Ror-Shak: DB (left) and Stakka (right)
Two talented and well-known DJ’s from the underground electronica scene, DB and Stakka, have come together for a collaborative project known as Ror-Shak. Their debut album, Deep, is an incredible and unique journey into the world of downtempo and drum & bass featuring guest artists such as Chantal Claret of Morningwood, Lisa Shaw, Julee Cruise, Wendy Starland, and Mark Holmes of Platinum Blonde. In using the talents of these vocalists together with their knack for putting together tunes that titillate one’s sonic palette, DB and Stakka have created delicately beautiful songs that soar above the competition.
Take for example two of the earlier tracks that appear on the album, “Fate or Faith” and “Golden Cage,” both of which feature Julee Cruise as a guest vocalist. The first of those two songs has an overall silky smooth downtempo texture. Julee Cruise’s luxurious voice combines with the sweet synth melodies to gently caress your ears like a soft, Spring breeze blowing through a field of flowers. Yet there are obvious drum & bass influences, the most noticeable of which are the drum loops, that seem like they might ruin that kind of smooth atmosphere. Surprisingly, instead of conflicting with the gentility of the downtempo mood, the beats help to create something a little more solid that the listeners can wrap their minds around so that they become more engaged in the song’s ambience. It’s like the hook that keeps the listener tuned into the song.
“Golden Cage” has a much less obvious drum & bass influence. In fact, it reminds me a lot of some of Curve’s more easy-going songs, such as “Coming Up Roses,” and some of the stuff off of Central Reservation by Beth Orton. Ror-Shak’s song just has that very easy-going, laid back kind of jazzy vibe going for it. Back in the day, people would sit on their front porches and listen to folky, old timey music on their tinny sounding radios while fanning their sweaty faces to fend off the oppressive heat of Summer. Nowadays, I can picture someone sitting on a similar front porch, listening a song like “Golden Cage” on their iPod, sipping an ice cold soda, and letting an electric fan keeping the heat off their faces. Man, just talking about that is making me super thirsty. And listening to “Golden Cage” just adds to the elaborate picture I’ve developed in my mind, which makes me even thirstier.
So anyway, If you’re into electronica in any of its forms or sub-genres then this collaborative effort by DB and Stakka is definitely something that you should check out. You can buy Ror-Shak’s album Deep at myMusicandVideo.com or a special Extended Digital Version of Deep at iTunes
Ror-Shak – Fate or Faith
Ror-Shak – Golden Cage