Ivy Lab – Twenty Questions EP [Critical Music]

The unmistakeable production trio that is Ivy Lab are back with another fine selection for Critical Music, and they’re continuing to push their sound in all the right directions. As you’d expect, there are a couple of superb deep rollers (of which Gomeisa is the Dojo favourite), but there’s also a meaty slab of dark tech in the form of Forex, which sounds like a love letter to the early Virus Recordings sound.

The rest of the EP is given over to the team’s explorations in crunked up, half-time, hip-hop’n’bass. The D&B purists are doubtless gonna hate it, but I challenge anyone hearing the likes of Two By Two in the dance not to bust out a mad swagger! To round things out there’s fantastic discotronic remix of Live On Your Smile from El Train and an unusually deep mix of Slinky from the joyously unpredictable Sam Binga. Check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab this on vinyl or digital now; full release drops from March 9th.

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Xtrah to release “extended project” via Dispatch Recordings

Fresh news from Dispatch HQ; it seems Xtrah is to release an “extended” project via Ant TC1’s label later this year, with a tentative release date of Autumn 2015 set. Between this and the launch of his new Cyberfunk imprint it looks set to be a busy year for Xtrah. Details are scarce as to what exactly this project might be, but we’ll bring you more as we hear it!

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Alex Agore – Tygah Style (Tim Reaper Remix) [Guangzhou Underground]

Despite the relatively worldwide presence that D&B has attained, it’s still relatively seldom that we get much dropping into the Dojo inbox from China. New label Guangzhou Underground aims to change that, with a healthy looking roster of tunes spanning Deep House, Drum & Bass and more. The pick of their current release selection is undoubtedly Tim Reaper’s remix of Alex Agore’s Tygah Style - ruffneck Jungle break chopping at it’s finest. Check it out below and look for Guangzhou releases at your favourite digital outlet now!

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Audio presents RAMLife [RAM Records]

Audio steps up to the plate for the second in the RAMLife series, following on from Loadstar’s inauguration of the series last July. Fans of Audio’s work should know what to expect here – tons of vicious, high precision neurofunk including a raft of exclusive tracks from the likes of Black Sun Empire, Gridlok, Signs, and of course Audio! Check out the exclusives below and head to the RAM Store to cop the release on CD, vinyl or digital.

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Classified V1 [CIA Records]

CIA return with another fine and varied selection pairing the rough with the smooth over four new tracks for what appears from the title to be the first in a series of Classified EPs. Chroma step up first, providing a tough, rolling relick of Total Science & S.P.Y’s Whoonga. Next up comes a classic Calibre deep roller; not the man’s finest work, but instilled with that unmistakable quality and atmosphere that pervades so much of his work nonetheless.

The familiar and yet never played out combination of Total Science & Riya make a welcome appearance with a silky new composition featuring the usual hints of jazz and soul over a firm backbone of breaks and bass, leaving man of the moment Mako to close the EP with a hefty slice of chopped up techstep. It’s difficult to fault any of these tracks! Check out the clips below and look for the EP dropping at all good digital outlets from March 2nd.

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Vince Grain – Roswell Eyewitness Remixes [AutomAte]

The producers amongst you may already be aware of the recent AutomAte remix competition run in conjunction with Sample Genie. Well the results are in, and the release is almost upon us! Both remixes capture the gloom and atmospherics of the original but switch the vibe up significantly in the percussion, with Insect opting for a plethora of high precision individual drum hits while Immersion & Cypher’s mix opts for more rolling, funk-break style drum lines.

As usual this will be available via all good digital outlets – check out the clips and watch for the release from March 2nd.

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Q&A – Mako

Utopia bossman Mako looks set for an amazing 2015; fresh from a great collab with Villem & McLeod and with a great new EP for Warm Comms on the horizon, we thought it was high time to find out what else he’s been cooking up.

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Spor – Caligo [Sotto Voce]

The wait is over; amid a frenzy of hype, Spor’s debut LP (and return to the scene) was leaked last week. The man himself was prepared, bringing the official release via BitTorrent forward from the original March date to drop just a few hours after the leak.

So hype and drama surrounding the release aside, is it actually any good? Speaking as a long-time fan of the producer, I have to say that it is; while some of the grit of early productions like Dreadnought and Three Faces is lost in the ultra-precise engineering, there’s still plenty to enjoy here. Much of the album is taken up with neurofunk heavy hitters; Always Right Never LeftBlueroomFull Colour and The Hole Where Your House Was will all be doing the damage on the dancefloor, and the build-ups and breakdowns still manage to get plenty of musicality into the compositions.

Elsewhere Spor explores a variety of styles; the hyper-neuro-pop of If You Cry, the epic vibes of Tasha Baxter voiced As I Need You and some lower tempo outings on Like Clockwork and Our Space. For me the album’s only real “miss” is the tedious rock crossover Empire, but fans of Hadouken might disagree here.

You can stream the whole album via Soundcloud below, and it’s available on a free/pay what you like basis via BitTorrent. We also learnt via Spor’s recent Reddit AMA that the album will be getting a vinyl release via Spor’s own Sotto Voce imprint, so watch out for that dropping sometime soon. If you’re craving more Spor check out his recent mix for Friction’s show on Radio 1, and look out for his UK tour hitting your town starting with Nottingham tonight!

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Om Unit x Sam Binga – Transatlantic EP

Om Unit and Sam Binga are back, and they’re doing it old school with a self pressed white label release! Their new EP features 3 tracks of their chopped up jungle/footwork stylings and a distinctly grimey number to close the EP, and from the brief clips available bellow it sounds cracking. Vinyl pre-orders have already sold out but you can still nab the digital via Bandcamp and there appear to be copies of the vinyl on Redeye – move quickly before they all get snapped up!

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Clima & Red Army – Utopic EP [Turbine Music]

The latest from Dust Audio sub label Turbine Music comes from Clima & Red Army, who bring a selection of collabs and solo tunes to the label on a deep, dark tip. Highlights come on the ominous half-time rhythms and crunchy percussion of Red Army’s Bones Brigade and dubbed out collab Dread of a Ninja…some serious bassweight on show here! Check out the clips below and look for this one at all good digital outlets now!

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