Q & A – Volatile Psycle [Terabyte]

Volatile Psycle have been making waves lately with their crunching D&B and Glitch Hop productions, with a tidy selection of releases already out and more to come. Ahead of their new single for Terabyte Records, we caught up with the duo to find out a little more about the Norwich scene and their approach to the craft.

DNB Dojo: Hi guys! First up, for those who aren’t familiar can you introduce yourself to the DNB Dojo readers?

Volatile Psycle: Ez! We are Volatile Psycle, aka Dan Lawrence (Volatile) and Jimmy Chick (Psycle).

DD: How did you guys get into the D&B scene? Did you start out as DJs, or producers?

VP: Dan got into D&B through a school friend, and soon built up a collection of tape-packs as his obsession grew. In his late teen’s he started producing music and after only recently teaming up with Psycle has added mixing to his skills.

Jim’s older brother was hugely into his dance music so Jim grew up with D&B, Garage and Hardcore featuring heavily in his daily life. After helping form DSOB (Darker Shade Of Bass) with some other local DJ’s Jim also went to University to hone his production and recording skills.

DD: Given the disparity in tempo between D&B and Glitch Hop, how do you integrate the two styles in your sets? Any plans for DJ friendly cross-over tunes?

VP: We decided on starting a set off with some nasty Glitch, get everyone bouncing, then slam it into D&B and the place goes off. We either use certain tracks that have a tempo change or just chop at an appropriate point which can work wonders as it can catch people out. It keeps people on their toes! But yeah we have a couple of tempo surfing tracks in the pipeline…watch this space.

DD: What’s the scene like in Norwich? Any other local talents hiding out there we should be keeping an eye on?

VP: The D&B scene has always been there in Norwich, plenty of heads get to Rumble or Color consistently. Big shout should go to Matty Perfection (T.I.) for his hard work on that front. DSOB also used to get down big names on a regular basis, I’d say D&B is a winner wherever you are in the country really. Glitch Hop is a sleeping giant at the minute though, whenever we drop big 110bpm tracks out you can see everyone looking around thinking ‘what is this!?’ But its still to really catch hold of a big following among Norfolk’s finest.

Talent wise you have our regular cohort Charged who we’ve made a couple of our big swing influenced Glitch tracks with, the aforementioned T.I. who’s getting releases on DJ Markie’s Innerground recordings and Flat T wh’os doing well in the jump-up scene.

DD: What’s your favourite piece of gear in the studio (hardware or software)?

VP: Reason 7 and the Mackies, we swear by them!

DD: What’s your all time favourite D&B tune? If I had to guess my money would be on something pretty hefty, maybe Noisia?

VP: Such a tough question. So many to choose from, but I would say yeah, Noisia – Program. Jim’s has to be either Noisia & KRSOne – Exodus or The Upbeats and Noisia – Creep Out.

DD: You’ve got a great new single coming out for Terabyte, any other releases you can tell us about?

VP: Yeah, we are really happy with this release on Terabyte, we can both see the label really taking off soon. We don’t often go for the more minimalistic style, dubbed ‘Yard’ round these ways. We have a big techy free release on Nocid the day before our Terabyte debut, and have a few new cross genre tracks which will be dropping before the year is out too….

DD: Do you struggle to avoid the use of comedy Alan Partridge samples in your tunes?

VP: Aha! We have spoken about it before, just can’t really see Alan’s voice fitting in above a filthy reese though!

Check out the beats below and watch out for the single dropping in all good digital stores from September 2nd.

Mechanical EP [Violation Music]

mechanical e.p cover

Violation Music return with another varied array of deep D&B, this time bringing together tracks from four different producers for an EP release that keeps you on your toes. nCamargo kicks things off with a tough, gritty stepper that combines Vangelis-esque synth pads with a belting drum line and twisted, warping bass that gives the tune plenty of movement. Next up, Robustus delivers another industrial sounding beat but with a little more roll to the breaks and some great cymbal work.

DYL comes in with what is for me the stand-out track of the EP, building layers of gloomy ambience before adding in a sparse, glitchy beat full of interesting percussive samples. The whole composition sounds entirely artificial, like the whirring of gears in some weird mechanical device. Finally The Slimerz give us Boulders, characterised by a reverb drenched half-time drum line that sounds like something Instra:mental might come up with if they took a bit too much Ritalin.

Check out the clips below and watch out for the EP dropping 7th October via all good digital outlets.

