Review: Dave Owen, 'Hoes & Shows'


Dave Owen

Hoes & Shows

Rad Summer

Dave Owen has quickly established himself as one of the best drum and bass producers in the world. The Indianapolis native's soulful, jazzy productions have made big noise in the D&B world, popping up on the playlists of scene heavyweights like LTJ Bukem and earning frequent spins on BBC Radio

Owen's latest release, a four-track digital EP on Rad Summer Records titled Hoes & Shows is an exceptional slice of drum and bass. "Hoes & Shows" builds on Owen's penchant for interpolating vocal snippets from classic hip-hop tracks with lush jazz samples. In this case it's the opening lines of Big L's verse from the 1997 D.I.T.C. track "Day One" ("I went from standing on the corner selling cocaine, to ripping shows live on stage, the hoes yelling my name") over Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke's shimmering gem "Mascaram Setaba," underpinned by Dave's tightly crafted propulsive drums. It all makes for a compelling blend, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this extraordinary track attracting major attention in the drum-and-bass community.

Up next is a dubstep remix of the title track by producer Lemi Vice. Vice's uninspired take adds nothing to the original, except a predictable paint-by-numbers dubstep bass drop.

"Conundrum" finds Owen returning to D.I.T.C.'s "Day One" for inspiration, putting the track's original sample source, Oliver Sain's "On The Hill," through an extended D&B workout. Dave transforms the slow-burning funk classic into a tightly wound D&B juggernaut.

The EP ends with a smooth remix of Indianapolis MC Oreo Jones' "Sooner or Later." Owen keeps the vocals low in the mix, allowing the MC's high-speed delivery to become more of a rhythmic element than a focal point, giving the ambient washes of electric keys room to breathe.

With Hoes & Shows, Owen adds another brilliant production to his rapidly growing library of beautifully produced, atmospheric D&B. Highly recommended for drum and bass fanatics, but I strongly urge everyone else to give this work a spin. Whether you listen to hip-hop, jazz or R&B, you'll find something to latch onto within Owen's richly textured productions.

Hear: A full stream of the Hoes & Shows EP (via Soundcloud) Dave Owen - Hoes & Shows (RS005) out Nov 14th! by Rad Summer


Kyle Long pens A Cultural Manifesto for NUVO Newsweekly and in 2014 began broadcasting a version of his column on WFYI.