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In Session

Ivy Lab

Rugged and sheen-smothered bass from Sabre, Stray and Halogenix's project

  • Mixmag staff
  • 2 November 2015

Ivy Lab are one of the hottest groups around right now.

The London trio - made up of Stray, Sabre and Halogenix - are releasing their debut album, 'Ivy Lab Presents 20/20 Volume One', this week and it's an absolute belter from start to finish. Producing tracks individually and collaboratively on it, they've served up a mix of scorching halftime and hazy, future-facing instrumental jams.

It's a bold move from them, too. Even though they made their name giving us some of the most divine and delicate drum 'n' bass cuts of the last few years - 'Make It Clear' with Hydro and Frank Carter III on Metalheadz, 'Oblique' and 'Live On Your Smile' on Critical Recordings and their remix of Anushka's 'Never Can Decide' - they defied expectations, rewrote the game-plan and decided to give us a taste of the style of music they'll be championing on their new label, 20/20 LDN Recordings.

Another way of letting us know what the label's all about is through their 20/20 mid-week club night that recently made the move to south London venue Phonox after a year at The Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park. Joining them and residents Tim Parker and Deft, guests like Alix Perez, dBridge, Om Unit, Fracture and Sam Binga have passed through to spin cranky, twisted bass, blazing hip hop beats and frantic footwork. The next one sees them team up with London/Glasgow label Astral Black at east London venue Village Underground on November 21, inviting Ryan Hemsworth along. Judging by how much we loved the last one, we fully suggest you go if you're in town.

They were one of our favourite acts at Croatian bass fest Outlook as well. So much so we basically stalked them and saw them play three times, on two boat parties and once at the Critical takeover of The Moat, and they smashed it every time.

Joining forces in 2013 and finding themselves among our breakthrough DJs list last year, 2015 is definitely the one they've become a name everyone's raving about. The 'Twenty Questions' EP on Critical landed early doors - serving up a contender of drum 'n' bass tune of the year with the title track - before Lenzman called on them to remix 'Paper Faces' on the 'Looking At The Stars' remix album. The result? A soul-oozing gem, of course.

It'd be rude not to mention their solo skills while we're here, although Sabre's been quiet on that front since the crunching 'Pinch Me' with Cern on Dispatch Recordings in 2013. Stray and Halogenix might well have produced two of the year's best EPs in 'Paradise' and 'All Blue' on Exit Records and Metalheadz respectively. Taking into account the sheen-smothered beauties they produce individually, it's no wonder the group manage to blow us away with everything they do.

This mix is a tidy warm-up for the album, featuring six tunes from the record, with tracks by Alix Perez, Mr Carmack, Eprom, Enei, Kasra and Skeptical also being spun. Rugged and spanking in places, beaming and swooning in others, it's a prime example of their tight, varied selection and the direction they're heading. Crank up the sub, this one's fully of rowdy bass.

'Ivy Lab Presents 20/20 Volume One' is released on 20/20 LDN Recordings on November 6

Download (right click & save)

Sabre - Yoga (Alix Perez Remix)
Was A Be - Choices
Shades - Serpent
Ivy Lab - Planebeats
Moody Good - Witness The Fuxness
Mr Carmack - Torture
Ivy Lab - Slipped
Stray - Paradise
Cam'Ron - Oh Boy (Ivy Lab's 20/20 Bootleg)
Sinistarr - Accidental Deathing
Ivy Lab - Third World Cop
Alix Perez - Roland Riddim
Ivy Lab - Shamrock
Stray - Walk On By
Shield - Horrormovie
Signs - Diesel
Eprom - Hurricane
Zero Tep - Party
Stray - Easy Boy VIP
Hyroglifics - Come Again
Stray & Havelock - Badboysound
ReDraft x HP.Ritch - Champion Killa
Havelock - Untitled Brock
Alix Perez - Gully Halves VIP
Alibi - Hornet
Decimal Bass - Work For Nothing
Enei & Kasra - Inside the Box
Skeptical - One Last Kiss
Ivy Lab - No Answer
Ivy Lab - Ubane
Mr Carmack - Rappers
Ivy Lab - Woodland Princess
Tsuruda - Punjabi $lang
Monuman - Thinkn
Halogenix - Laugh Party
Brain Crisis - Votenot
Shield - Horrormovie VIP

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