The latest release on CIA’s Deepkut sublabel sees Zero T coming in with a tidy stepper in the form of Red Hand. A seriously infectious bassline and super tight drum rolls to fill out the beat make for a sure fire dancefloor hit. Check it out below and grab yourself a copy from your favourite vinyl/digital outlet!
So just who is the mysterious Dawn Day Night? Following his initial appearance on Fracture’s Get Busythe mysterious masked (and possibly undead) artist has thrown down at Sun & Bass festival, leaked a rather bizarre rider to Resident Advisor, and is now preparing to release his debut EP on Fracture & Neptune’s Astrophonica label. Given the close ties to Fracture speculation abounds that the two are in fact one and the same man…thusfar we have no confirmation, though the scenario seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to the recent Phillip D. Kick project (though with more facepaint).
The identity of the masked man aside, the EP is an intriguing fusion of ghettotech, jungle, breaks, trap and juke, with super precise syncopated percussion and tight sub lines accompanying some choice samples (my favourite being the cry of “Big Booty Girlllllllls”). Check out the previews, and look out for the EP on vinyl and digital, out tomorrow at all good stores.
It seems like Critical Music can do no wrong right now. This year has seen the label release a slew of quality tunes from top flight producers (including the positively anthemic Oblique) not to mension label boss Kasra‘s induction to the Fabriclive mix family. Not content with that, Critical are now stepping up to the plate once again with the debut album from Russian producer Enei, and it’s pretty stunning. 2012 has already been quite a year for drum & bass albums with great releases from Octane & DLR, BCee, Symmetry Recordings and DRS to name but a few, and Enei’s debut sits alongside and perhaps even a little above the efforts of his peers.
From the soulful liquid of Runnin to the face smashing basslines of Centrifuge, through the dark jungle cutups of Saligia and off into the rolling grime of Cracker VIP the record oozes production quality left right and centre, and should feature something for everyone. There’s even a cheeky old skool throwback in the form of Rotate and a tidy deep house number in the digital exclusives.
Better still the label have teamed up with the Surus store to offer a bundle of CD, 2×12″ vinyl, 1×10″ vinyl, posters, bag and digital download for the frankly ridiculous price of £20. Vinyl heads should be rushing over here for that one. Check out the previews and watch for the album dropping on November 12th.
Symmetry Recordings, the label owned by drum & bass legend Break, have been gearing up for a while now to release The Other Side, the label’s third album and the first to feature tracks from artists other than Break. Ahead of the release we caught up with Break for a quick Q&A about the album.
DNB Dojo: Since this is a collaboration album, who would you do a collab with if you could pick any musician alive or dead, and why?
Break:Its very hard, the list could be very long…would love to work with Marlena Shaw or Sade, they’re two of my favourite singers.
Ooh or Seal if it was a guy!
DD: Was there a deliberate decision to shift the output of Symmetry away from your own productions and onto releasing more tunes from other producers, or did it just evolve that way organically?
Break: A bit of both…I have been releasing tracks from other artists for a little while, but so many great tracks were getting sent, it seemed right to do an album. Could probably do another one soon, there’s so many good producers Im feeling at the mo.
DD:What’s your favourite track out of everything you’ve ever written? For me it’s probably between Is This What You Want and Too Much, though I also have a lot of time for Our World (from the BreakoutEP you did for Eastside back in 2003)
Break:Bit like the first question pretty hard to say. Pleased you remember Our World, that was one of my favourites at the time, sounds a bit gnarly now, but the vibe is rolling. I really like Let it Happen, Last Chance Remix, Love So True, and Evil Twin. Lightspeed also gives me goosebumps everytime…there’s not many DnB tunes that do that for me…Think I’m more into the musical ones with heavy bass, my favourite combo.
DD:What’s next for the label after this album? Any exciting future plans you’d care to tell us about?
Break:We will be releasing some exciting remixes from the album, and there are several tracks that I’m trying to get my hands on, so a few more singles to come soon as well.
Ive been working on a non Dnb album with the singer Kyo, the band is called “Degrees of Freedom”, watch out for the first single coming soon. I’ts basically everything we’re into that isn’t DnB.
DD: The album features a nice variety of styles from more liquidy stuff to the really hard hitters like Kicked To Death. Which styles of drum & bass do you find it more fun to write, and to DJ?
