In the thriving UK drum and bass scene, Hospital Records stands out as one of the pioneers of the genre, and the latest offering from the esteemed label is Nu:Tone’s Future History. Future History marks Nu:Tone’s fourth studio album all released under Hospital, and by now you should really know about him if you’re a DnB fan. Having been around for a while, Nu:Tone’s music is never just straight forward drum and bass, he’s the kind of artist to unearth gems like break-beat and jungle and revitalise them into modern day anthems.
The album opens with a big-hitting break-beat style song- ‘Til Dawn, the track seems to stem directly from the likes of Slipmatt and earlier 90’s trend setters, and there couldn’t be a better song to encapsulate the thought behind an album in the way ‘Til Dawn does. From the off, Future History is washed with a constant element of nostalgia. Following this opening is Say That You’ll- every basshead’s dream, and an absolute gem of a track. Lea Lea lends her vocals to Tides giving a more soulful and partly chilled vibe to Nu:Tone’s fourth studio album, with classical-esque strings and stony piano chords making up the track.
Hospital’s very own go-to MC- Dynamite MC helps out on the manic Cannibals, providing deranged raps over a quick-fire beat, a mix you wouldn’t really expect to function so well together, but it sure as hell does. As I mentioned, nostalgia and, if you will, ‘throwback’ are omnipresent elements to Future History- something the more intuitive of you may have already figured out from the title of the album, but again Nu:Tone manages to reflect on the past by enlisting Kool Keith for Metaphor 6000, yes the same Kool Keith who demanded us to Smack My Bitch Up.
Nu:Tone’s Future History is a reflective trip down memory lane, but also a representative of where drum and bass is at present day. I know this seems difficult to get your head round, but once you listen to the LP, you’ll see what I mean. At points the project can become a bit flat and you feel as if it’s already been covered, but when an artist as gone at a project with this [sort of] in mind, you can’t really fault Nu:Tone’s inventiveness.
Verdict – WWWW