Ed:it – Defects / Ideology [Commercial Suicide]

Klute’s Commercial Suicide imprint returns once again, this time with a techstep 12″ from promising up and comer Ed:it. Fresh from releases for Blu Mar Ten Music, Rooted Records and Alignment, the Nottingham based producer has come correct for Suicide with a pair of dark, rolling tunes with a dash of soul and plenty of character.

Defects leads the charge with an echoing vocal sample reverberating out over the chunky percussion and dark, warping sub bass. Over on the flip Ideology takes the beat to more stepping territory, setting the same warping bass style to calm pad work and a grimier vocal cut.

Both tunes do a great job of showcasing a duality with soft harmonic elements complementing the rough and tough techstep style to great effect. Check out the beats below and watch out for the release dropping September 2nd.

Myselor – Parallel Consciousness [Mindtech]

Belgian neurofunk label Mindtech continue their relentless barage of heavy futuristic tech with a full length LP from Greek producer Myselor. I’ve been awaiting more material with anticipation since the release of the Alive EP in 2012 and the album doesn’t dissapoint, delivering quality and heft in spades.

The level of attention to detail present in every track is incredible, and Myselor has done an excellent job of fusing the traditional rolling beats and hefty bass of neurofunk with melodic elements that gives the tunes character and atmosphere. Fans of BSE, Spor, Xilent and other melodic neurofunk would do well to check this out. Grab a copy from your favourite digital outlet or get it on CD from the Mindtech store.

Mindstorm – The Descent / Escape Route [Mindstorm]

Mindstorm’s latest release sees the label boss going in deep. The Descent brings together ethereal, almost ambient synths with a glitchy half-step beat and some hefty dark bass work; equal parts atmosphere and teeth.

Escape Route on the flip takes things even deeper, with a tribal percussion line taking centre stage in a tune that minimal D&B-heads are sure to love. Check out the beats below and grab a copy from your favourite digital retailer now!

Maztek – What We Bring / Caph [Dutty Audio]

Maztek rolls in heavy with the latest release for BTK’s appropriately named Dutty Audio imprint. The monstrous What We Bring showcases the sound we’ve come to know and love from Maztek, with heavy hitting kicks and snares alongside a twisted bassline and some nice vocal work from Nuclear MC. High energy darkness all the way on this one!

Caph keeps things veritably runnin’ with another display of full-on, sumo-weight tech funk; clattering drum rolls punctuate the warping bass distortion nicely on this one. Watch out for these dropping on September 16th from all good outlets.

Evol Intent – Suicide [Free Download!]

Originally released back in 2005 of the Guerilla Warfare compilation on Renegade Hardware, today’s freebie is a nice little remaster of Evol Intent’s classic darkstep belter Suicide. Tough amens, vicious bass stabs, a healthy dose of glitch and a nicely acid-tinged lead combine to give this tune every bit as much edge as it had eight years ago. Check it out and grab yourself a free download below!

In The Mix…Ortokore

The ever enjoyable Automate podcast series returns after a slight hiatus with a deep and dark mix from Venezuelan producer Ortokore. With releases for Raiden’s now sadly defunct Voodoo Music and Automate’s Deep imprint, Ortokore draws on a wide range of influences to produce experimental, tribal D&B, a sound which is hugely present in the mix. Check it out and grab a free download below.

Skittles – In For Me Remixes [Estate]

Manchester MC Skittles (who you should recognise from his huge collab with Dub Phizix I’m A Creator) gets the remix treatment on the latest release from Estate Recordings. Jubei delivers a sub-heavy stepper in his rework, while Need For Mirrors go leftfield with a dark, skittering rework; tribal drum bizness. As if that wasn’t enough Manchester newcomer Metrodome delivers a tight, bassy hip-hop rework which is well worth a listen.

Check out the first two remixes below and look out for the release dropping on vinyl and digital from August 26th.

Audio – Bag of Bones EP [Blackout]

Blackout returns with their 3rd EP of big, bad dancefloor neurofunk, this time from scene veteran Audio. Fresh from his recent releases on Dutty Audio and Forbidden Society and busy ramping up to release another album on Virus, it seems nothing is stopping the man this year!

The EP delivers four tracks of atmospheric, sci-fi imbued neurofunk, with the pedal taken off the gas to some extent compared to previous Audio releases – I found myself waiting for the sledgehammer bass and not getting it. This is not to say the tracks are lacking in weight, merely that Audio has avoided the extremes of tearout rewind seeking neuro in favour of a slightly more refined approach. Check out the beats below and make up your own mind, and watch out for the release dropping September 2nd.