Monthly Archives: September 2013

Nitri – Secrets EP [Horizons Music]

Horizons gear up for their 70th release from Brazilian producer Nitri. In typical Horizons style, the EP blurs the lines between deep, tech and liquid, pushing a forward thinking sound with no stylistic limitations.

Secrets and Lies both head for melancholy liquid territory, rolling beats and deep bass driven along by the vocal talents of Grimm. Next up Secrets gets the re-rub from DLR who it seems has been taking a few lessons from Break on how to turn a soulful roller into a techie beast! This one will do the damage on the dancefloors. Last but by no means least, The Map switches things up completely with a minimal, percussion driven stepper with some tasty sub swells and tons of atmosphere.

Check out the beats below, grab a white label copy from the Horizons Store and watch out for the full artwork/digital release shortly.

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Hidden Element & Liquid Break – Lifeforms EP [Translation]

US label Translation brings us a lovely slice of deep liquid from Ukrainian duo Hidden Element and live drummer Liquid Break. Taking a few leaves out of Seba’s book of song-writing but adding a live drummer to the mix, W.H.O.O.A. dishes up sweeping synths, twinkling keys and an intricate yet laid-back beat, while Watch Me ups the pace a wee bit and adds some jazzier influences to the tone.

Elsewhere Hidden Element go it alone, serving up a distinctly trap influenced dark skanker in the form of Hot Pants and a nice slice of melody driven dubstep on Musiq. Have a listen for yourself and watch out for the beats dropping via all good digital outlets from September 30th!

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Sam Binga – AYO [Modulations]

Critical sister-label Modulations continues it’s fine tradition of putting out the less conventional end of the 170BPM sphere with it’s latest release from Bristol’s Sam Binga. AYO kicks things off with an MC-led halfstepper featuring the vocal talents of Redders over a distinctly trap-influenced beat that brings to mind Fracture’s half-time explorations in terms of drum structure, but moves off into synthier territory for the lead and bassline. The influence of EPROM and the glitchy LA hip-hop sound shines through here to give the tune real character, not to mention a healthy swagger.

Freezy keeps things bouncy and half-time but ups the syncopation, drawing on classic jungle breaks and some ghetto-tech/footwork style vocal cuts for an effortless blend of slow and fast. a hypnotic lead line and some tasty old-skool rave stabs fade in and out of the mix for extra sizzle. Lastly for the digital buyers 8 Barr ups the glitchyness with a tune that’s sure to have crowds raising a gun finger or two for the deadly subs.

Check out the tunes below and watch out for the release from October 7th on vinyl and digital.

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Q&A – DJ Presha [Samurai Music]

With Samurai Music busy gearing up for the impending release of the epic Scope LP, we caught up with label boss DJ Presha to find out all about his passion for vinyl and what else we can expect from the label this year.

DNB Dojo: Vinyl is clearly close to your heart given the care that goes into the Samurai vinyl releases and the vinyl only releases on the Horo imprint. Can you tell us a bit more about your obvious love for vinyl and how that came about?

Presha: I have been DJ’ing in one genre or another since the early 90’s. When I started it was all about vinyl, and I had worked in record stores since I left school basically. One of my first flats was living with a Hip Hop DJ who obviously had a lot of vinyl and I caught the bug. I began distributing D&B, techno, house, garage, and eventually dubstep records in New Zealand around 1997 and over the 15 years or so I did that for, I had my addiction comfortably fed. Since I have stopped that and moved to Europe, Berlin has given birth to a new strain of vinyl addiction, and I hope one day soon I can ship over my collection from NZ to me in my new home 🙂

DD: In the age of digital DJing and Beatport many labels are stopping vinyl manufacture or cutting down vinyl releases compared to digital output, often citing falling sales. How does Samurai cope with these challenges?

P: When we started in 2007, sales of vinyl were really starting to dip, so we approached it as a packaging / art presentation challenge to make our products more desirable. Good music wasn’t enough anymore for people that were happy with digital files, you had to give them something a little bit more. This has carried on obviously and we have continued to adapt and the need for vinyl products to have some unique approach has got stronger. It’s something we really love doing and take pride in as well.

In all honesty D&B is years behind House and Techno in this department and moving to Berlin made me see how they have adapted to the new market and I’ve tried to apply their ways of presenting and packaging to D&B / 170. It has taken D&B buyers a bit longer to become as involved as the buyers in those markets are with the products but that’s changing now. Berlin’s record scene is what’s kicked my addiction into full steam again and I’m trying to use Samurai to lure others into my habit as well. I’m a pusher!

DD: If you had to pick a top five, what are your favourite vinyl records in your personal collection?

P: Oh I miss my record collection in New Zealand very much!

Samhain – Initium – Marbled vinyl edition of 15 black with white streaks
Misfits – Beware – Original UK pressing
Misfits – Walk Among Us – Original red sky pressing
Misfits – Legacy Of Brutality – White vinyl pressing
Source Direct – The Crane

DD: I made the pilgrimage to Sun & Bass this year and caught the Samurai crew throwing down over there, much to my delight. How did you guys get involved with Sun & Bass?

P: I work for ESP agency who have worked closely with Sun and Bass for many years. Alicia and Mark from ESP spoke to Stefano, Martina and the crew of Sun and Bass about me playing there when I was still in New Zealand and they were up for it. I flew over to go to the festival one year in a combined night with Samurai and Alley Cat’s Kokeshi label and it totally changed my life. That was the deciding factor in me moving to Europe and this friendship / collaboration has now blossomed into 4 years of me playing there and 2 years with our own Samurai night. It sometimes seems like a crazy dream, Sun and Bass and what it has done to change my life and how Samurai has progressed. A very good crazy 🙂

DD: How did the concept for the Horo sub-label come about and what made you decide to keep it exclusively vinyl (at least until the CD release of Scope)?

