Category Archives: Releases

Philth & Wreckless – Heimlich EP [Dispatch]

Philth and Wreckless are two artists we’ve been following for a long time now here at Dojo HQ. From promising early releases for the likes of AutomAte and Flexout Audio, it’s great to see the duo stepping up to release on Dispatch, and the result is some of their finest material to date, either solo or collaboratively.

The EP covers their style of dark, techy D&B through and through, with deeper but still chunky cuts like Heimlich Savage and On My Mind sitting alongside heavier outings Entropy and Surge Wave, the latter being an absolute weapon that takes influence from the classic Renegade Hardware sound of the mid 2000s. If you want four slabs of rolling tech funk then it doesn’t get much better than this! Check out the clips below and head to the Dispatch Store to grab the EP right now…

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The Upbeats & Noisia – Shibuya Pet Store [No Sleep Til]

A little while ago, The Upbeats launched a kickstarter for an ambitious project called “No Sleep Til…”. Their plan involved flying to unusual parts of the world with some collaborators and exploring their locales to see how it might influence the music made. Following the success of the fundraising campaign, and with help from Creative New Zealand, the first of the material has surfaced this week featuring regular studio pals Noisia, made on a recent trip to Japan.

Named after one of Tokyo’s busier business districts, Shibuya Pet Store sees both groups of producers easing off their sometimes full-tilt production styles in favour of something a bit more relaxed and unusual. From the weird melodies of the intro into the quirky main riff, this one definitely isn’t a high octane smasher, but the result is one of the most interesting pieces of music to come out of either camp for some time.

We can’t wait to see who else The Upbeats have been working with for the rest of the No Sleep Til… releases, but in the meantime you can check out Shibuya Pet Store below. Hit up your favourite store to grab a copy right now.

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RQ – Season of the Emergence EP [Blu Mar Ten Music]

A new release on Blu Mar Ten Music is pretty much always a cause for celebration, and their latest material from Kiwi producer RQ is no different, though it’s certainly a step away from the label’s usual fare.

Drawing influence from the likes of Photek, Source Direct and Blocks and Escher, RQ’s latest work (ahead of an album due on the label at some point in the future) is tense and ominous. Three of the four tracks are powered by a backbone of intricate percussion, with an array of finely processed breaks skittering in and out of the mixes. Building on top of the militant drum section, there are hints of psychedelia, touches of jazz, and a flirtation with melody that feels faintly threatening. Uplifting liquid this is most certainly not.

We could waffle on about the depth and emotional resonance of the tracks on show here but it feels complex and elusive enough that we’ll never do it justice, so just wrap your ears around the clips below instead. The EP is out now at the Blu Mar Ten Store.

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Tokyo Prose – Wild Grace [The North Quarter]

The arrival of a new album from Kiwi liquid maestro Tokyo Prose last month took everyone by surprise; in a world where even EP releases are often stage managed and teased one track at a time over a period of weeks, to find out that a full album was in the offing and the first tracks were available instantly was a breath of fresh air. But when the artist and the material are as good as this the hype is unnecessary.

Tempting as it was to jump in with an instant reaction review, this one seemed worthy of a little contemplation…so with the dust now having settled and Wild Grace having been on rotation fairly regularly for a month, how does it stand up in the cannon of Tokyo Prose?

The first thing to note here is that Tokyo Prose hasn’t lost his gift for understatement; as the only artist besides LSB who really gets close to Calibre in the evocative roller stakes, the “less is more” aesthetic of previous work is present again here. Moving piano chords and crisp breakbeats reign supreme, and any temptation for over-editing tracks has been ignored in favour of smooth progressions and disarming simplicity of form.

Wild Grace lives up to it’s title too; the tracks conjure a sense of natural beauty through soft, mostly organic instrumentation and a deftness of touch. Highlights include Trick of the LightInnate Motion and Impressions, all of which tread that fine line of mellow yet uplifting, beautiful but not cheesy, a kind of muted euphoria that is at once imbued with a sense of speed and also a sense of stillness.

If we have a complaint, it’s that the vocal work on this album doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by 2014’s Presence; whereas the Riya and Zoe Klinck collaborations of that LP are among the highlights, the instrumentals are definitely the tracks we’re more drawn to at Dojo HQ this time around. Overall though it’s still a stunning collection of music from an artist we’d love to hear from more often. Wild Grace is out now on vinyl and digital at all good stores.

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Shades – In Praise Of Darkness [Deadbeats]

When two of the best producers in their respective scenes come together on a new collaborative project it can yield something pretty special, and that’s definitely the case with Shades. Combining the D&B chops of Belgian native Alix Perez with the low slung bassline wizardry of West Coast USA’s EPROM has yielded three absolutely deadly EPs, and now their debut album In Praise of Darkness is upon us.

That title definitely rings true in the sounds on show here; as with previous releases the vibe here is very much dark rooms, oppressively heavy basslines and a militant, thuggish swagger. This is bass music’s answer to doom metal; an electronic Sunn O))) for 2018.

As you’d expect from previous output there are some obvious club ready rattlers; lead single The Saga stands out, as does the warped G-Funk of Faultline and the stomping bassline wobbles of Kolumbo. There’s plenty of exploration into more experimental corners of their sound too, including a cracking track featuring the vocal talents of Killa P.

Some listeners may find elements of this album a little esoteric compared to the more accessible beat-led rhythms found elsewhere in the scene, but if you’re looking for something a bit different then this is an impressive voyage through some of the best sound design around. In Praise of Darkness is out now on Deadbeats – hit up your favourite store to grab a copy now.

