Calibre & DRS v Mark Ernestus – Bad/Badder

Big / Bigger

Here’s a confession to start with. The times when I was really into Drum’n’Bass are long gone. About two decades. And Dubstep somehow didn’t really grow on me. Which means that in spite of his outstanding production talent, this is the first time Dominick Martin a.k.a. Calibre has been added to the 8000plus list (except for an 18 year old remix on a 12″ that I will probably have a hard time finding).

But since the day this fine piece of vinyl landed on my desk I have been checking out one or the other of the sixteen Calibre albums – and I am not surprised that his career seems to be a prosperous one. The main reason for adding this to my latest Decks order was a different one, of course. Mark Ernestus.

In all of those Basic Channel disciples out there the addition of his name to a release triggers an automatic order reflex. I am sure you could sell just about anything if you add a Mark Ernestus sticker to it. And I am not even sarcastic or condescending here, not at all. Credit where credit is due. The list of people who have all but created a new genre of music isn’t really long and he is definitely on it.

As you might have guessed I am not necessarily much of a Basic Channel disciple (fandom is a strange concept to me). I simply picked this 12″ up because both of the remixes here are superb. The original track “Badman” actually begs for it – you listen to the original track within Calibre’s album and you want to check the credits whether this is already the remix or still the original.

The question here is – what’s better? Bad or badder? Hard to say as the two remixes aren’t exactly placed at opposite ends of the spectrum of opportunities. They both prove that even if Calibre goes deep on the original there is always an even deeper dimension to things. You plug those pods in, give it a little more volume than usual and you just might feel your head vibrate.

As expected, things are stripped down to the max, the dub dimensions are opened wide, DRS’ vocal delivery is condensed to words or even just bits of words dissolved in echospace – Ernestus doesn’t need much to create tracks that hover miles above a lot of Dub Techno that can be heard out there – at least when it comes to production quality, richness of sound and the ability to focus on what’s essential.

But back to the question. Bad? A little more lavish, a little more rounded, a little more of a version for the head. Badder? The one that has a little more punch, a little more drive, making it the version of choice when you finally get to serve some great music to real people in a real place with a sound setup that doesn’t just make one head vibrate but those of everyone in the house.

And now I will switch back to the Calibre album. I really like “Say Enough”. This guy is good.

Release for review:

Buy the digital track on Bandcamp: Click
Find and buy the vinyl version on Discogs: Click

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