REVIEW: Saxxon & BCee feat Surplus — Blue Harbour EP [Soul Trader Records]

Bcee is an undisputed master, with two of his own labels under his belt - starting back in 2002 with Rubik Records - and more recently Spearhead Records, currently celebrating it’s 11th year at the forefront of the genre. He has gained notoriety and a celebrated status within the DnB community for his soulful, expressive production style, and vocally imaginative tracks.

Ever since the release of his first solo EP ‘New Adventures in Modern Jazz’ on V Recordings, Saxxon has been busy in the studio establishing his own individual sound. The smooth, liquid-infused rollers that characterised his first album have returned here, and ‘Blue Harbour EP’ is no different.

The A-side of the EP features two feel-good tracks, both with customary vocal competence, courtesy of Bcee. The first, ‘Only You’, is a summer track, featuring junglist drum beats and a funky melody to give it an air of elation. This one would fit well on ‘DumAndBassArena’ 2016 compilation album, so watch this space! This is followed up by the swashbuckling rhythm of ‘Understanding’, an unobtrusive but relatively firm roller to complete the A-side.

But its all about side B for me, with pride of place going to the title track ‘Blue Harbour’. A marriage of jazz elements with an unrelenting drum beat, the enticing contrast of the friendly piano riffs with the gruff bass notes creates a track that is just as melodic as it is powerful. As a track, it gives you the impression that it would be just as comfortable being played on a beach somewhere as it is being thumped out at 3am in late-night depths of the club. It is nicely complemented by ‘Tripped Up’, a collab with Soul Trader Records owner and talisman Surplus, which has an simple, almost childish melody over the top of relatively light drum sequences - and the balance between the two tracks means Side B has my vote.


Purchase: Vinyl / Digital

Words by Tom