Sun and Bass has become well known as the destination festival for drum and bass heads in its 14-year tenure. Taking place in Sardegna at the beginning of September, Sun and Bass also marks the end of the festival season as dnb heads watch the sun set on the Mediterranean. A number of festivals have cropped up in the last few years, however, that have given SNB a run for its money. Festies like Outlook in Croatia, Liquicity outside of Amsterdam and Nu Forms in Austria are catering to younger drum and bass fans and also focus on specific genres or styles. This might be the reason Sun and Bass’s lineup is so diverse this year, with surprising acts on the bill like Seba, Was a Be and Blocks & Escher joining the heavy lineup of og dnb greats like Goldie, Loxy and Dillinja.
Similarly, the official pre-SNB compilation compiled under DJ Patlife and releasing on V Recordings called Viva Brazil: SUNANDBASS SESSIONS has a hefty dose of the chilled out, liquidy jungle vibes Sun and Bass as well as Patlife himself are known for, but it also has some stylistic surprises. The compilation focuses solely on drum and bass artists in Brazil who, though the project is releasing just ahead of the festival, may not even be playing at Sun and Bass. Such is the case with L-Side, a diverse producer who’s been releasing on V since 2014 and who has worked with The Ragga Twins, MC Fava and Ras G.
L-Side has a number of tracks on the compilation, but a track near the end of the 18-track LP called “Dust Version” really stands out. L-Side still uses quite a bit of throwback 90s style on this track, with a ragga-inspired intro and a groovy yet stripped down beat ca. 1996 which sounds like it could go with any subgenre. The bass synth, however, is what’s surprising. Also influenced by early drum and bass, it falls squarely and almost shockingly in the wheelhouse of darkstep. The churning, grinding bass has just a souciant of techiness, but beyond that it is darkstep and it is glorious.
“Dust Version” will have newer drum and bass fans asking what is this wonderous portal to funky darkness L-Side has opened up, while old schoolers will likely look him up to see how old he is (spoiler: he started in 2008). It’s a meticulously crafted and deceptively simple track which stands out fiercely on this compilation and showcases not only the diversity of modern talent and their ability to understand and assimilate older influences, but also shows the diversity of Sunandbass and V Recordings. These two dnb powerhouses still have more than a toehold on the drum and bass scene, and Viva Brazil: SUNANDBASS SESSIONS proves it.
Viva Brazil: SUNANDBASS SESSIONS releases this Friday, August 25 and can be pre-ordered by clicking here.