Category Archives: Releases

Andy Skopes – Who Are You [Inperspective]

Andy Skopes is a producer we’ve always rated really highly here at Dojo HQ, and one that sadly we don’t hear enough from! His latest work for Inperspective is the first solo outing this year, and very much feels like the spiritual successor to the excellent True Chord Redux from Utopia Music in 2013 (which incidentally we’re still rinsing hard…)

Combining old school breakbeat manipulations with shimmering atmospherics and cinematic sample snippets creates a fantastic duality between tough beats and softer musical backgrounds, both on the full frontal drum assault of Who Are You and B side Laterality. As is so often the case with Andy’s work, this is all in the drum programming and that craft has been lovingly honed to perfection. Check out the tracks below and hit up the Inperspective Bandcamp to grab the single on digital or 12″ picture disc right now.

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Classic Track: Unknown Error – The Yearning (Remaster)

Unknown Error are chiefly remembered for their hefty neurofunk outings for the likes of Lifted Music and Renegade Hardware but the duo also had a knack for the deeper side of D&B as evidenced by their 2006 single for Horizons Music, The Yearning.

Combining rough breaks with soft pads, the track explores the “liquid with teeth” style that other producers like Chris.Su have since taken up, and the track walks the line between deep euphoria and darker dancefloor sensibilities with finesse. Tasty stuff, and a record we’ve got a lot of time for here at Dojo HQ. Best of all it’s been remastered and reissued for 2017! Check out the new audio below and hit up the Horizons Store to grab the limited clear 12″ release now…

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MDZ.02 2017 Re-Mastered [Metalheadz]

In 2015, the legendary DnB label Metalheadz embarked on a project to re-master and re-release all of its classic tunes from the 90s and beyond. This was presumably done for DJs, to give high-quality downloads of early-era songs to those who have updated their equipment but not their tastes.

What it has effectively done on top of that, however, is to expose younger generations of ravers to the wonders of the Metalheadz archives, as well as to producers and sub-genres which, if not forgotten, were buried in the record crates of first-and-second-generation junglists and D&B heads. Now even the grumpiest vinyl-loving old school heads can listen to a crisp, clean WAV of Marcus Intalex’s My Soul on their computers if they so choose.

The most recent release from the “Re-Mastered” project is of 2002’s MDZ.02. Just released on Friday, this 11-track retrospective contains classics from the likes of Klute, Teebee, Loxy & Ink and a special Usual Suspects track called Tribute, an homage to the influential D&B MC Kendo, who’d recently passed at the time the track was released.

2002 was an interesting transitional time for drum and bass. Beats became much faster, samples started to be influenced by hip hop, R&B and rave, and jungle and drum and bass structures started to merge in ways that many felt were unthinkable. Metalheadz was right on the forefront of this change and its surrounding controversy, riding the crest to emerge as the well-established and cutting-edge label it is today.

MDZ.02 2017 isn’t up on Discogs yet, but it can be purchased in a number of formats on the Metalheadz website and clips can be streamed on Soundcloud.

Written by Layla Marino

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

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Overlook – Smoke Signals [UVB-76]

In a new musical era where the “banger” single is king, it’s refreshing when an artist, especially a drum and bass artist, puts together an LP which is meant to be a cohesive work in itself, to be listened to in progression. In the case of Overlook’s new album, Smoke Signals, out last week on UVB-76, both the album as a whole and its individual tracks can be appreciated on multiple levels.

Smoke Signals accomplishes its cohesive LP structure because of a few key elements, most of which hearken back to the structure and styles of the late 90s and early 00s. First, there is a binding theme in the form of a horror movie motif. The album opens with a beatless ambient track full of almost industrial-sounding samples and spooky noises, and almost every track thereafter has direct dialog samples from horror movies or thrillers. The other binding theme is that of ambient or intelligent drum and bass beats and samples. Snare-heavy beats and amen breaks pervade every track, as well as one-off synth samples the like of which no one has heard since about 1998.