P: The idea came from needing another label for more experimental music, and of course living in Berlin and seeing all these amazing vinyl only house and techno records. The concept came from me doing a lot of research online to find a story that suited my idea. I was signing a lot of music from ASC and it didn’t fit on either of the other labels very well, so this was a deciding factor as well. Then the Fis & Tokyo prose tunes came along and it was time to start. It will be returning to vinyl only after Scope and we have 5 new Horo’s slated already for 2014 as well as the first Horo artist LP from Ena.

DD: Besides the impending release of Scope, what else can we expect from Samurai this year? Given the recent release of Lessons in Depth on Red Seal are you aiming for a label/album hat-trick?

P: Ha ha no its too late for that now. We have 3 definite releases before the end of the year, but we may sneak another one in all going well. They are:

Homemade Weapons & Gremlinz feat. Collinjah ‘After Dark EP (Samurai Music) – also features a J:Kenzo 170 remix
Homemade Weapons ‘Kintaro’ EP (Samurai Music)
Indigo ‘The Storm’ EP (Samurai Red Seal)


You can check out audio from the Scope LP in our previous coverage. Watch out for the LP dropping from September 30th on vinyl, digital and CD and get your pre-orders in at the Samurai Surus store.

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Evol Intent & Ewun – 8 Bit Bitch [Free Download]

Evol Intent continue their excellent run of free “throwback Thursday” giveaways with a remaster of Ewun collab 8 Bit Bitch. While the Spor remix (which featured on the Era Of Diversion LP) added a certain amount of extra production quality and some rather tastier bass, the original still has plenty of glitchy charm eight years on from it’s original release on Evol Intent Recordings. Check it out and grab a free download below!

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Audio – Force of Nature Teaser [Virus]

Audio’s fourth full length LP (and his 3rd for Ed Rush & Optical’s well respected Virus Recordings imprint) is due to drop this November and the hype starts here! A cheeky four minute teaser video showcases mere snippets of each track from the album, but gives a nice taste of what’s to come.

Audio’s signature sound is clearly audible on the tracks, which range from heavier neurofunk belters to dark, MC-led steppers, all with that sci-fi edge Virus heads know and love. Check out the clips below and hold tight for a full review over the next few weeks.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taZwIIO5tXE]
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Chopstick Dubplate – Wanted – Murda We Charge For [Chopstick Dubplate]

Chopstick Dubplate (aka Jacky Murda and Aries) return with a full length selection of Jungle & Dubwize cuts in the form of Wanted – Murda We Charge For. Featuring the vocal talents of Top Cat, D Brown and Mr. Williamz, the tunes blend Jungle, Dancehall, Dub and Reggae to produce an infectious, high tempo and intrinsically Jamaican sound.

While the lyrics are sometimes a bit bizarre (Worldwide Traveller seems to be a rasta ode to Ryan Air…) and sometimes just formulaic, it’s difficult to argue with the uplifting vibe of the tunes and Jungle is always sure to get a room skanking. Feelgood beats, ya man! Checkout a mini mix of the album below and watch out for the release dropping September 30th.

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Klute – The Draft LP Sampler [Commercial Suicide]

Klute - The Draft LP Sampler

Klute explores his deeper side on his sampler for forthcoming album The Draft. Turnaround heads straight for deep liquid territory, characterised by tight, syncopated beats and epic, atmospheric synth work, with a warm sub line taking a back seat to the rest of the composition. Superficial Lover also delivers a tight slice of full-roll D&B, soft vocal snippets echoing over the melody as insistent breaks drive the tune.

Where the sampler really excels though are on the tracks where the traditional D&B structure is completely eschewed. Klute teams up with Naomi Pryor on the weird, psychedelic Give It All; eastern sounding samples and a bassline that could well have been made with a didgeridoo combine with trance-inducingly rhythmic percussion and some fantastic vocal work from Pryor. Perhaps the best track of all though is the lush, downtempo ambience of Birdland, taking natural percussion and sweeping synths to an entirely chilled out sonic height.

Check out the clips below and watch out for the sampler dropping September 30th, with the full LP following on October 14th.

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Mutated Forms – Eighty Six EP [Pilot]

Estonian trio Mutated Forms live up to their name with a truly wonky take on the 170 sound. From the frenetic footwork/grime crossover of Tension (featuring Manchester MCs Virus Syndicate) through the mutant rave/trap/drumstep beats of Swamp and out into the hip-hop influence of Blop, these beats should challenge listeners and DJs alike.

Have a listen to the clips and watch out for the release dropping via Pilot Records from September 23rd.

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Sine Language LP [Subtitles]

After something of a period of hibernation in the wake of Calyx & Teebee’s latest album for Ram Records, Teebee’s Subtitles imprint returns in style with a massive compilation album representing all the styles of D&B. While not all the tracks are outstanding (Ulterior Motive’s Gang Rule is a bit of a let down compared to most of their material), there are more than enough top class beats here to be worthy of your attention.

Among the best tracks are the warped, hefty tech of Calyx & Teebee’s Human Reptile remix, the atmospheric drumfunk of Fanu’s Rendlesham and the epic, majestic beauty of Seba’s Under The Sun (which is without a doubt the best liquid tune you’ll hear this year). There’s also plenty on show for the deep heads, with tracks from ASC, Blocks & Escher and Mark System all tripping the leftfield path.

Check out the beats below and grab yourself a copy on vinyl, CD or digital from Surus now.

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