“Marauder: A person or animal that goes from one place to another looking for people to kill or things to steal or destroy.” – Cambridge Dictionary
While we can be fairly confident that B9, Jafu, Geode and Congi – the founding fathers of the Chord Marauders label – haven’t been involved in any homicides, one could argue that within this definition there lies a transparent relevance to the way in which they have taken dubstep, flipped it, chopped it, infused it with spices and seized it for their own.
Dubstep has gone through an array of makeovers throughout its relatively young life, ranging from early Skream or Benga with their aggressive, squelching basslines and dark intimidating wobbles, to producers like Doctor P, who’s main objective seems to be to aurally induce a brain haemorrhage. The Chord Marauders offer something different. By seamlessly interweaving soulful jazz samples into 140bpm rhythms and bass that fills the room yet veers away from the traditionally distorted timbre of more widely recognised dubstep, they introduce a more relaxed, less intense – but just as meaty and powerful – aspect of the genre. Their crystal clear production of the percussive elements give a sense of purity and innocence lacking in many other interpretations of dubstep.
The four producers formed an alliance in 2012 on Soundcloud. What started off as a shared passion by like-minded musicians, exchanges of dubs and collaborative projects became an opportunity to build a self-promoting, legitimate record label in May 2013 that now boasts nearly 15k followers on Soundcloud, successful events in London, Bristol and Leeds and their very own first vinyl pressing LP in May of last year: Groove Booty 4.
Groove Booty 4 really is testament to the consistently high production standard the Marauders strive for. The LP features tracks such as Jafu – Scrapbook consisting of that signature tight percussion, a melody on the keys to relax and lose your mind to, and the odd contrasting, ominous, bass growl. Jafu’s use of reverb and delay really creates an atmosphere. The LP also features a release from Facta & K-LONE – head honchos over at Wisdom Teeth Records: Voodoo. A little darker perhaps than the rest of the track list, you can really see how the two labels intertwine and compliment one another.
If there’s one thing we can count on from Chord Marauders, it’s their consistent nature. Since Groove Booty was released 3 years ago, they have pushed the boundaries of genre as well as production. Now, 4 volumes later, it seems not much has changed.