There is plenty of diversity in Smoke Signals as well, and Overlook even crosses genres fully throughout the LP. The album moves from old school ambient-style snare tracks like Out of the Unknown well into industrial territory with the very next track, Who Is this Who is Coming. Apparition, featuring Ruffhouse & Gremlins, is probably the most grinding track on the album, followed by more industrial-tinged beats with The Dream Unfolds. From there it launches right into the very jazzy, almost Mushroom Jazz-y Travelling Without Moving and Into the Night. 

By the end of the album, the listener will feel a very distinct mood but find him or herself going back over favorite tracks. It’s a triumph of both the LP and single formats, and a great look back at dark ambient drum and bass. Smoke Signals can be streamed or purchased on Bandcamp and Discogs.

Written by Layla Marino

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

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Bop – Not Your Cup Of Tea [Med School]

Saint Petersburg producer Bop has always trodden his own path; his style of minimal, glitched up drum & bass has spawned it’s own sub-genre title which he’s gleefully adopted for his collaboration with Oak and his new label. With 10 years of productions under his belt, microfunk is here to stay, and enjoying rude success via his platform at the ever impressive Med School.

Hospital’s experimental sister imprint plays host to Bop’s latest creations in the form of the coyly named Not Your Cup Of Tea EP, and said creations sound as fresh and varied as ever. From the angular drive of An Order to the airy melodies yet toothy bass of So Unloved, through the space-funk and techno influences of Untitled Pattern 47, and finishing up with the gleeful bassline riddims and rolling beat structure of Space To Breath, the EP is sheer class from start to finish.

Anile steps up on remix duties for the digital bonus with a more traditional D&B take on An Order, but honestly it struggles to shine a candle to the original’s innovation and flair. Bop remains a man with a plan and a very unique style, and it remains very much our cup of tea here at Dojo HQ. Check out the clips below and hit up the Hospital Store to grab the EP on digital now; vinyl pre-orders are available via the Microfunk Music bandcamp and are expected to ship at the end of April.

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Fanu – The Silent Watcher [Lightless]

The Finnish experimental drum and bass artist Fanu has just released his 10th album, The Silent Watcher. He seems pretty jazzed about it, and he should be. By his own admission, Fanu decided to use some older techniques on this record, and it really comes through. Snares and classic 90s-style D&B drum combos are employed on tracks like album opener Five Ounces and Otherworld. The snare and drum combo on Otherworld is so thick, in fact, that drum and bass heads worth their salt will wonder if this track is a re-issue of a mid-90s track. Also pervasive are the many and sundry vocal samples from TV shows and movies, another 90s staple.

The Silent Watcher isn’t all about vintage beats and vocal sample cuts, however. It appears Fanu, a more than 20-year veteran in the D&B game, is examining the history of this genre and, effectively, his own history right the way through to present time. Paracosm Part 2, for example, blends a modern half-time beat with grimy bass grind-downs the like of which have not been seen since the early noughties. The smoothed-out Presence even hearkens back to early dubstep, while album closer Agenda goes full-on ambient.

There’s a little something for every time period of drum and bass on this album, and it’s nice to see Fanu playing with all the eras he’s loved the most as well. The Silent Watcher is available to stream or purchase on Fanu’s Bandcamp, Discogs and Beatport pages and on the Lightless Recordings Soundcloud page.

Written by Layla Marino

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

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Tim Reaper – All Right / Innerspace [Blu Mar Ten Music]

Tim Reaper joins the Blu Mar Ten Music family with two sublime jungle outings, taking us back to the sounds of the early 90s in superb style. A-side All Right is pure euphoria, with a soft, bleepy melody and pitched up vocal hook layered over chunky breaks and warm sub hits for a disarmingly simple yet utterly beautiful track. This one evokes memories of simpler times…

Over on the flip Reaper joins forces with Parallel for the deeper, darker Innerspace. Hard amens, gunshot FX and classic ragga samples get things off to a flying start in the first half, while shimmering pads in the back end of the tune progress the vibes into a more atmospheric, faintly psychedelic ebb. Nostalgia for sure, but difficult to argue with when it’s done so well!

