For his new EP on Flexout Fearful has teamed up with a selection of the capital’s best underground producers for the collaborative delights of Collective Conscience. We grabbed Chris for a quick chat about all things team based…
Long time Dojo favourites Nurtured Beatz are back in the Dojo spotlight for today’s exclusive as we present the premiere of Black Opps – MechWarriors! Evoking the spirit of classic early 00s tech, this one is dark, rolling and sci-fi tinged. Ominous business to murk up the dance! Look for this dropping on the Kill The Oppressor EP from April 14th.
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
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.
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
Austrian DJ ConVuse steps up to the Dojo decks for our latest exclusive mix! As co-founder of the Sound In Motion promotion crew, ConVuse has been bringing the vibes to the scene around Gmunden/Vöcklabruck/Salzkammergut since 2010, booking the likes of Phace, Mefjus and Octane & DLR and throwing some of the country’s best parties.
For his Dojo mix Stefan has dug deep with a selection of rolling beats spanning tech and liquid styles with tracks from the likes of LSB, S.P.Y, Phentix and Spectrasoul. Classic D&B vibes! You can check out the mix via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.
Super smooth liquid vibes on today’s exclusive as new York label Terra Firma present their second release from Polish producer Radicall! Something More combines hints of jazz and a catchy hip-hop style sample hook with a familiar rolling breakbeat for an effortlessly euphoric ride. Tasty stuff; look out for the release at all good digital stores from April 5th.
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…
Something a bit unusual today as we present the premiere of Raven’s brand new track for Phantom Others, Kept Relic. Full of odd effects, alien sounding synth swells and expansive basslines, the effect of this track’s many layers is truly hypnotic. Check it out and look for the release dropping April 7th!
Our exclusive today comes in the form of experimental business from Formatz for Tsunami Bass Weight! Heavy duty filtered basslines, glitched-up rhythms and madcap percussion a plenty; utter madness. Look out for this coming on the Maega Morphin EP very soon…