Category Archives: Releases

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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Marcus Intalex EP [Sun & Bass]

The tragic and sudden loss of Marcus Intalex last year came as a huge shock to many within the scene; given his deep roots, friendly demeanour and constant presence in D&B he had the air of a father or grandfather figure, and he left a huge hole not easily filled.

Thankfully his presence lives on via a slew of posthumous releases, the latest of which has just arrived via Sun & Bass Recordings; a fitting home given his regular appearances and recent curator’s role at the festival.

The tracks on show here are vintage Intalex; Deep Stepper blends the influence of house and techno in its grooving lead with a steady D&B backbeat, while Ninety One goes deep and dark on a Metalheadz-esque combination of static snares and groaning bassline.

The standout track for us here at Dojo HQ though is Roller 170; doing exactly what it says on the tin, this is a slick liquid roller with a beautiful progression and tons of that inimitable Marcus character. We only wish he were still around to roll it out at Sun & Bass…rest in peace Marcus.

Check out the clips below and then head over here to grab the EP on vinyl or digital right now.

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Apex – Echoes [Hospital]

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The sad news last year of the passing of Rob Dickeson, aka Apex, was met with universal heartbreak across the D&B scene. An incredibly gifted musician responsible for a number of iconic tracks, first in collaboration with Jim Gash as Unknown Error and later under his solo Apex moniker, Rob left our world long before he should have.

To honour his memory, Hospital have now released the last known new music from Rob, with all proceeds going to Help Musicians UK’s “Music Minds Matter” campaign aimed at raising awareness surrounding mental health issues within the music industry.

The tracks on the single fittingly span almost the entire length of Rob’s discography – A side Echoes is a completely new, previously unheard track featuring characteristically sublime melody as piano, strings and synthetic chimes interact in a playful, serene dance set to a crispy liquid backbone of breaks and bass.

On the flip, vintage Unknown Error track The Yearning gets a Super VIP mix, embellished even further than the already lavish VIP released by Horizons Music in 2008; weighing in at over 9 minutes, and featuring an absolutely breathtaking pre-drop breakdown, this is emotional D&B at it’s best.

Sadly no Soundcloud / Youtube clips are available but you can hear a preview of Echoes either at the Hospital Store or at the beginning of the latest Dojo Podcast. Hit up the store to grab the single now on vinyl or digital; rest in peace Rob, you’ll be missed.

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Screamarts – Hold Me Close [Subplate]

Ever since we first came across Screamarts via his releases for Fragmented Recordings, we’ve kept a close eye on the Austrian producer as a purveyor of high quality sound design, and more importantly a man capable of injecting that much needed funk into the modern neuro sound.

His latest work for Subplate Recordings delivers a pair of wicked new tracks that tread that line perfectly; A side Hold Me Close blends a soulful vocal and soft melodies against dark bass textures and heavy drum hits for a great balance of the dark and the light. Flipside The Pull moves in a similar direction, with growling bass modulations and compressed snare hits contrasting with ethereal pad sounds. That combination of bassweight with restraint and melody makes for a potent sonic combination, equally relevant to the club or the listening room at home. Check out the tracks below and hit up your favourite store to grab the single right now!

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Rockwell – User EP [Shogun Audio]

Rockwell’s work over the years has set him apart from many other producers; taking a quality-over-quantity approach and constantly seeking out innovation (much to the annoyance of some heads who clamour for more of his early sound), you always know you’re going to get something interesting from a new Rockwell release.

His latest work for Shogun Audio is no exception to this rule, drawing on various bass-music influences for an EP that is at one decidedly drum & bass and still almost completely spurning of its traditions. Roni Size collab Easy rips up the rhythm rule book, keeping the energy and sound palette ravey but refusing to settle into a stale groove. ’09 Track fuses classic dub and more modern dubstep influences for a huge halftime head-nodder, while Inventor recruits Flowdan for vocals on an infectious clash of bashment and jungle.

User rounds off the release nicely by reminding us that Rockwell still knows how to serve up an old fashioned roller, and a decidedly catchy one at that. Crisp breaks, warm bass swells and a weirdly manipulated vocal hook combine for an instantly recognisable track. More essential listening from one of the brightest names in the game; check out the clips below and hit up your favourite store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital right now.

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HLZ – Vectors EP [Dispatch]

HLZ drops a new EP on Dispatch this month and it features some of the best sharp-edged rollers we’ve heard so far this year. The tracks here are all about bringing the funk back into D&B while retaining some darkness, and it definitely draws on some classic inspirations while retaining a modern tone.

Title track Vectors channels the golden era of early 2000s neurofunk with a fast moving bassline – think early Full Force releases from the likes of Chook with the production standards of 2018. Abracatabla meanwhile immediately recalls classic Special Forces tunes like Sidewinder with it’s driving use of staccato hits that form both melody and rhythm. Clusters meanwhile sounds like a love letter to classic V Recordings sub-rollers, and digital bonus Black Lodge brings to mind the classic Virus Recordings sound with it’s clattering drums and bass modulations.

Don’t let the influences dissuade you though; this is definitely homage rather than pastiche, and it’s all filtered skilfully through HLZ’s inimitable style to make something individual, with one eye on the past and the other on the future. The Vectors EP is out now – hit up the Dispatch Bandcamp to grab it now on vinyl or digital direct from the source.

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