In celebration of its sixth birthday this month, 2nd Drop Records held a room 3 takeover at Fabric with the likes of Djrum and Pedestrian being hosted by psychedelic UK hip-hop wordsmith Onoe Caponoe. And after six years, there is undoubtedly still plenty to be celebrating as today they put out Pedestrians African inspired double A-side, Kalakuta/Ndizi.
Each tracks taken a different approach at blending contemporary dance music with African sounds and rhythms, with the A-side staying in the mid-120bpm range that Pedestrian has come to be associated, whilst the AA-side changes things up with an almost footwork inspired 160bpm window to tribal Africa. Kalakuta’s steady rumbling bass provides a solid canvas for sporadic bongo drums and foreign sounding vocals to contend against the more modern sounding synths that interject when given a chance. On the other side, Ndizi is a much more fast paced track, that while drawing some influence from the Juke that has become more and more popular in recent months, shares little with it other than its bpm. The kicks and snares are replaced by more exotic sounding percussion and strange panicked vocals mix with ominous horns giving the impression of a tribe on its way to war.
I like the fact that while Pedestrian has the ability to release successful and catchy dance floor tracks like Hoyle Road, he also puts out these experimental genre bending releases that prove both he and 2nd Drop are after something a bit deeper. Despite the two tracks being in completely different tempos, the tribal concept of the release ties them together perfectly and allows them to stand as pieces of music, rather than just tools to be used by a DJ in a mix.