Cianna Blaze is a new(ish) rapper from London with a hard edge who has been catching the attention of grime and hip hop acts like Maxim and EDM producers like Toronto is Broken. She released her first solo EP this year called On Fire on Death Drum Rebel recordings, and now artists are taking an interest not only in featuring her but also in remixing her.
Enter: Mob Tactics. The heavy drum and bass duo consisting of Luke Bugden and Mark Sims are well-established in the EDM world at large and are associated with big labels like Viper and more recently EatBrain. If their remix of the title track from Blaze’s EP, also out on Death Drum Rebel, is anything to go by, they took an interest in her because of her unique vocal texture and possibly sound which hearkened back to the early 00s when hard drum and bass and rap went hand-in-hand.
Though the original mix of “On Fire” is largely grime-based and Mob Tactics could have really just followed the stems and sped it up, their remix is a complete overhaul in terms of sound and theme. Both in beat and synths, the track is a heavy, heady and ravey mix which sounds like it could have easily stepped out of 2001, Adidas shell toes and all. The opening has lashings of both early Prodigy and UK garage before it launches into a sort of pre-Pendulum mixdown where the beat both rolls and jumps. Blaze’s vocals are sped up to fit the 174 BPM tempo, but it seems to work seamlessly. While the lyrics are chopped up for the main mixdown, Mob Tactics also give the intro and main break over to full verses, even going to halftime in the break to get her full range.
This track is a full marriage of drum and bass and rap, done and released in a way that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since “Naughty Ride,” and will likely introduce Cianna Blaze’s interesting brand garage-and-grim-infused rap to a new EDM audience. The track is an excellent throwback to the best of early ’00s dnb with a modern edge, and it will hopefully not be the last of its kind from Mob Tactics.