break, “Lock Jaw” by Noisia and Matrix’s remix of another Ed Rush & Optical classic, “Medicine.”

With the mix getting deeper into orbit, the overall soundscape shifts from tech roller to straight techstep and back, proving to be very versatile in the fact that it’s a proper rocker, while still having the capabilities of being a bit on the chill side. The drum ‘n bass scene has always thrived on the use of many different styles in a mix, and there is no doubt Subterra and Cortex bring this out in the fullest way.

One of Master X’s strongest points throughout this mix is his use of various lyrical styles, ranging from singing to rapid-flow articulation. While many MCs use their time to bark at the crowd, this one does it proper, rolling out a nice match with each tune as it comes in. Plan of attack is very important when talking over a set, and he executes this to the fullest, not talking too much and dropping cuts with strategic precision.

By the time the middle of the mix comes slamming through, Master X continues his blistering assault while Subterra and Cortex alternate setting fire to
the decks. Subterra’s third round brings Calyx & Kontrol’s “Drumz Take Control” before a vicious double-drop involving Noisia’s remix of Messiah
and the Underfire classic, “Bios-Fear.” Messiah comes in for a second time to a special guest spot by Metalheadz resident, MC LowQui. Master X steps
out, and LowQui slows the pace while the mix gets heavier. Cortex continues on with “Crater,” a furious collaboration between Nocturnal and Prolix on Renegade Hardware’s “Guerrilla Warfare” album. Absolute heaviness.

Ten minutes into LowQui’s session, Master X drops back in, taking the vibe back down with Noisia’s “Believe,” mixed by Subterra. Master X might have his best flow at the 44 minute mark. No matter how many times I listen to this bit, I still can’t get enough of it. The mix is brought to a halt with the newly released Research 003, Prolix & Cortex’s “Mainline” and “Defection” while being sandwiched by Gridlok’s funk-influenced remix of Cause 4 Concern & Fierce’s “Bermuda.”

Respect goes out to the Research crew and Simon the Wizard at Wild Tracks Studios for a flawless mix session into the current scene of drum ‘n bass. Look out for these four to make a blinding impact in 2005. Drum ‘n bass comin’ on strong!