Tuesday 9th April 2013 

Ivy Lab

A short piece on an exciting new collaboration from three of Drum & Bass’ finest producers.

The first member originated from the Seychelles, “Sabre” moved to North London in 1989 and has since risen through the ranks and established himself as one of the most reputed producers in Drum & Bass. In his younger years, Sabre’s original passion was Hip-Hop. However, in the late 90s – an era he describes as his “inspiration” – his focus switched to Drum & Bass. His first release’s came in 2002 as part of a collaboration with “Intimidation Collective”. Within a couple of years he had attracted the attention of well renowned records labels due to his forward-thinking production of techy and soulful Drum & Bass. Sabre’s debut LP “The Wandering Journal” perfectly depicts the transformation to modernity through the use of beautifully crafted narrative interludes and pitch perfect production. Providing Sabre with transient liberation, “The Wandering Journal” was pivotal in the scene paving the way for a deeper approach to music production. Sabre is now a globally known DJ and producer with releases on top labels such as Critical, Metalheadz, Shogun, and Renegade Hardware.

Joining Sabre is London boy Halogenix, armed with an equally vast musical spectrum. An early love for classical music quickly transpired into a fascination with Drum & Bass that has lasted through to the present day. His strength as a producer can be found in his versatility, with certain tunes adopting smooth bass lines to provide a rich and subtle groove whilst others embody dark and abrasive production. One thing is for sure, Halogenix always delivers a distinctive sound that never lacks in quality. The past few years have seen an astronomic rise in the scene, culminating in his collaboration in the Ivy Lab trio. It is without doubt that his many releases on Critical, Invisible, Dispatch and Horizons have had no small part to play in this rise. He even dabbled in the 140bpm game with a release on Zero T’s Footprints label.

Completing the trio is another London resident, Stray. His musical development can be traced back to a Midi controller bought for him at the age of 14 by his brother, who he also cites as one of his biggest musical influences. Even with the obsession he quickly developed for 170 production, music was not his only focus. He studied Maths and Philosophy at Leeds University, hopefully he will become one of their noted alumni in years to come. His sound has matured with age, his self-confessed early love for Jump Up and Wobble had developed into a more conventional form of Drum & Bass. He has never forgotten his influences and believes they can be seen in his percussion patterns, giving his sound a uniqueness and clarity that is refreshing to the ears.


Ivy Lab is more than your typical Drum & Bass collaboration. They are an amalgamation of a vast range of musical influences and styles that results in a truly fresh approach to the 170bpm arena. Since the VIP for ‘Oblique’ was released, Ivy Lab have continued to showcase their original sound with the release of ‘Afterthought’ and ‘Brat’. With the forthcoming release of ‘Make It Clear’, Ivy Lab are definitely something to look out for in the future. Check out their first collaborative release “Oblique VIP” below.

Moving away from Drum & Bass, yesterday saw the release of Mr. multi-genre himself, Kahn’s new EP on Black Box. One of the many up and coming talents emerging out of the ever flourishing Bristol scene, his new 5 track EP is futuristic whilst retaining the gritty sound that has always underpinned Kahn’s music. Championing vocals from the likes of Flowdan, Rider Shafique and Jabu this EP incorporates halfstep and grime in way that only Kahn can deliver.

Link to the full EP: http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/Info?Track=BLACKBOX032