Formed by producers Sabre, Stray and Halogenix, Ivy Lab are a North London collective that is part of a nascent movement of bass music refugees cross- pollinating UK soundsystem culture with influences from Future beats, the Mo’Wax era and LA’s Low End Theory focused beat scene. Their debut album adopts a clan style approach where different configurations of members, and collaborators, might operate under the Ivy Lab mantle:
“This LP sits somewhere between a compilation album and a mixtape. The tracks are a mix of solo beats from individual members and collaborative productions between all three of us.”
Inspired by their enthusiasm for experimentation on the fringes of the drum & bass scene; Sabre, Stray and Halogenix joined forces through individual collaborations on their principle label Critical Music before expanding into the formal trio of Ivy Lab. A string of standout singles and EPs, additional support from Goldie’s Metalheadz recordings and remixes for acts and labels including Sub Focus (Universal), TC (3beat) and Anushka (Brownwood) have attracted a wealth of attention to the group.
With an anchored presence at the heart of the drum and bass community secured, the collective have now expanded into fresh territory under the framework of the “20/20” project. Initially established as a clubnight, the project is broadening its scope with the launch of a record label driven by the same raison-d’être as its live-event sibling. Namely to provide a showcase for the emerging landscape of sounds operating in the hinterlands between footwork, jungle/drum’n’bass, hip- hop and future beats – often referred to under the stop-gap moniker of ‘halftime’. Given this new movement’s proximity to Ivy Lab’s musical heritage as a drum and bass act, they view 20/20 as an expansion, rather than a change, in their musical output:
“We have no intention of turning our backs on drum & bass, but we have such a huge body of music in this style that it makes sense for us to create a parallel platform dedicated to this movement.”