All Right / Innerspace is out now on Blu Mar Ten Music. Hit up their Bandcamp Store to grab the digital direct or start scouring Discogs if you want a copy of the vinyl…

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LCKD008 [Locked Concept]

Australian artist Lockjaw joins forces with Dean Rodell and Machine Code for the latest release on his Locked Concept imprint, with surprising results; given that all the artists concerned are primarily known for finely tuned dancefloor neurofunk at the dark end of the spectrum, this EP marks quite a stylistic departure.

Machinecode solo cut DoubleGate serves up a tidy slice of deep, rolling tech, easing off the bassline distortion in favour of progressive pads and warm sub, but the further two tracks are where the EP really gets interesting.

The intro to Array positively shimmers as synth arpeggios wash through the mix, eventually breaking into a driving but understated beat which serves as a perfect backbone to the melodic arsenal. Creeping into the second half of the tune the influence of 80s-style synth jams make their presence felt, adding to the trance-esque euphoria of the composition.

Last but by no means least, Phenotype closes the EP with an expansive and melancholic piece rolling together glitch and even elements of post-rock into a glorious halftime composition reminiscent of the work of 65daysofstatic. The piano and guitar work here is simply sublime, and it’s fantastic to hear artists primarily known for blunter and more abrasive material airing their soft side so emphatically.

Check out the clips below and look out for LCKD008 dropping March 26th.

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Om Unit & Sam Binga – TransSiberian EP [BUNIT]

Frequent partners in crime Sam Binga & Om Unit return to their infrequent but consistently excellent “Trans Continental” EP series this month, delivering the 3rd and final instalment through their self-run BUNIT imprint.

As we’ve come to expect from these producers and this series of EPs in particular, this is another melting pot of genre influences as dub, grime, jungle and footwork are smashed together into a funk-laden boogie-stew across four playful tracks sure to put a smile on any bass connoisseur’s face. There’s certainly tons of variety too; opener Optimist Prime lives up to it’s name with a buoyant, victorious lead line set to a driving halftime clap groove, while 2000 Dogs melds squelching acid bass with some tasty jungle break chopping.

Fans of the crossover footwork sound will definitely enjoy Up & Under; a frenetic array of percussion keeps this one moving at a breakneck pace, while Baby Steps takes us way out with a glacially paced, spaced-out dub jam. Sick vibes all round from two of the most innovative names in the scene! Check out the clips below and hit up the BUNIT Bandcamp to grab a copy direct on vinyl or digital.

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Dead Man’s Chest – Trilogy [Ingredients]

Eveson’s retro jungle alias Dead Man’s Chest returns to Ingredients with more crusty break chopping vibes, 90s style. The aptly named Trilogy is available as a double-sided cassette mix featuring material from his initial trilogy of EPs alongside six previously unheard dubs, which Ingredients have also dropped on three new limited edition 10″ singles.

Fans of the project will know exactly what to expect; crunchy jungle breaks, deliberately rough and ready mixdowns, psychedelic textures and more than a few nods to the iconic era of jungle and hardcore. As with previous releases, the new material on the Trilogy Dubs 12″s varies in tone. Fade Away and Fresh Nation draw on classic dub elements, Open Your Eyes and Rinsa feel darker and more break-focussed while Tears (Fantazia Version) is blissed-out rave euphoria at its finest.

Alex’s knack for capturing what made early rave music so special is definitely still present here, so if you’ve enjoyed the first three EPs as much as we have this is essential listening. What remains unclear is whether Trilogy marks the end of the Dead Man’s Chest project, or just the end of chapter one; time will tell. Check out the new Trilogy Dubs below and hit up Beatport to grab a digital copy of the mix. If you’re keen for a copy of the cassette or the 10″ singles, time to start scouring Discogs

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