Break:It kinda is 6 of one half a dozen of the other…Kicked To Death totally smashes it in every rave I’ve played, but it was designed to do that, after working on that in the studio for a while, can give you a bit of a headache… it’s so loud and lairy…whereas working on Who We Are, which is one of the more liquidy tracks on the album, I find more enjoyable and satisfying… basically I’m more into piano than synths!
DD: Any tips for budding drum & bass producers? What can make a track great rather than just good?
Break:I think there is an element of hit and miss. Not every tune can be amazing….you can’t expect to be able to do that…..whenever I try and make my best ever tune it’ss totally rubbish and contrived! When you nail a vibe that you’re really into, that usually will come through in the music. Often less is more….I find that all you need is 4 or 5 tracks in your arrangement to have a killer….any more is usually just filler.
Check out previews of the album below and grab yourself a copy from your favourite shop on digital and vinyl, out now!
So much great drum & bass has come into the inbox this month, it seemed like a good time for another roundup post!
First up, Ingredients have been going from strength to strength with their recent releases. The 29th label release saw them release a quality wee EP in the form of Mis En Place Pt. 1, featuring some great tracks by Villem, Mark Recoil and Foreign Concept, alongside my pick of the EP, dBridge‘s smooth remix of Kodo‘s The Jackal.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the label are gearing up for their 30th release with a 12″ from newcomers Ruffhouse, with a very tribal feel to it. Fans of the recent Loxy & Resound album on Exit should definitely have a listen to this.
Shogun sister label SGN:Ltd are back with another beauty from Technimatic (formerly Technicolour and Komatic) and as we’ve come to expect from this duo it’s smooth liquid vibes all the way. Unfinished Business leads the release but it’s She Knows It on the flip that really caught my attention.
Utopia Music‘s 10th release sees legendary producer Break teaming up with Fields, label owner Mako & Villem on a heavy techy roller. The deep atmospheric intro lulls the listener into a false sense of security before the drop, all clattering toms and low end growl.
French label IM:Ltd are back with a new EP featuring a versatile selection of tracks from a number of relatively unknown producers. You can check out the whole EP below; my picks of the bunch are Nuage’s Above Time (a lovely piano lead deep roller) and Atmospherix’s In This Life, which features some beautifully crisp breaks and a warm, simple bassline that proves just irresistible.
Critical are back with another deep release, this time featuring collabs with the vocal talent that is Riya. A side Injustice sees Riya teaming up with Sabre for a beautiful deep roller while the b-side switches production to Foreign Concept for an autonomic style melancholy half stepper. Essential purchase as usual from the Critical stable!
RAM‘s new sister label ProgRAM are back with another chunky dancefloor number from Kove in the form of Iodine/Open Ground which does the business exactly as you’d expect.
Last but not least, Lifted sister label Breed 12 Inches are back with an absolutely phenomenal release from Memtrix, who at the young age of 16 is already setting the world of drum & bass alight. Mind Control and Slipper both deliver some seriously heavy neurofunk business…one to watch for 2013, definitely big things coming from this guy!
Blu Mar Ten are quite literally legends of the drum & bass scene. From their origins way back in 1995, through their early material for LTJ Bukem‘s Good Looking Records, their downtempo explorations in the early 2000s and their return to drum & bass production in more recent years, the London production trio have always maintained a ridiculously high level of production quality. These men are part of a rare breed of electronic musicians, writing tunes that manage to be both dancefloor oriented and emotionally charged, immediate and yet timeless. Their work is truly beautifully composed.
BMT also manage to write music that is stylistically quite diverse, even within an album that concentrates (broadly) on a single genre such as last year’s Love is the Devil. The album features a great selection of drum & bass, from hard hitters like Damage, through vocal led steppers like The Fourth and out into magnificent liquid rollers like Whisper (which features the superb talents of Kirsty Hawkshaw).
Outside of their main production work, BMT have brought great new music to the world via other avenues, whether by encouraging budding young talents in their remix competitions, or by their recent forays into label territory with the release of the first music by other artists on their Blu Mar Ten Music label.
It’s definitely the mark of a special producer when I can’t think of a single track they’ve written which I don’t like, and BMT are one of few I could bestoy that accolade upon. Here’s to the next album, whenever it may arrive.
