Crate Diggin’
A guide to Spor’s heavyweight back catalogue

Few artists in electronic music have as varied a sonic palette as Jonathan Gooch. Active in dance music since the mid-2000s, he’s played with an array of stylistic forms such as dubstep and electro-house, mostly through his Feed Me alias. It’s through his drum & bass tracks as Spor, though, that Gooch's cinematic approach to sound design shines brightest. Constantly evolving and pushing creative boundaries as he takes his music in different directions, his work is characterised by intricately-layered drums with cracking snares, powerful sci-fi sampling and crushing bass caverns. His acclaimed Caligo LP captured this hard-hitting style at its best, while his more recent work has seen him collaborating with Linguistics in support of the mental health charity Mind State. In recent years Gooch has been more elusive under his Spor moniker, which only adds to his mystique for his loyal fanbase. In spite of his sparse production output, he’s stayed tight with the Rampage crew as a DJ, and next joins them for their takeover at FABRICLIVE this Friday. Ahead of what should be a night of high-octane drum & bass and dubstep, we took a moment to delve into Spor’s esteemed back catalogue.

Spor – Judderman [Damaged Mindz]

Recorded when he was barely out of his teenage years, this two track EP was Spor’s first step into the electronic music scene. This militant number follows the original techstep blueprint that was moulded by the previous generation of artists like Ed Rush & Optical, Bad Company and Trace. The mysterious introduction gathers pace slowly before dropping into a tight, technical breakdown. Crisp hi-hats and twisted basslines only add to the track’s hardcore and industrial feel. Its bouncy energy quickly thrust Spor into the spotlight, and it still gets played by D&B’s top selectors today.

Spor – Aztec [Shogun Audio]

Released on Friction’s Shogun Audio, Aztec might be the greatest moment of Spor’s career. Plenty of others felt the same, with Grooverider giving it wider exposure on his BBC Radio 1 show, and Andy C rinsing it for years. More uplifting than his previous work, the focus moved away from the dark, warped sound to a brighter electronic bass. It still hits hard, employing squelched synths that have crowds cheering every time it’s dropped.

Noisia & Spor – Falling Through [Vision]

For dark, dancefloor-inclined drum & bass, you can’t go too far wrong linking up with Dutch trio Noisia, so when Spor joined forces with them for Falling Through, it was little surprise the results were so killer. An ambient build sets the mood, which is juxtaposed by a neck-snapping beat shift just as it reaches a climax point. The well crafted-drums work in unison with a wobbly bass, adding to its weightiness. Rolling but devastating, it’s a tech-powered overload.

Spor – As I Need You feat. Tasha Baxter [Sotto Voce]

One of the highlights of Spor's much-loved Caligo album, As I Need You saw Spor uniting with one of his regular production team-mates, Tasha Baxter. It’s steeped in the powerful atmosphere Spor typically conjures, with emotionally fragile vocals that only add to the darkness. The drop is guttural, and the mood chilling. For Spor at his most haunted, look no further.

The Prodigy – Nasty (Spor Remix) [Take Me To The Hospital]

After a period in the wilderness, Spor returned to drum & bass with a remix for rave music royalty, The Prodigy. Like many of the best remixes, it takes the original into a new direction without compromising the track’s vibe. Packed with intense energy, Spor’s gritty and uncompromising bass complements Keith Flint’s hallmark tempered vocals.

Friday 22nd November

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