A triple threat in the bass music scene; DJ, producer, and MC Chimpo comes at us with a minimal release on Marcus Intalex’s Soul:r label. Showing us how to keep rhythm in half time drum and bass and how to let vocals take the music where it needs to be, Chimpo’s Frontline EP is a fine four track collection that caters to the minimal headz. No mid-range nonsense here!
The Frontline EP is a four track, off-beat experimental drum and bass release that includes a perfect Caliber remix of “Frontline” to bring it all together.
The Frontline EP starts off with “All Over.” It’s a fitting opening track with shuffling hats lending to an off-beat bass kick that accompanies the more soulful vocals of Chimpo. Uniquely re-working his style, Chimpo’s vocal lines are hauntingly beautiful and catchy to boot. The simplistic and warm bassline flowing alongside crisp percussion keeps “All Over” smooth and tight; creating the perfect morning tune.
“Frontline” featuring Fox is a dancehall banger and Fox’s ragga vibe works perfectly in combination with Chimpos’ production. “Frontline” is a minimal and experimental track with tons of hats, snares, and samples to keep the rhythm. Although there is a lot going on in “Frontline” at a minimal tempo, Chimpo keeps it clean and gives lead to the heavy bassline while utilizing Fox’s vocals to add punch and attitude. Proper head-down, lights low, and neck-rolling business right here.
Following “Frontline” is a Calibre remix that made me smile instantaneously upon hearing it. Calibre decidedly went old-school for this remix and Fox’s vocals with Calibre’s historic bassline work and tripping percussion combine for a tasty ragga-jungle treat. With that said, Calibre’s remixes are always a treat and his remix of “Frontline” throws the older and educated ravers back into their youth while educating the early listeners of today. Calibre’s remix is hauntingly simple and draws out the inner junglist in all of us, so pull your lighter out and get steppin’.
The Frontline EP wraps up with the weighty “Buzzin’,” a collaborative and recognizable production between Dub Phizix, Skeptical, & Chimpo. Big “Marka” vibes come to mind with this track and rightfully so. The pulsating bassline is addictive in its quality while the industrialized drums and grainy underlying effects add to the eerie atmosphere. Chimpo’s tribal and entrancing vocals draw you into “Buzzin’,” while the twitching fills and cranium pounding bassline make you feel as if you’re on the dancefloor of a mental asylum.
Overall, the Frontline EP is a crisp, clean, and addictive collection of heavy basslines and unique percussion that have us excited to see what other versatile offerings Chimpo may have forthcoming.
Words by: Kyle Hall