Two of the definite breakout bass music stories of this year have been centered around Vorso and QZB. While the two Flexout mainstays have each been releasing before 2017, it was their respective “Needle” and “Heptine” tracks that captured the respective imaginations of the dubstep and drum and bass communities. It should also be noted that “Heptine” was released in 2016, but it remains one of QZB’s most played tracks to-date, so we shan’t get bogged down too much in those details, shall we? These tracks are too good to grouse.
What’s interesting about this swap between QZB and Vorso is that it’s not only a track swap but a full genre swap. As Vorso is so embedded in the dubstep and halftime sound while QZB are rock solid in neurofunk and DnB. This switch will really have fans looking sideways, and it seems that’s been how the swappers wanted it.
The original “Heptine” by QZB is one of those tracks that fits in everywhere in DnB, due to its techy and heavy yet minimalistic sound. It can mix with just about any subgenre while also standing on its own as a dancefloor roller. With hit remix, as he is wont to do, Vorso flips that techy and minimal beat on its ear by slowing the track down to dubstep or riddim tempo and basically creating a new beat for it which is chunkier and more rock-driven. The result is that the speedy techy vibe of the original is now smoothed out to an emotional, almost anthemic riddim track that also defies that genre’s parameters. It will definitely have both camps doing a double take, and perhaps not even recognizing the track as a remix.
Like “Heptine,” Vorso’s original “Needle” is also a heavy dancefloor track, with lots of bass synth and techy sounds of its own. QZB have approached their remix in a very different way than Vorso has with “Heptine” in that rather than stripping down the stems, they cut them up, sped them up and made a completely different structure. The ornamental drum sounds that originally comprised the synths are now used as the main beat pattern, rifled around and re-patterned in a number of different ways by the skilled mixdown. Somehow the tribal banger that was “Needle” is now a techy, unconventional think piece that will leave even the most savvy compositional DnB mind wondering how QBZ put this one together.
It turns out this little remix swap session Vorso and QZB did sort of just for fun has produced two tracks which are not only on par with their originals quality-wise but as stand-alone tracks might be two of the best of the year. It’s a testament to why QZB and Vorso have the attention on them that they do now: they’re just both that good. Here’s hoping the two talents work together more and continue to swap tracks and genres.
“Needle” (QZB Remix) and “Heptine” (Vorso Remix) are avaiailable exclusively now on Beatport but will release on all other platforms on July 28. Stay tuned for more fire from both camps, as Vorso will be releasing a remix album shortly, while QZB will continue to release bangers from their other home planets of Critical and Flexout.