Q&A – Colossus & Transcript [Rush Records]

Leeds liquid imprint Rush Records is now enjoying it’s third year in the game, with a healthy catalogue of releases and plenty more on the horizon. We figured it was high time we caught the guys for a quick chinwag, so we tapped label bosses Colossus and Transcript for the lowdown on all things Rush.

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Cruk – Valhalla / Bring The Ruckus [Breed 12 Inches]

Breed 12 Inches bring us two new slices of pristinely crafted, high octane neurofunk from Sheffield-based producer Cruk. Valhalla leads the charge with epic breakdowns and future funk synth work underpinned by a pretty tearing bassline and a percussion section primed for maximum impact.

Over on the flip Bring The Ruckus takes absolutely no prisoners with low end that’s been scuzzed to the max and some choice Wu-Tang sampling. Danger! Check the clips below and hit up Beatport to grab this now.

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Nucleus & Paradox – Blade 9 / Break North [Metalheadz]

When it comes to chopping up the breaks, it’s harder to find a duo more dedicated and skilled than Nucleus & Paradox. Their latest outing sees them landing on Metalheadz with two crisp, dark and dangerous slices of old school tinged D&B which carry that unmistakable ‘headz vibe.

Blade 9 is definitely the more upfront of the two tracks, with a relentlessly rolling break pared with big, dirty sub stabs for maximum impact. Over on the flip Break North goes in darker, leaving more space between the beats but slamming down kicks, snares and sub with a dangerous level of menace. This one will shake you in your chest cavity on a proper rig!

Hit up the Metalheadz store to grab this one vinyl including a limited edition A2 print. Noice!

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Amoss – Crab Stance [Flexout Audio]

Flexout bring us possibly their biggest release to date with three fresh tracks from well established grit-merchants Amoss. Crab Stance opens things up with a deep head nodder, keeping things simmering with tight percussion and nice mid range textures without ever allowing the mix to boil over into more aggressive territory.

Liqer ups the ante slightly, rolling steady with more crisp textures and atmospherics to create a powerful groove. Last but not least M Set & Deefa’s All Consuming Fear gets the remix treatment with the boys letting loose on a more insistent bass and beats arrangement to match the aggy vocal line.

The EP is out right now via all the usual outlets, but you can get it cheaper and support the label directly by grabbing it through their Bandcamp page. Get to it!

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Modern Soul LP [Vandal Ltd]

Vandal’s deeper-focussed LTD imprint are back with a fresh new compilation entitled Modern Soul, and for our money it’s the best summer liquid collection you can spend your hard earned pennies on right now.

The roster features heavyweights like Random Movement, Redeyes and Kabuki alongside rising producers such as Chromatic and a few relative unknowns, but the quality and diversity on show is unarguable regardless of each contributor’s pedigree. DJ Chap & Andrezz are among the crop of new producers turning in shimmering rollers, as are Soulvent co-owners and recent Hospital signings Pola & Bryson.

While picking favourites is tough, there are a few tracks that stood out for us here at the Dojo. Kabuki bucks the melodic trend with a dark yet jazzy flex on Black Byrd, while Random Movement turns in an effortlessly sleek and faintly sleezy roller named Cash Or Credit. Regular grime-slingers Kolectiv are also on hand with a sexy melody and some R&B style vocals, though their usual dutty basslines still make an appearance.

Essential business as usual from the Vandal camp; check out the clips below and look for this dropping at all good digital stores from July 27th.

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The Levels – The Levels EP

Long time collaborators Loxy & Resound have teamed up with vocalist Alia Fresco to form a new project called The Levels, and their first selection of work shows plenty of interesting ideas. Blending hints of soul and R&B with years of beat making expertise and a dash of pop sensibilities, the trio could yet turn out to be the Autonomic legacy’s Magnetic Man.

