Icicle’s Dreadnought Drum & Bass

In anticipation of Icicle’s techno and drum & bass hybrid album, we are listing some of the Dutch producer’s tracks that make him one of the titans of bass music.

Growing up amidst the plethora of Dutch drum & bass talents, Icicle’s exposure to music first came at the age of eight, when he started playing the piano. His introduction to drum & bass came seven years later after attending a local party. What followed was Icicle being fully inspired and buying himself a couple of turn tables and music making software. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Jonny L, Optical, Photek & Source Direct’s rhythms and intricate drum patterns, Icicle made his debut in 2007 on Avalanche Recordings.

Icicle’s stature as one of the most technically advanced producers saw him make appearances on all the giants of DnB, like Hospital Records, Soul:R, Renegade Hardware, and Critical, before signing exclusively to Friction’s Shogun Audio. His decade-long stint with the label led to the release of two seminal albums and numerous iconic tunes that also laid the template for the futuristic DnB we hear now.

Seven years after his ‘Entropy’ LP, the Dutch extraordinaire is all set to release what he says is his third and final album called ‘Dominate’. While the ‘final album’ statement remains to be a mystery, we thought it would be an excellent time to list some of Icicle’s techno music that, in our opinion, makes him a titan of drum & bass.

ICICLE – NOSTALGIA

Starting with his tune from his forthcoming album. With Icicle’s idea of bringing a hybrid of techno and drum & bass into the album, Nostalgia fits the tune’s rhythm perfectly with the drums taking us straight back into the peak Ed Rush & Optical era.

ICICLE – ARROWS

The beauty of Icicle’s music is that, stylistically, the man can travel anywhere he likes. Part of his debut album ‘Arrows’, the Dutch producer kept it tight, kept it gritty but surprised us with the immaculate use of eastern melodies to create a midrange-heavy number that Shogun Audio champions.

ICICLE – LOST HOURS

‘Lost Hours’ marked Icicle’s debut on Kasra’s Critical Music in 2008. Once again, very early in his career, Icicle had hit the sweet spot with the use of cymbal sounds that add a sinister touch that you would love listening to in the middle of a dark and sweaty rave.

ICICLE – DREADNAUGHT FT. SP:MC

Now comes one of the most essential tunes from Shogun Audio’s illustrious catalog. Deep, dark, old school and charged-up, there were very few tunes that matched the depth and snappy nature of the tune. ‘Dreadnaught’ was also a part of Icicle’s debut album; a testament to his imperious production quality that sat right on top of the pile even during his earliest years.

ICICLE – HANI

Like we said, Icicle can simply pick the style he wants and deliver it to perfection. ‘Hani’ was a part of his seminal ‘Entropy’ LP which aimed to bridge the ever-dissolving gap between drum & bass. Moving away from his hard-edged rhythms, Icicle weaved the tune’s soulful strains dubstep with cutthroat efficiency.

ICICLE – PROBLEM (FT. SKITTLES)

There’s no other way to put this; ‘Problem’ was a game changer. Icicle and Skittles found the most profound way of describing the world’s problems in under 4 minutes. Icicle described his ‘Entropy’ LP as “the future of this sound” and this hybrid of drum & bass, hip-hop and grime along with Skittles’ irresistible flow was the ideal representation of it.

ICICLE & SPECTRASOUL – BODY LANGUAGE

With Spectrasoul’s love for wonky rhythms and Icicle’s frightening velocity of drums, ‘Body Language’ delivered precisely the way it was advertised. Dark and robotic with an undercurrent of tightly structured drums, this tune formed as the B side for the Icicle & Spectrasoul two track EP in 2008.

ICICLE – DISARRAY

We end our list of Icicle’s finest with this breezy number, dished out with swirling percussions and bleeping rhythms. ‘Disarray’ was released as a part of the Mind State album which was put together to raise awareness around the importance of mental health for musicians.

While we figure out ‘his last album’ statement, Icicle’s hold-on-to-your-seat music is about to surprise us further with his forthcoming release. And honestly, we cannot wait!

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