Youngman’s been doing 2017 properly. You’ll have heard him on Radio 1 featuring on tracks by the likes of Phantasy & Macky Gee and Wilkinson. You might well have caught him lyrically killing a rave or a huge festival stage. And you’ll certainly have heard his triumphant return to Technique Recordings with Sorry and his multi-part follow-up by the name of Spinning. In fact, the third part of that project has just landed, and it takes us on an unpredictable journey.
We’ve already seen how Fred V & Grafix and Drumsound & Bassline Smith interpreted Youngman’s vocal. For this final instalment, though, we’re being treated to the original version, produced by Example, Dirtyphonics, and P Money collaborator Kaikai, and it’s something you definitely weren’t expecting. As the filtered-into-the-distance chords of the intro are given a delicately percussive heartbeat, Youngman’s voice fills the mix hypnotically and there’s no telling where this is going to go.
The beat drops, a half-speed, genre-twisting rhythm underpinned by throbbing, weighty bass. It’s the vocal that always takes centre-stage here, leading the listener through the spaced-out, almost trip-hop atmosphere. Then Kaikai takes us even further down the rabbit-hole as he cuts and reforms samples of Youngman’s voice into shadow-toned stabs. This is dark, emotive and soulful not-quite-drum ‘n’ bass music that’s got a vibe all of its own.
This whole three-part project from Youngman has been an exercise in pushing the boundaries of vocal-led DnB. We’ve seen one song sculpted, moulded, and dissected in very different ways. Now we’ve got Spinning in, perhaps, its purest form, it’s proof that Youngman is an artist doing what artists are supposed to do: taking chances and pushing beyond limits. And you better believe, there’s a lot more of that journey left.