Category Archives: Drum & Bass

Premiere: Lizard – Stabbing

Another wicked slice of raved up jungle from The Dreamers today as we present the exclusive on Lizard – Stabbing. Taken from the imprint’s brand new VA compilation Dream Cycle Vol. 1, the track lives up to it’s name with vintage piano stabs and razor sharp chopped breaks from some proper old school vibes. Look out for the LP dropping tomorrow at all the usual digital outlets.

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15 Years of Secret Operations

15 years is a long time in music. 15 years from the time of writing, Nelly’s Hot in Herre was top of the US billboard charts – a position it had occupied for 6 weeks previously, and would surrender the following week.  15 years is an even longer period of time to be pushing music; some flash in the pan artists are lucky to go a five-year stint in the limelight. This makes Seba’s seminal Secret Operations label even more important.

Reaching 15 years of age, Swedish-sprung Secret Operations has decided to look back, not forward, to appreciate all that has gone before it to date. Seba has selected 18 tracks to represent the label’s ever-expanding history, including collabs and features from the likes of the timeless Robert Manos, the genre stalwart Paradox, and an unusual track from the ever imaginative Resound.

Musically, the LP features that signature Seba sound, carefully constructed breaks alongside a musicality so often overlooked by today’s brightest producers. Tracks like Pieces, Wake Up Call, and Forever amongst others capture that vibe expertly. That said, there’s also room for the darker side of drum and bass that has woven its way in and out of this genre’s discourse since the early 90s. Cuts such as External Reality, Fire Like This, and Day By Night are my go-tos as far as darker material goes.

But my wanton pigeonholing of tunes here doesn’t allow for some of the classics present on here. Before I Can Breathe from Seba & Physics was one of the first tunes I heard getting into the genre, and much of the rest of the album will represent similar audible milestones for you, too.

Distilling 15 years into 18 tracks would be hard for any label manager, but I think those selected for this compilation both reflect the outstanding musical ethos of the label, as well standing the test of time. Here’s to 15 more years of Secret Operations.

Written by James Austin, aka DJ Auzi, label manager at Terabyte Records

Facebook: facebook.com/auzidnb

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Razlom – Thriller EP [Bad Taste]

The trio known as Razlom seem to be releasing EPs with rapid fire succession, as their new EP, Thriller, is out only one month after their Arrival EP. Thriller is out on Bad Taste Recordings, which is a good choice of imprint for them due to the weird and slightly retro nature of this sophomore EP.

The EP opens with the title track, which is an excellent mix of old school dnb beats, tech step synths and vocal samples, and modern sound design. The inter-beat is so fast it almost makes the track sound a little like gabber, but make no mistake: this track is well inside the drum and bass wheelhouse, with classic wind ups, drops and sweepdowns.

Another highlight is the neuro-fueled Storm is Coming, which also has some nice techy grinds to it as well as a techstep backbeat. This will likely be a single other producers will play out, but it’s still more arty and not as easily mixable as it sounds in the opening. Voyager is probably the raviest track on the EP, while album closer No One (Feat. MC Temper) has a more melodic quality, if Razlom are capable of such a thing.

While neuro seems to be the term of the day for many acts like Razlom, Thriller seems to be much more in the techstep realm, but done in a really modern and interesting way. Razlom are here to shake up the drum and bass norms with their brassy, techy way, and it’s definitely none too soon. Thriller is available now on all major platforms.

Written by Layla Marino

Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science
Twitter/IG: @dropweirdsci

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Spirit – Think / Bounty Killer [Inneractive]

A fresh release from the legendary Spirit is nearly always a treat and the latest single for his own Inneractive imprint proves to be exactly that. As with many Spirit compositions Think carries more than a little of the old school flavour, with big floaty pads, analogue reverb and crunchy breaks a-plenty; energetic, but dubbed out and spacey at the same time.

Over on the flip Bounty Killer once again invokes the aesthetic of days gone by, but this time swapping the calmer elements of the A-side for a vintage-style jump-up workout based around hard hitting breaks and an infectious bass hook. This one will take you straight back to the late 90s and a sold-out sweatbox rave! Check out the clips below and hit up Bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital right now.

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Premiere: Quentin Hiatus – Magnetic Blast

The inimitable Quentin Hiatus continues his rapidly expanding discography with the third part of his I’m Neither Quentin Nor Hiatus album series this month, and we’ve got the exclusive on exuberant electronic explosion Magnetic Blast. Joyous synth hits, slow/fast halftime clap riddims and an oddly serene quality; it’s Drum & Bass Jim, but not as we know it. Look for this dropping August 7th at all the usual outlets.

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Delta – EP-1 [Microdot]

Younger heads may not recognise the name Delta, but older D&B fans (and particularly connoisseurs of the deeper end of the sound) should recognise him from his productions in the early 00s alongside production partner Format. Their concise but influential discography from that period is well worth a look, with cuts on legendary labels like Dread, Creative Source, Reinforced and Hospital for those who fancy crate digging a little.

Fast forward to 2017 and Delta is back with a fresh EP on the pair’s resurrected Microdot label. The pioneering and experimental spirit remains as exciting as it was 15 years ago; there’s an old school aesthetic at play, with everything from classic vocal sampling techniques to acid-y basslines weaved into the tracks. Opener Dreaming From The Hip combines a hint of b-boy funk a-la-Paradox with rolling breaks and soft pads more reminiscent of the old “intelligent D&B” style. Feel meanwhile takes things tougher, with hard edged rhythms and a stabbing set of vocal cut-ups punctuated by sections of warping analogue bass bleeps.

Kundalini Serpent goes out into jazz jam territory, combining a playful break and bassline with echoing piano and sax for a distinctly unusual take on the D&B sound. Last but not least, Second Wave throws the 2-step beats out of the window for a hypnotic bass-loop workout driven along by a truly bizarre drum arrangement. Lilting, swung and spaced out, this is possibly our favourite track on the release, and it sounds like nothing else you’ve heard this year.

Overall this EP shows a true pioneer of the sound back in the groove and on fine form. Broaden your horizons and head to the Microdot Bandcamp to pre-order a copy now on vinyl or digital. The release drops August 11th.

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Premiere: Centrik – Perceive

Soul Trader deliver more of their trademark lush liquid today from Centrik (who you might recognise as one half of Soul:Motion). Soft pads, sultry vocals, rolling breaks and a warm blanket of bass; you know the score. Look for this one exclusively at Beatport from Aug 7th.

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Premiere: Enjoy – Contours

Today’s exclusive comes from one of favourite labels as Neve’s The Dreamers gears up to release a summery VA compilation entitled Dream Cycle. Enjoy brings the classic jungle vibes on Contours, blending jazz influences, twinkling melodies and chunky chopped up breaks for a wicked slice of rave euphoria. Yes yes! Look for this dropping August 11th at all the usual digital outlets.

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Top 5: Seba

Liquid maestro Seba is among our favourite producers here at DNB Dojo, with an eclectic style and a knack for crafting emotional beats that can still move a dancefloor. With another top new single out on his Secret Operations imprint, we tracked him down and asked for his Top 5 influences.

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Premiere: Akomplis & Objectiv – Into You

Today’s premiere comes from our pals at Fragmented, easing their foot off the gas a little for the B side on their latest release from Akomplis & Objectiv. Tight breaks, soft pads and a haunting vocal make for a lush slice of deep, understated liquid. Look for this one dropping August 11th.

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