This one has been a long time coming (and is well overdue). Starfi started its journey with the Drake Equation EP back in 2011 and the title track was the first Drum’n’Bass release. However, it wasn’t Starfi’s first Drum’n’Bass track, that one was called Voodoo Man but it wouldn’t be released until later that same year and as a B-side to Hoodlum.
Voodoo Man was written a year or so before Drake Equation and had sparked the interest in the genre. The tribal drums and chanting added a touch of drama to the more junglistic sound of Voodoo Man but the concept would be more difficult to convey in a house music track (which was more the normal style of Starfi) and so was put on the back burner for the time being.
After Runaway Droid included two drum’n’bass tracks (Drake Equation and Hoodlum) in its multi genre release, the style wouldn’t reappear until it’s lone (albeit brief) appearance as “Newt” on I Odyssey. Newt managed to fuse several different styles together (and bridge between the encompassing tracks on the album) and was titled after the young girl’s character in “Aliens” with the vocoder lyric calling “I think that you’re worth living/fighting/dying for” in a homage to Ripley’s efforts. Newt has always been one of my favourite tracks and I love the rework on this album!
On Tin Man Analogue Heart the style came back with two tracks, “See You Tomorrow“ and “Nerve“. With Jess providing the lyrics for both tracks and a cheeky teaser video clip of Nerve (with the legendary Adam West) on Facebook, I would’ve liked to try more at the time but it took another year and a half before “Icarus” reared it’s head and the full-on “Star’s Escape Velocity Mix” exploded from the ether.
So this leads to Time Machine Vol.3 which puts a collection of all the drum’n’bass tracks in one place. Each one has been adjusted to suit the album, some in a significant way, with the massive new Drum’n’Bass remix of “Riddim Droid” kicking off proceedings. Again it’s all been mixed and mastered* in 24/96 and presented as an Apple Digital Master for a touch more quality (but a bit less volume, a trade off I accept…). I’ll probably make the individual mixes available again for the DJs but for the mean time, stream, share and buy the latest collection that will probably tie up the Time Machine series for the immediate future!
*The mastering was a bit of a rushed affair, with the sad outbreak of Covid-19 affecting absolutely everything, I simply ran out of time before the distributor deadline and spent way less time mastering this album than I would normally (please forgive the slightly overblown bass in a couple of tracks!). Apple Digital Masters can be a bit more forgiving with it’s restricted levels but as I listen back and start to “own it, warts and all”, I’m starting to get the vibe… Besides, at some point you just have to let it go.
Time Machine Vol.2 takes us more towards the dance side of Starfi! With a cross between house and trance I never really wanted to settle in to one genre or stay in one groove. This collection is mainly split between the two main factions I focus on: we start with the housier, more piano led tracks and progress up the tempo range and into the searing stabs and sweeps of the more trance orientated tracks.
“Destination Unknown” (from the Destination: Home EP) was probably always meant to sound like this version but didn’t suit the mood of the rest of it’s EP, this remix is a personal favourite as it feels more solid and in command!
The other tracks have all had a bit of additional work done, but more in the sonics department. The piano on “Horizon” always bugged me so a bit of delay and this version feels much more in-keeping. Stripping some of the excess parts from the others gives a bit more space and allows the timing to keep pace better, plus tweaking a few arrangements lets them bed in and keep bouncing away! In all they all sound more complete than the original versions and much more how I prefer.
Releasing them as an Apple Digital Masters (formerly Mastered For iTunes) format is a bit of a double edged sword. Whilst I like the quieter, more dynamic releases (and I wanted this Time Machine series to be in full 24/96 HD where available), these tracks are meant to be loud and in your face! To that end I am making the individual tracks available as a separate download but exclusively as DJ mixes so they can rock the speakers as desired (with DJ friendly starts and ends and no tempo changes through the tracks)! Time Machine Vol.1 set the high definition standard and it really suited that release, not sure how the upcoming Vol.3 will fare with that…
Listen to the continuous mix on Spotify, download the continuous mix from Beatport or take the DJ Mixes on the road and put them in your set! It’s your choice and it’s been a pleasure putting these into my Time Machine series.