TFword Review: Sam Binary’s Reality Slip EP

We take a closer look into Bristol-based drum & bass producer Sam Binary’s full debut on the pioneering Dutch DnB label, The North Quarter.

The last time we reviewed music from The North Quarter’s camp was Zero T and Onj’s concept album ‘Kilburn’ which was fresh, vibrant, and forward-thinking. These are the three elements that Dutch drum & bass legend Lenzman’s label is built on. From their first release, Lenzman has experimented with several styles while bringing an excellent mix of promising and legendary talents.

Next up in the label’s innovative expeditions is Bristol-based producer Sam Binary’s full debut on the imprint. With his influences ranging from the golden era of Jungle, the eclectic producer’s music has previously reached labels like Addictive Behaviour, Terabyte Recordings, and Lockdown Recordings, to name a few. After being a part of The North Quarter’s compilation released in 2020, Sam Binary is finally set to make a full appearance on The North Quarter with the ‘Reality Slip’ EP.

Speaking about the EP, Sam Binary says “This release is really a love letter to 90s Intelligent Jungle and the Liquid Funk that emerged after it in the 2000s, paying homage to the music that inspired me to originally start producing nearly a decade ago”.

Staying true to his love letter to 90s Intelligent Jungle, Sam Binary doesn’t miss a beat in making it known. With the first two tunes alongside fellow producer Deviant, he dishes out the spaced out atmospherics that the early Jungle sound was built on. The gloomy melodies move to the next track called ‘Travelling Somewhere’ and with its captivating steppy drums, the tune almost immediately draws the listener into the 7-track masterpiece. ‘Jovian Whispers’ will transport you back to the IDM and downtempo days of Squarepusher and Photek.

Polished with sophisticated rhythms in simple drum patterns, Enigma creates ambient, liquid atmospheres that are ideal for couch listening. Deviant makes his third display on the EP when the EP makes a full tilt into with gorgeous vocal-led liquid drum & bass number called ‘Want U’. With ambient pads, shrinking vocal effects, and intense drum work, Sam Binary goes solo again and brings the EP to a close with ‘Shroud’.

Like we said, the Reality Slip EP is a masterpiece, and it’s also a testament to North Quarter’s careful selection of artists that deliver outstanding music.

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