Nerve Breaks 017 – Ronin – The Battledrums EP

NB017 artwork

Cat No: NB017
Artist: Ronin
Released: January 27th 2010

Tracklisting – click track title for 320kbps MP3 download

1: “Quarantine”

2: “If You Fear Dying”

3: “Vicious Tradition”

4: “My Own Summer”

5: “The Battledrums EP (seamless mix)”

Paul Reset’s notes:

I first came across Ronin’s work through a tip off by Venkman from Iller Clothing, he pointed me to Ronin’s myspace and I was literally blown away. Absolutely epic downtempo hip hop with jaw dropping production and hooks a-plenty. His first album “Best Laid Plans” (available to download for free) is a total must for anyone with a taste for Shadow’s earlier work and early Ninja Tune and Mo’ Wax.

I was delighted when he agreed to put together an EP for Nerve Breaks and off to work he went! I’m very very proud to present “The Battledrums EP”. Taking a harder route than his debut album but keeping up the epic factor, this serves as a taster for his second album “Remixes From The Field”. I asked Ronin if he’d explain why these tracks are on the harder side of things and he had this to say:

These tracks are a taste of things to come, they represent the harder edge of the album. Trying to show as much variation in style as possible to reflect my range of influence, so the album ranges from the downtempo ways of the first LP to 190bpm efforts like the My Own Summer remix. Composition is a big part of what I’m doing so I like to think some songs span the whole spectrum within the same track.

The song choices for this EP are amongst the heaviest on the album to contrast with my previous stuff.

In making this new effort I set out to make what I was feeling, regardless of what genre any given track might then fall into. With any luck they’re still all very much “Ronin” tracks, so not to fret – there’s still all the dreamy, cinematic stuff pulling these tracks together. The tripped out, spaghetti western shit is still very much a part of my M.O, I just like to think I’ve got a bit more in there aswell now!

So down to the specifics, Quarantine samples primarily “In a Heartbeat” from the 28 days later soundtrack, the vocals are scratched and cut from a Thom Yorke acapella. On “If You Fear Dying” that is indeed Zach De La Rocha (RATM being one of my all time favourite bands) The track remixed is from his One Day As A Lion EP. Vicious Traditions is a rework of a track by The Veils, and My Own Summer I assume speaks for itself, that track just deserved a remix that took it in the opposite direction from the downtempo NIN remix!

I’d also like to add that although in places it might not sound it, I think this is very much a hip hop album, using “old school” hip hop techniques. 99% of it is still MPC work, filters & turntablism, its just used to different effect in parts.

In my (humble) opinion, the original hip hop of old sampled and remixed soul & funk records because that was the music of the time. I’m just doing the same thing with the music that I love from MY era. It just comes down to trying to be as honest as possible with the music I create.

So there you go – without further ado I recommend you download this ASAP and get the headphones on LOUD. The tracks are supposed to be listened to in order with no gaps so we’ve also included an MP3 of the tracks segued together. For more info on Ronin – head over to his Myspace page at