Oxide & Neutrino Release New Single: ‘Dilemma 2.0’
“You want to talk about Oxide & Neutrino? You need to talk about DIY culture…” UKF
“Alex “Oxide” River may be Britain’s most original dance producer.” THE GUARDIAN
“Dilemma” rediscovers the Kraftwerk principle: inflexibility can sometimes be funkier than suppleness…” SIMON REYNOLDS
Oxide & Neutrino’s ‘Dilemma 2.0’ is the first in a series of new music to be released from the gold album-selling South London duo, and the debut track on their new label, OxNe; the world premiere came via DJ Target on BBC 1Xtra, with the video exclusive courtesy of GRM Daily. Recently championed by UKF, Rinse, and Red Bull, the pair are currently locked in the studio finishing further material. Following summer shows at Ibiza Rocks, Eastern Electrics, SSE Arena Wembley, Dreamland (with Big Narstie), and beyond, Ox & Neuch recently completed their Australian headline tour. Forthcoming gigs include London, Amsterdam, and two very special NYE events (to be announced).
Road-tested for the past few months at their shows, ‘Dilemma 2.0’ first started life – lyrically speaking – as an intro that Neutrino dropped for the video version of Fekky’s track with Chip, ‘Avirex’, in 2017 (numerous YouTube comments asked for it to be a full track). Musically and culturally though, the story for ‘Dilemma 2.0’ began almost 20 years ago, and the now legendary proto-grime cut by So Solid Crew, ‘Dilemma’.
Produced by Neutrino during the same studio session as the vocals for ‘Casualty’, ‘Dilemma’ 1.0 first surfaced via Supreme FM, and then blew up courtesy of Ez. Hailed by music critic Simon Reynolds as So Solid’s “most influential track… replacing two-step’s sultry swing with an electro-derived coldness and rigour”. The key to the record’s success though, was sub bass, something Neuch had added to the whole track (see below quote). ‘Dilemma 2.0’, produced by Oxide, takes this aesthetic and brings it into 2018; the result is a grime/garage/bass hybrid that has the pair’s identity stamped throughout. Available in radio edit, instrumental, and main mix versions, the latter also soundtracks the self-produced video that was shot for the single, including previously unseen ‘back in the day’ footage.
“I produced the original Dilemma the same day I recorded the vocals for Casualty. We’d finished early and had about 30 mins of studio time left. I’d noticed in the underground garage raves people would go crazy when DJs would mix in track called Melody by Masterstepz,(which sampled Extra T’s E.T. Boogie) but it was a special version of Melody that only a few DJs knew about as it was placed towards the end of the vinyl after the original version. What made this version different to the original was 8 bars of continuous sub bass just before the drop, which was what sent ravers nuts and screaming for the reload, but I noticed there was bit of an anticlimax when the drop came in because the sub bass ended. This gave me the idea for Dilemma, to have continuous sub bass throughout the track.
“With the second coming of garage, we want to show the new generation listening to our music, our journey, our sound and where we’ve come from. Trying to teach them there was more to garage back in the day than the same 5 or 6 played to death garage hits they hear now on repeat when they go to garage raves. This lead to the creation of Dilemma 2.0”
About Oxide & Neutrino (full separate biog by Dave Jenkins/UKF/RA/Mixmag/DJ Mag):
Oxide & Neutrino were the first DJ/MC garage duo to hit No.1 in the UK charts via debut single ‘Bound 4 De Reload’ (formerly ‘Casualty’), a track that started off on white label and had no support from daytime radio. Founding members of one of the most successful and controversial garage collectives of all time, together with So Solid Crew, Oxide & Neutrino took UK garage and MC culture to the top of the charts and around the world.
The duo’s role in the changing sound of heavier UK garage and bass music, and the prominence of MC culture lead them to put their own much darker stamp on UKG. Seminal tracks such as ‘Dilemma’ and ‘Rap Dis’ rolled in the thick of a movement that later spawned grime and dubstep; while their sound has laid the foundations for the thriving UKG and bassline movement that they’re currently part of, and now representing to crowds at Bestival, SW4, Eastern Electrics, Dreamland, and Wembley Arena.
Alex and Mark have experienced levels of success few of their peers can claim, while retaining the same DIY philosophy and love for the music they’ve had from from day one. Now, with features with artists including Riddim Commission, Fekky, and Chip, under their belts, the next chapter for their original music starts here.