‘Be True’ Commix (Call to mind, Metalheadz, 2007)

Contained within it all the elements of pop-perfection, the most important being a sense of anticipation and mild unfulfillment, this song has an intense following, with as you’ll see below people likening it to their JFK-moment, sharing that it is one of those songs where you remember where you were when you first heard it.

What I appreciate is the way none of the elements are overplayed, even the first drop how tempting it would have been to make it just that bit more dramatic and the sweetness of it too, of course. Everything remains simple, as it should be, just like any great pop-song, as the drums make space for the repeated vocal sample as it morphs and transforms (in a contradictory way maybe maintaining the foundations, the spine of the music).

The sample comes from Sade’s ‘I never thought that I’d see the day’ from 1988, apparently though I couldn’t hear it. Here’s the Burial remix from 2010, which is similarly unrecognisable (not so much a remix as a tiny sliver of a sample perhaps, though there are no rules for remixes, she says confidently based on nothing much at all).

Liked this piece of writing on the Commix track by Dave Jenkins published in 2017, here's part of it:  

A genuine palette cleanser for any DJ and the perfect balance of all the vital elements – weight, soul, atmosphere, instrumentation, variation, vocals and space – Be True is one of the rare breeds of tunes that you remember exactly where you were when you first heard it. It’s also the type of tune that will fit into any style set at any time and enjoy a hurricane reaction of energy, joy and appreciation whether it’s used to elevate a warm-up, capture that special moment at the end of the night or throw people sideways in a surprise double drop.

It’s been this way from the moment it dropped on dubplate in early 2007. Be True has complemented and remained relevant to drum & bass’s every stylistic twist and turn: be it as a key waymark in the perennially mutating ‘liquid’ sound that had reached a peak in the mid 2000s when this first came out; a knowing nod back to the classic genre-forming productions from the likes of Marcus Intalex, Photek and Hidden Agenda or an antidote to more recent commercial and neuro movements.

The best thing was that Be True wasn’t just a stand-alone moment that year for Commix (who, at the time comprised now-sole member George Levings and Guy Brewer) It was part of a much bigger picture: Call To Mind. The first non-Goldie/Rufige Kru related artist album to drop on Metalheadz, Call To Mind enjoys the same stature and respect as Be True does.

Jenkins links to an interview he did with George Levings in 2016, which is really interesting and worth a read as well.