Founded in 2008 and partnered with Version Collective, MWM Recordings has featured such producers as Drew’s Theory, Dalek One, Congi, Maes and more. Italian producer Breez steps up to deliver the latest release from the dutch-based label with his 4-track EP Rite of Scorpio. Breez has previous releases on a wide range of labels internationally such as Japan-based Kwaioto Records, U.S label Rebel Traxx and Canadian label Black North Audio.
The opening track, Mental Dojo, consists of an almost barren introduction triggering feelings of suspense and curiosity. Post-drop the soundscape is mysterious and almost hypnotising, caused by a deep sub-bass and snappy snares that are well-placed and automated, from start to finish. The atmosphere in the opening sections mirrors that of a dojo in the form of sound; where one would have to be in a state of supreme focus. Sporadic tribal percussive hits and water-like sound FX add a nice touch to the aptly titled Mental Dojo. The second drop arrives and feels like the transition from the preparation to the ultimate practice of martial arts; chaotic yet precise in every action. A constant, flickering hi-hat shifts things into another gear mixed with groaning bass sounds and a continuation of the previous kick-kick-snare relationship as Mental Dojo reaches another level entirely.
Moving on, Stand Back begins with another atmospheric, intriguing introduction with more emphasis on percussion early on. A fitting vocal sample just before the drop echoes the track title “Don’t you dare touch me, stand back!” followed by yet more pleasing sub-bass, a common theme found throughout the whole EP. The various types of snare used here create an interesting groove as they cut through the low end combined with the occasional mid-range bass sound. The sub-bass, however, is the dominant sound in Stand Back, continuously driving the track forward and causing an irresistible head nod effect.
The third track, Wyntha, extends the minimal motif. Subtle yet haunting background sounds set the mood as Breez slowly teases another mid-range bass sound that later progresses to become the main feature in possibly my favourite moment of the EP so far. Crisp, crunchy hi-hats and shakers add a little something extra to satisfy the listener whilst the punchy kick drum maintains the rhythm once again. Distant but noticeable synthesised hits act as a kind of metronome amongst the various, wondering ghostly effects and stop-start nature of this track. Yet again the second half seems like a big improvement all round as a well-chosen vocal sample reflects the near future with one keyword “Bass”, appearing out of nowhere just before the drop. The aforementioned bass starts dancing its way around the delayed hi-hats as you finally feel, as a listener, that the tension has exploded into an alluring, complete track.
Title track Rite of Scorpio rounds off the project with unique character. The occasional use of double-kick drums are an interesting, albeit not often heard, but a pleasant feature. Rite of Scorpio feels like the most complete track of them all, displaying originality, creativity and technical production knowledge simultaneously. An eerie, almost horror-like background vocal appears occasionally, reaffirming a sense of trepidation. The placement and automation of snares and other sound FX combined with spooky atmospheres epitomise the sound of the current deep-dubstep scene. The sheer number of individual elements that make up the final track result in a really positive ending to the EP. Noticeably, Breez seems to like building up each track respectively to create an ultimate climax around the second drop, which is something I personally like, although it may not be to everyone’s tastes.
Breez is no beginner and evidence of that can be found here in his new release with his own original spins on the typical deep dubstep sound. Rite of Scorpio is extremely cohesive, I personally love Mental Dojo and Wyntha and the whole EP, in general, is an admirable project. Of course, with any release, you want a certain amount of cohesion so as to ensure listeners aren’t completely thrown off by a vastly different set of styles and genres but at times I felt like the tracks were a little too similar. Despite that, I think this is a solid release that I would happily recommend and I’m looking forward to hearing his future work.