Upgrade courtesy of Facebook

“Track ID?” — for as long as DJ sets have been hosted for download — and later streamed live on the internet, it is the one certainty, the constant burning question listeners have asked. Us DJs are audiophiles — musical packrats, hoarders if you will whose insatiable thirst to add to our cache of audio weaponry will never be completely quenched.  Watch our faces light up as we hear a tune that we simply can’t live without, then witness our steely resolve and determination as we embark on a hunt to ascertain the name and artist of said tune so that we can add it to our already excessive collection of music.

Rewind a few months back; it’s a blustery autumn afternoon in late September and I’m at my desk in the office looking for music to get me primed to push through a lengthy list of action items I’m trying to get off my plate before I head home for the day.  Scrolling through my facebook feed — a reliable source of continuous listening that seldom has a shortage of recorded sets, mixes, and DJ broadcasts — I stumble upon a livestream that piques my interest.  People are jumping up and down, drinks are being held in the air, and the vibes on my screen are surprisingly palpable.  That long shaggy mop, thick framed glasses, and the selection are unmistakable.  Live from Shanghai, web based DJ event cast Boiler Room is transmitting Skrillex in real time.

I’ve tuned in just over an hour into the set and the OWSLA boss is in peak time form.  Navigating through healthy doses of Trap, Electro, Hip-Hop, and the bass growl heavy brand of Dubstep he was instrumental in popularizing in North America, Skrillex is curating the kind of festival headliner set casual listeners have come to expect from the Los Angeles native.  Then it happens; an unassuming dancefloor is buried under the frenetic pace of accelerated breakbeats and throbbing basslines — it’s Drum & Bass and the crowd proceeds to lose their shit.

My investigative efforts commenced; I scoured other sets, track listings, Soundcloud pages, and comments sections hoping someone in the know could identify this gem.  Months would pass until I would find myself at the Soundcloud page of one Samuel Smith — a Drum & Bass beatslinger pressing records under the creative guise Upgrade.  The Serial Killaz signing had recently published a five-track EP offering and I had been doing the rounds doing research for our blog.  To my delight, my lengthy search which had yet to yield my coveted Track ID had ended.  Featuring an infectious vocal sample of famed Miami rapper Rick Ross, “Blow” is a wobbly stepper engineered to get the dance moving.  No frills Jump-Up at its finest.

Purchse the Temper Tantrum EP from Beatport: https://www.beatport.com/release/temper-tantrum-ep/1976551

– Joe Crilla