If you’re looking for a compendium of the best parts of neuro over the years, “Digest,” a collab with Redpill appearing on Fourward’s impending release from Eatbrain, has you covered in one. Torn Place is Fourward’s sophomore EP on Eatbrain and features collabs with Jade and L 33 as well. All the tracks on Torn Place are high-energy, steppy dancefloor stinkers but “Digest” really does a masterful job of capturing an essential neuro vibe that really hasn’t been done in this way since the early days.
With an intro and outro that hearken back to the inception of neurofunk in the late 90s with acts like Stakka & Skynet and Ed Rush & Optical, a base beat that channels early days Noisia and sound design clean enough to be recognized as modern era, “Digest” gives a snapshot of all that neuro has accomplished. Redpill and the boys from Fourward probably didn’t have all that in mind when they made it, however. They’re all just that versatile and truly love hard D&B.
With an ominous fade-in intro and sort of chunky first drop, there are no extraneous samples or vocals on “Digest” and the breaks are also ambient in nature and seem deceptively simple. All these factors allow the beat to speak for itself, however, and it certainly does. The drums and beat structure manage to be both funky, with a nice OG neuro groove that the old school heads will appreciate, and extremely tight and clean design-wise, combining the best of both neuro eras. The synths are also no frills, with just the right amount of techy twang and offset syncopation to the beat to make the track enjoyable and evocative but also super steppy and dancefloor-ready. Again, if you want the neurofunk Cliff’s Notes to cheat on the D&B history test, “Digest” is it.
With both Fourward and Redpill at the top of their respective games over the last year, it’s really not that much of a surprise that they can produce such an exemplary track. With “Resist”, it also seems like perfect timing for both acts to be returning to Eatbrain, where they can really let their neuro flags fly. This is only one track on Torn Place, mind you; there’s plenty more to come.