Great use is made of Fresco’s voice, leading the tracks nicely but allowing the music to breathe and fill the remaining space. Perhaps the best example of this comes on We Could Be, fittingly made in collaboration with dBridge. The EP closes out with a more conventional D&B beat on Right Here, giving a nod to Loxy & Resound’s musical roots, but to be honest the slower tempo productions are far more interesting.

The EP is out right now via The Levels bandcamp; check out the tracks below and keep your eyes peeled for more material from the trio very soon.

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Chromatic – Epic Lunch EP [Celsius]

Chromatic follow up a slew of signings for Vandal, Utopia, Blendits and more with a diverse selection of fresh beats for Fokuz sister-imprint Celsius. First up, Flight Of Imagination sees the trio teaming up with RV for a big stomping tech-edged roller; the influence of V Recordings classics is fairly obvious here but it’s still an enjoyable skank out.

Open Your Mind continues that trend but heads in even tougher, smashing the amens out hard and fast with a growling bassline throbbing away underneath and some nice old school stabs and vocal cuts.

The true star of this show however comes on the distinctly lighter and more melodic title track Epic Lunch. Apparently made while basking in the warm glow of a steak & ale pie, it’s a blissful little roller in the mould of their triumphant cut for Utopia, Found You, and we think it’s pretty damn good.

The EP is out now at all good digital outlets so check out the clips below and get to getting!

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Signs – Clockout / Acid Test [Piranha Pool]

The latest from Ed Rush’s new Piranha Pool imprint comes courtesy of French trio signs who add another top tier label to their impressive roster of neurofunk affiliations. Clockout builds a massive level of tension on the intro with swelling synths, but the drop pulls a surprising twist; in place of the expected full tilt assault it’s all sub punch and spacey atmospherics. The tune progresses nicely, achieving more insistence with extra percussion fills and bass stabs but resisting the temptation to crank it up too hard; this one should prove a nice mid-set bait and switch to play with a crowd.

Acid Test kicks things off with a weighty 2-step drum line and a hypnotic lead synth melody leading to a more conventional drop; plenty of mid range modulations and general neurofunk energy to be found here. Another top release from a production outfit we’re big fans of; check out the clips below and hit up your favourite digital outlet to grab a copy now.

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A.M.C – Southpaw EP [Titan]

Subtlety can be overrated; sometimes you just want big, slamming dancefloor drum & bass and the latest release from Titan Records boss A.M.C delivers that in spades. The EP draws on blockbuster films for it’s titles, with homage paid to Southpaw, Thor, Die Hard, Raging Bull and Shade, though the temptation to trawl the movies in question for cheesy pre-drop vocal cuts has been resisted.

From the prodigy-esque synth leads of Southpaw to the massive bass stab hammer blows of Thor and beyond, this is crisp, punchy dancefloor neurofunk and entirely unapologetic for it. Certified dancefloor killers! Check out the title track below and look out for the EP on Beatport from July 27th with full release following two weeks later.

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A Sides & Makoto – Aquarian Dreams [Eastern Elements]

London meets Tokyo as A Sides & Makoto team up for an LP several years in the making and packed with rollers. The work here is definitely more D&B traditionalism than out there experimentations but it’s plenty enjoyable if not the most innovative record you’ll hear this year.

Here at the Dojo we found the album at its strongest on the lighter, more melodic tracks, particularly the vocal collabs with Riya and Robert Manos. Makoto’s expertise at crafting dancefloor liquid rollers shines through wonderfully here, with warm bass, tight breaks and uplifting melodies a-plenty. Darker tracks such as Breathe prove tough and relentless but ultimately less interesting than the wealth of melodic tracks.

The LP holds a couple of surprises in the form of the appropriately titled (and supremely funky) Street Level Funk and the audacious, almost cabaret style leads of Hurt My Soul, and there’s a tasty little remix from DJ Marky on the end for good measure. If you’re looking for dancefloor D&B with plenty of melody you could do a lot worse than Aquarian Dreams; check out the clips below and hit up your favourite store to grab a copy now!

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