Last month Octane & DLR released their highly anticipated debut album Method in the Madness to the delight of drum & bass heads everywhere. We caught up with the guys for a quick Q&A about the album and their plans for the future.
DNB Dojo: The album includes a variety of styles, not just the drum & bass you’re known for. Was that a new thing for the album, or have you guys been writing other styles for a while and just not releasing them?
Octane & DLR: We’ve been writing more downtempo music under the name Cymatic for a while. The collective consists of the both of us, Octane & DLR, along with Ruckspin & Quantum Soul. It’s not a project we’ve wanted to shout about too much because everyone involved already has their own projects with their own workload already quite heavily packed and that doesn’t leave much time for us all to get together. We have released a few things. Most recently, Electric Church / Jungle Fever and Glue / Hound Dog. Both 12″s on Box Clever.
With the Method album we wanted to show all of our colours and it made sense for us to add some of our newer Cymatic material.
DD: What’s your favourite tune on the album? Or failing that, which one has been generating the most buzz?
O & DLR: We can’t give you our favourites because we’re completely numb to the whole album after spending so much time writing it! From what we’ve seen so far, the two clear favourites seem to be Murmur (ft. Break) and Set Up The Set (ft. Script). They’re both definitely the most dancefloor orientated tracks and we expected they’d be the tracks to make an initial impact but maybe people’s favourites will change in time. We’d like to think the album has the ability to grow on people too.
DD: What’s next after the album release? World Tour? Or are you gonna take some time off?
O & DLR: We thought we’d take a little time off but that hasn’t happened yet. We’ve recently remixed Stone & Gerra‘s Dronehead and Dabs‘ Who is Gonna Lead and written another track with Break for the Forthcoming Symmetry VA album. We’ve got a lot more studio work in progress and we’re touring with the album so I think a bit of time off is out of the question just for now.
EB: It’s been a big year for you, with releases on some legendary labels and tons of gigs all over the place. What’s been your highlight of 2012 so far?
O & DLR: Actually finishing the album within our lifetime and without killing each other and/or Ant (TC1). Then, on the gigs front, Outlook 2012 without question. For anyone who hasn’t been out there, you really need to make 2013 happen. Vibes are just incredible!
DD:One for the production geeks out there, what’s your studio setup like in terms of hardware and software?
O & DLR:We love our hardware. We’ve been through so much kit, it’s ridiculous (and expensive). There are pictures of our combined studio at www.exhaleaudio.co.uk (where we wrote most of the album). In all honesty though, some software lately has just blown us away. UAD, Waves, Airwindows, Brainworx and Flux are some of the best processors we’ve heard. It’s hard to believe how far technology has moved on and the new wave of inverse distortion plugins is really capturing the analogue inconsistencies that computer musicians were craving.
DD: Wanna tell us a bit more about the Cymatic project?
O & DLR:There’s the two of us [Chris and J] along with Dom (Ruckspin, Submotion Orchestra, Author) and Guy (Quantum Soul). It’s a strange project because although we all love it so much, we rarely all get the chance to be in the same place at the same time due to our solo commitments. When we do, however, there’s usually a few all-night sessions and we really tend to ‘go in’ on the music. The four of us all bring something unique to the sessions and we always manage to keep a vibe going. Having four heads involved is certainly a great way to stay inspired. 2013 will see more Cymatic material. There’s already more music in the works.
DD: Who are your favourite producers right now?
O & DLR:We don’t really have favourite artists. We’re both on the same page when it comes to this. We’ve always had the idea that we don’t want to sound like anyone or be influenced by anyone else. Obviously we’ve been influenced by everything we’ve heard and enjoyed and it must come through in our own works to some degree but to pin down a favourite artist/producer is near on impossible because there’s just so much amazing music out there.
DD:Lastly, what (in your opinion) is the best record ever? Any era, any style, any musician
O & DLR:I can’t remember what it was or who it was by but it was probably on a tape pack from 1994 and it went something like ‘da dee naa naaa dum dum’ and had loads of samples in it…that same rave scene inspired everything we all know as dance music now. We’re lucky in that we’ve had Drum & Bass for 20 years now!
Check out clips of the album below and grab yourself a copy from the Dispatch Store at Surus.co.uk.