Since 2002, Kasra, leader of Critical Music, the innovative label turned club night, has kept a clear vision of what drum & bass should sound like. With legions of fans across the globe, Kasra has broken boundaries with his thoughtfully groomed artist catalog, overseeing 100 trendsetting, memorable releases.
Reflecting on 365 days of music being shuffled and slung from DAW to download, Kasra explores every angle of drum & bass and humbly provides his favorite offerings from the year.
“2016 feels like it’s been a great year for D&B,” he says. “Here’s my favorite tunes from the past 12 months. I decided to keep it to non-Critical tunes as that would be like being forced to choose a favorite child.”
Alix Perez “The Raven” (1995 Music)
“I played a show the other night on a four-headline DJ line up and everyone played this tune. It says a lot about a track when a wide cross-section of people play it. A high-class roller.”
Kursa & Faek “Behind This Door” (Bad Taste Recordings)
“This one is a hidden gem; I think it slipped past quite a few people. It’s fucking intense and pretty nails but I love it. Sounds like nothing else from this year.”
Synth Ethics “Vanguard” (The Dreamers Recordings)
“A relatively new duo hailing from Italy. This one was released on the ridiculously prolific Dreamers label, also out of Italy, and has a nod to old rave and hardcore. Every time I play it I’m asked what it is.”
Ivy Lab “Ghee” (20/20 LDN Recordings)
“Label family and trailblazers right now, this one is from their forthcoming 20/20 compilation and is more of that low-slung dirt that I love from them.”
Break “Who Got Da Funk” (Symmetry Recordings)
“Break never lets you down. This one continues this trend—raw bass and drums.”