Having risen through the ranks over the past five years with releases on imprints ranging from Ram to Dispatch, the UK-based duo Gerra & Stone drop their most impressive project to date in the form of their debut LP, Polarism, on Dispatch Recordings. To get a sense of the breadth and depth the drum & bass duo is charting with the project just look to the support raining in from the likes Noisia and S.P.Y all the way through to Lenzman and Friction.
Able to kick down the doors with tech-driven smashers just as easily as they can hit you where it hurts on the smooth and soulful tip, the 16-track LP taps guest vocalists and musicians ranging from Visionobi, Peta Oneir, Jordan Jr., and pianist Stephen McCleery, to deliver an epic manifesto of their own role in the continuing evolution of the genre.
To celebrate the full release of the album (be sure lock yours in here), we thought we’d tap the drum & bass duo for a genre-bending ride down memory lane to get a sense of what kind of tunes not only changed their lives but continue to inspire them and their sound to this day.
Jehst “China Shop Taurus” (Low Life, 2003)
“I originally inherited the LP this track is taken from off a school mate around 2003 and it has been played to death ever since. I could have chosen a number of cuts from the album but I think this has always been my favorite. I guess it’s a combination of the lazy filtered sample that reminds me of sitting in the park as a teen just as the sun goes down at the end of summer, full of optimism, which juxtaposes the lyrical content. As for the lyrics, Jehst has always touched me in a special way. I feel he gives a very accurate description of what it is like growing up as a young man in modern day England, but delivered with such articulate wit that I can listen to it in pretty much any mood.” –Gerra
Deftones ft. Maynard James Keenan “Passenger” (Maverick, 2000)
“As much as drum & bass and hip-hop were vital to me growing up, metal bands like Deftones and Tool were the mainstay for a long time. I choose this particular track as it features both! Taken from Deftones 2000 LP White Pony, it features Maynard James Keenan (personal hero who may or may not be sampled on our album) on guest vocals. The track itself is a bit less ferocious than a lot of Deftones stuff from that era, but lends itself perfectly to the ethereal tones of the two frontmen. The intertwining melodies send the same shivers down my spine as they did 17 years ago.” –Gerra
Calibre “Carry Me Away” (Signature, 2006)
“Now here is something we both solidly agree on. This is definitely our favorite Calibre track. It’s a true masterpiece in texture and groove from start to finish. The way the piano and dub-tech synths mingle is sublime and coupled with classic soft Calibre break-driven drums is pure class. Rolling into a blissfully simple, rolling, no-fuss drop that could be achieved by no other. My vinyl copy is all but worn out so now hangs on the wall as a testament to its importance in my collection. Not to mention “Mr Right On” is on the B-side, which is a certified classic in its own right! If anyone has a proper digital copy of this I would forever be in your debt.” –Gerra
Get it at Discogs
Radiohead “Everything in Its Right Place” (Parlophone, 2000)
“Very hard to pick a favorite Radiohead album let alone single track, but it’s probably got to be this one, the first song on Kid A. The contrast in mood they manage to create with minimal instrumentation in this one is really inspiring to me; it’s both bleak and uplifting at the same time. On top of that I’m a sucker for the sound of a Sequential Circuits Prophet synth, especially in the way it’s been used in this track to emulate a Rhodes keyboard sound.” –Stone
System of a Down “Toxicity” (American, 2001)
“There’s a quite a few grunge/nu-metal/punk bands which shaped me in the early ‘00s: Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park, Tool, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, RATM, and Lost Prophets, to name just a few. In general, before I discovered electronic music, this era of bands was the first music that I really identified with away from what my parents played me as a kid. In the end it always comes back to System.” –Stone