The bass music world has been somewhat fascinated with the comings and goings of Ivy Lab and Halogenix since their split in early 2018. Ivy Lab, now comprised of Stray and Sabre, were a bit quiet at first but are now working to take their sound in new directions with lots of collabs on their 20/20 imprint, including tracks on Amon Tobin/Two Fingers’s upcoming album. Halogenix, however, hit the ground running with a literal gallery of tracks and collabs and two EPs on Critical, including the epic Deep News.
What was interesting about Deep News (aside from the beats and engineering, of course) was that Halogenix declared quite firmly with the extra-long EP that he wasn’t abandoning halftime, as many fans assumed. A full five tracks on Deep News were halftime, including a VIP of one of Halogenix’s most popular pre-Ivy Lab split D&B tracks, “Blej.” In the VIP, Halogenix stretched out the minimal beat, added some hip hop elements and made the synths glitchier and darker than the original. It created a whole new feel to the track and sent fans and critics who thought they had solo Halogenix pegged reeling.
Today, with no prior warning, Critical dropped yet another remix of “Blej” by Fade Black to the shock and joy of the bass world and heads up: it’s completely different from both the halftime and the original versions. We’re back to 174 with this remix but the big question is which stems did Fade Black use to make this lush, heavy techy remix?
At first sniff, the remix sounds more like the halftime VIP than the original, at least in the synths. That said, the beat is much richer and less minimal than either of the other mixes and the super-grindy, techy second half of the original has been sort of turned inside out. Further, some of the ambient synths that appeared in the very background of the original mix have been brought to the front end of this version and wound out into a melody that is very much part of the intro and break.
It is possible Fade Black used both sets of stems to create this other, otherworldly version of “Blej?” The world may never know but what matters is bass music now has three versions of one of the most well-produced tracks in history, each as itneresting, complex and jaw-dropping as the last. No matter where Halogenix goes from here, with creativity like this from both himself and his collaborators, there will more than likely be more surprises to come.
“Blej” fade Black Remix is out now on Critical Music and can be streamed or purchased on multiple platforms by clicking here.