Premiere: Ink & Loomis – Athena

Ronin Ordinance return with another essential 12″ release this month, and we’re hyped to have the exclusive on Athena. Scene veteran Ink teams up with up and comer Loomis for a deep, atmospheric ride through bleep melodies, halftime drums and amen choppage. Wicked stuff; hit up Bandcamp for pre-orders ahead of full release November 9th.

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Premiere: MAE917 – Cloud Capped

Vancouver-based producer MAE917 returns to our premiere spotlight with a slick melodic roller. Taken from his self-released Escape EP, Cloud Capped brings together epic strings, warm bass, crispy drums and soaring arpeggios for a thrilling journey to the mountains. Hit up his Bandcamp to grab the release now!

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John Frusciante – Maya [Timesig]

John Frusciante definitely isn’t a name that many people would primarily associate with electronic music, given that he found fame as the guitarist of one of the biggest rock bands in the world – Red Hot Chili Peppers. From that perspective, this month’s release of a jungle album via the Timesig imprint (run by Venetian Snares) might seem like a surprising development, but it’s actually the logical progression of a musical direction a decade in the making.

Following his departure from RHCP in 2009, Frusciante became increasingly disinterested in traditional songwriting and refocused his efforts on electronic production and engineering. In the intervening decade he has given the world a slew of works spanning genres under different aliases – exploring synth pop, producing hip-hop for Wu-Tang affiliates Black Knights, and more recently releasing acid house and IDM under his Trickfinger alias.

All of which brings us to Maya, a body of work which he describes as being heavily influenced by 90s breakbeat hardcore and jungle. Thankfully though this isn’t a mere copycatting attempt; while you can hear a clear reverence for some of the genre hallmarks via some knowing sampling, there’s also a breadth of influences blended into the music, held together by the common thread of jungle drum programming.

The result is a collection of tracks that spans from mellow and beautiful, through darkly funky and into outright aggressive breakbeats assaults on the senses. This is jungle made by someone who appreciates jungle, but also appreciates so many other forms and styles of music; a refreshing antidote to the sometimes narrow echo-chamber of modern D&B production. If you’re looking for DJ friendly club tunes this definitely isn’t that, but if you’re willing to explore something a bit less conventional then the LP is a thoroughly rewarding listen.

Maya is out now on vinyl, CD and digital. Hit up Bandcamp or your favourite retailer to grab it now.

Machinedrum – A View of U [Ninja Tune]

Machinedrum’s evolution over the years has been fascinating to follow. Active now for nearly 20 years, Travis Stewart’s musical journey has taken in most shades of what you might consider “bass” music; low-end weight and syncopated beats run throughout, but style, tempo and tone have varied wildly across many releases.

While previous releases have certainly flirted into the realms of 170, notably Vapor City (and some of the excellent remixes around that release from the likes of Om Unit), this is possibly the most “drum & bass” album we’ve heard yet from Machinedrum. Wait 4 U delivers silky rolling D&B soul, while Sleepy Pietro combines yearning piano with skittering drumfunk drum rhythms. We’re also treated to an effortlessly beautiful liquid roller in 1000 Miles with none other than Sub Focus on board in the studio.

Other tracks take in halftime, hip-hop, funk and plenty more for a colourful ride with plenty of ups and downs, and the album has been on heavy rotation here at Dojo HQ as a result; equal parts boom and beauty. A View of U is out now everywhere – check the clips below and hit this link for a vast selection of stores.

Premiere: Option – In The Clouds (Echo Motion Remix)

Detached Audio continue their five year celebrations with a big selection of remixes on their latest offering, and we’re pleased to bring you the exclusive on Echo Motion’s contribution! Flipping Option’s melancholy original around, this new take retains the soul of the original but sharpens it for the dancefloor. Wicked stuff; look out for the full EP dropping Oct 30th at digital stores.

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Premiere: Samath – Mr. Twain

Samath delivers the goods for today’s exclusive with a dark tech rumbler taken from his new EP for Parallel Depth! Gritty basslines and insistent drum rhythms on this one – Mr. Twain’s atmospheres are murky indeed. Look for this coming Oct 27th at all good digital stores.

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Premiere: Hex – Phosphorus

Dojo boss Hex lands in the premiere spotlight today with a track taken from his new single for Nurtured Beatz! Phosphorus blends growling basslines, halftime drums and sci-fi sampling for a deep, dark workout, progressing to a breakbeat switchup at the second drop. Check it out below and look out for the release coming Oct 23rd at Bandcamp – all other stores follow on Oct 30th.

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DNB Dojo Podcast #48 – Oct 2020

Hex delivers 90 minutes of the latest D&B, with the latest episode marking 4 years of Dojo podcasts! New beats inside from Klinical, Muffler, John Rolodex, Calibre, Monika, dgoHn and many more.

As always you can check out the podcast via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.

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Imanu – Cheren [Vision]

IMANU’s music has gone from strength to strength since moving away from his previous Signal moniker, and his latest work for Noisia’s Vision imprint sees him branching out into more experimental pastures.

Nagow and Cheren deliver the heavyweight neuro workouts that have become his trademark, with the former bringing a more colourful vibe via some deft melodic touches; Cheren by comparison pursues a more industrial aesthetic for pure sonic punishment.

The back half of the EP takes in some tempo drops; Whatever It Takes explores vaguely dubstep-adjacent territory with crunchy beats and grimy bass that’s sure to get your head nodding. After all that stiff competition it’s a pleasant surprise then that closing track Music To Stay In Your House To is potentially the strongest on the EP. Beautiful sound designs, wonky vocal textures and crazy drum rhythms combine on a genre-defying track that blends everything from hip-hop to IDM into a joyously chaotic melting pot.

IMANU’s new title (and doubtless a lot of encouragement from Noisia) seem to be inspiring some of his best work yet this year, and we can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. In the meantime, you can check out the Cheren EP below – hit up your favourite store to grab it right now.

Nymfo – Forbidden Planet EP [Dispatch Recordings]

For those unfamiliar with his work, Nymfo cut his teeth on pretty much every important label under the sun: 31 Records, Innerground, Commercial Suicide, Renegade Hardware and Metalheadz to name only a few – no one can argue with that pedigree. With a long back catalogue of bangers spanning over of decade, the initiated shouldn’t need an introduction, but his latest EP on Dispatch is worthy of one.

Nymfo’s sound largely lurks at deeper end of the spectrum, yet there’s still plenty of variety on offer with this EP. There are stepping tunes like title track Forbidden Planet and Everything Will Be; tracks that roll – albeit unconventionally – like Breach; down right weird ones like Cold Mission; and some signature Nymfo qualities in tracks like Pathfinder with longstanding Dispatch general Hijack MC.

Throughout there is a definite nod to the techstep era of the late 90s and early 00s. The EP feels raw in a way that minimal, techy numbers of the last 5-10 years have often lacked. Perhaps this record will be one of several marker points in the months and years from now that show the pendulum swinging away from technology-focused beatmaking, and back towards focusing on the overall vibe. That focus on vibe helped carve out the techstep style in the earlier eras of drum and bass, and it’s EPs like this that help cement the style’s status amongst the D&B pantheon of sounds.

The Forbidden Planet EP is out now at the Dispatch Store – all other stores follow Oct 16th.

Written by James Austin