Ivy Lab, the North London production crew consisting of Sabre, Stray and Halogenix, are at the heart of a nascent movement of producers currently pushing Drum & Bass music further and further into striking new territory – bursting supposed genre boundaries apart at the seams. Taking sketches from the sonic tapestry that is UK sound system culture, the ever evolving LA Beat community and Mo’Wax era Hip-Hop, the Ivy Lab sound is impressively unpredictable but strangely familiar.
Their forthcoming album ‘Ivy Lab Presents 20/20 Volume One’ – coming out via their soon-to-be-minted 20/20 LDN Recordings – is a snapshot of where they are at right now, sitting somewhere between a compilation and a mixtape, the tracks are combination of individual work and collaborative productions from all 3. Having previously released a string of highly-regarded singles and EPs on Critical Music and Metalheadz, it feels like a natural time to expand upon the foundation they’ve laid with the 20/20 club night. Originally taking place at the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park, London, they’ve recently moved home to new Brixton club Phonox, with very lively reports surfacing from their first event last month. The raison-d’être for the night is to provide a platform to showcase this hybrid Drum & Bass sound, and the artists creating it, a sound that draws heavily from Footwork, Hip-Hop and Bass music, and a mantra that carries over to the ethos of the new label.
Ahead of the album release we called upon the trio to reveal the contents of their YouTube vaults, and they didn’t disappoint. Press play on the playlist below for a trip across the continent, taking in Quincy Jones’ impressive protege, classic Ashley Schaeffer and an insightful Stussy documentary along the way.
1. Key & Peele – ‘Continental Breakfast’
This is us literally every time we walk into the breakfast buffet at the hotel after doing a show.
2. Jacob Collier – ‘Close to You’
Quincy Jones’ protege Collier impresses with a grasp of complex harmony and imaginative arrangement way ahead of his years.
3. My New Microphone!
He’s got it all under control, dw
4. The Underachievers – ‘Herb Shuttles’
Something of a musical turning point for the three of us, the accompanying video epitomizes everything we love about cloud rap
5. Ken Robinson (Ted Talk) – ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity’
Proposition : Creativity isn’t nurtured, we are all born creative and our education systems strip of us of our creative tendencies.
6. Paula Fries a Cheesecake
Just look at that fucking abomination, Y’all.
7. Mykki Blanco – ‘Join my Militia’
Arca on the beats / Mykki with the dark verses. Probably one of the most inventive narratives of any hip-hop beat you’ll come across.
8. Eastbound and Down Outtakes
“I can feel it in my pluuuuuhms”
9. Lorn – ‘Acid Rain’
Bam, right in the feels.
10. BBC ‘The Look’: Stussy Tribe
A look at the early years of the Stussy brand, its audience and the associated culture. Shout out a very young looking Goldie making a cameo.
11. Anchor vs Rooster
‘Ivy Lab Presents 20/20 Volume One’ is out 6th November 2015 on 20/20 LDN Recordings. 20/20 team up with Astral Black at Village Underground on 21st November as part of The Hydra’s Clock Strikes 13 series, more on that here.