Commix duo George Levings and Guy Brewer were famously raised in the historic English town of Cambridge. Of the Cambridge trinity – Nu:Tone, Logistics and Commix – it was Commix that were the last to take a firm grip on the D&B scene, yet when they did finally cement themselves it was in some style; their album “Call To Mind” was the sound of 2007, and it’s tough to recall a drum & bass record that is quite so successful at marrying the beautifully listenable and the gloriously experimental.
It’s the experimentalism of the boys’ approach to production, and of their attitude towards drum & bass – and music as a whole – that is their most fascinating trait. But how did they reach this point" Whilst George’s route into music had been through performance, playing saxophone, flute and piano, he developed a taste for hip hop which led him in to electronic music. Guy had gone from a broad canvas of taste that ranged from The Smiths to Dr. Dre, to receiving an education in drum & bass from a best friend’s older brother.
Initially their records were very much in the vein of the likes of the more soulful, house and disco-influenced sounds of Marcus Intalex, Calibre and their ilk, but despite taking what they describe as “a long time to find our sound”, find it they did. Their development was rapid, and though many people would have expected them to naturally gravitate towards the Hospital camp, it was with Goldie’s legendary Metalheadz imprint that Commix found their natural habitat, a symbiotic relationship that eventually resulted in the release of their remarkable debut album, and the first ever artist album to be released on Metalheadz, “Call To Mind”. Regarded as a defining moment in drum & bass’ history, the album brimmed with classic tracks such as ‘Be True’, ‘Japanese Electronics’, ‘Satellite Type 2’ and How You Gonna Feel’ (feat. Steve Spacek) and was subject to widespread critical acclaim.
The album was to some extent informed by their general dissatisfaction with the drum & bass scene as a whole, a sentiment that spurred the duo on to commission their next project; ‘Re:Call to Mind’ (2009) which sees their debut album ripped apart and put back together again by everyone from Burial to Underground Resistance.
‘Re:Call to Mind’ traverses myriad styles and tempos in an attempt to break away from what, prior to the Autonomic bomb, had become an extremely restrictive milieu. Ironically, to the extent that it offers a comparably faithful picture of today’s bass music underground, it succeeds.
Now working on their 2011 follow-up album, again for Goldie’s Metalheadz, if there’s one thing you can be sure of it is that you can expect something altogether different the third time around.