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Sinistarr – Swinging Flavors #6 [Beat Machine]

US experimental beatsmith Sinistarr steps up with the latest for Beat Machine’s excellent run of Swinging Flavors 7″ releases, serving up an infectious take on the footwork-infused D&B sound. As with most of Sinistarr’s best work this one is all in the drums, with some wicked percussive fills giving the tune little bursts of extra energy.

As with previous instalments of the series the label have commissioned a big remix and this time it’s Om Unit who delivers it under his recently revived Philip D. Kick alias. Adding some extra drive in the bassline and a jungle-y feel in the drum section, this is an extra layer of icing on an already excellent sonic cake.

Last but by no means least, Sinistarr delivers a digital bonus replete with skittering drum patterns and wobbly sub bass textures on Clear Your Mind. Three wicked tracks from a series (and indeed a label) that has yet to disappoint us here at Dojo HQ! Check it out below and hit up the Beat Machine Bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital now.

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Digital & Spirit – The Revolution EP [Phantom Audio]

Digital & Spirit’s very intermittent release schedule for their Phantom Audio imprint continues this month with an EP that’s been anticipated for a serious length of time at this point. Anyone who’s seen either of the duo (or indeed any of their numerous friends in the scene) DJ in the last year or more will undoubtedly already be familiar with the two classic reworks on the EP; DeadlineDial Up mash-up Deaddial and the 2018 update of Phantom Force have both been smashing up the raves for quite a while now.

It’s perhaps testament enough to the skill of Digital & Spirit as producers that both the original versions and these new remixes still sound fresh after years of being hammered in clubs around the world, but if you needed any further evidence then just check out the other two tracks on show on the EP; to turn a slightly trite phrase this release is most certainly all killer, no filler.

Revolution serves up that dubby halftime that Digital in particular is well known for, but the percussive fills and booming claps make this one anything but sluggish. Small World meanwhile brings classic amen choppage and old school rave stabs more than capable of injecting some energy into the dance. Future classics no doubt, and a winning addition to an absolutely must-have EP. Check out the clips below and hit up the Phantom Audio bandcamp to get your hands on digital, vinyl and t-shirts.

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Om Unit & Sam Binga – BUNIT004

Om Unit & Sam Binga’s irregular BUNIT series of releases continues to be an absolute pleasure with the fourth volume now available via their usual Bandcamp store. As with previous volumes this is a complete free-for-all in terms of patterns and influences, vaguely within the 170 arena but certainly making no concessions to D&B formulas or trends.

From grimey trapped-out opener Shut The Window through the absolutely devastating cut-up jungle smasher Self Triggered, out into the spacey, driving weirdness of Never Been To Berghain and finishing up with the extremely acid-infused (and baffling titled) No Chairs, this is scattershot, heavyweight and generally fantastic. Exactly what you’d expect from Binga and Unit then really.

Vinyl copies of this are moving fast so hit up Unearthed Sounds to grab the wax or head to the BUNIT Bandcamp to get a digital copy straight from the source.

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Agents of Rush Sessions

Something a bit different today as we take a look at the latest work from UK producer Agents of Rush. Not many producers have the kind of output and skill to record mixes entirely comprised of their own compositions, but that’s exactly what we have here; better still the mixes are a blend of live hardware and software manipulation, and better still again there are two of them weighing in at a total of two and a half hours!

Style-wise AoR is drawing very much on vintage D&B influences, with hints of 90s jungle and the classic Metalheadz sound shining through all over the place. Atmospheric, break-focused and very much worthy of your attention – check them out on his Soundcloud or grab the downloads via his Bandcamp, available on a “pay what you like” basis.

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Amoss – Everything Is Temporary [Dispatch]

Amoss are a duo we’ve been following here at DNB Dojo for many years now; from their early releases for the likes of Horizons Music through their work for Renegade Hardware, Diffrent, and of course Dispatch, the pair have carved a well earned reputation for crisp tech-edged beats with both depth and heft. It’s obvious both from their music and their Cranium Sessions podcasts that they know their D&B history, though it’s worth noting that they’re informed by it rather than shackled to it.

So then to their debut album Everything Is Temporary. Which of the many flavours of D&B long player would it be? Some artists use an album as an opportunity to showcase their versatility, either via lower-tempo genre-hopping or by crossing the various substyles of D&B. Others craft a strong concept, using it to weave a narrative through the music and tell a story or make a political point. Where would the long awaited Amoss LP fall along this spectrum?

As it turns out, Amoss have chosen to tread a slightly more timeless album path which might colloquially be referred to as “doing what we’ve always been best at”. One way and another (possibly due to the record’s fairly lengthy gestation period) they’ve ignored prevailing trends and knocked out a wicked selection of moody tech beats which feel both very Amoss and very Dispatch. Starting deep and brooding with cuts like Mind State and The Cardboard Man before building to absolute stompers later in the album like Century Seven and Chronograph, fans of their previous output will most certainly not be disappointed.

Every single piece of this album has clearly been a labour of love; every kick, snare, FX hit and bass stab perfectly placed, tweaked to exactly the right pitch or impact. From other artists this might have crossed the line into over-production, but what we have here is just the right level of polish and detail, and that rare feat – seventeen tracks of material that is stylistically very similar, but which still easily holds the attention for the hour it takes to listen and beyond.

Overall this is an album that we’ll be revisiting for many years to come, just like the rest of the Amoss discography. Check out the clips below and hit up the Dispatch Store to grab a copy right now.

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