Black Barrel is the alias of Russian drum & bass producer Evgenii Khmel. Based out of Saint-Petersburg, Khmel’s been putting out records with a cold, minimalist touch for the last few years, mostly via Ant TC1’s Dispatch Recordings label. Producers like Alix Perez and Break helped start Khmel’s love affair with stripped-back drum arrangements, but that wasn’t how he discovered the genre: his first contact with drum & bass came from listening to pirate radio and Russia’s neuropunk podcast, where local heroes like DJ Bes introduced him to the darker side of 170BPM.
These days, Khmel’s more atmospheric voice shines brightest on each of his releases, like on this year’s superbly deep Last Frontier LP for Dispatch. He shows the grainier style to his sound on his mix for us, dropping in time for his Room Two appearance at our massive FABRICLIVE Christmas send-off next weekend.