Tag Archives: Ambient

Premiere: Ethos – Injustice

Bristol producer Ethos is on the buttons for our latest premiere as we present an exclusive slice of jungle-tinged goodness coming soon to Silent Dust’s None60 imprint. Injustice blends floaty pads and atmospheres, vinyl crackle and satisfyingly crusty breakbeats for a slightly retro sounding track; think a pinch of LTJ Bukem crossed with the recent productions of Sully and Dead Man’s Chest and you’re close. Check it out and watch for the release dropping Oct 27th.

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Alaska – Solace / Earthloop [Arctic Music]

UK producer Paradox has just released his latest 12″ single under his more chilled-out pseudonym, Alaska. While Solace is a sparse, sort of liquid drum and bass track with funky vocals and Paradox’s omnipresent jungle-style drums, Earthloop is a downtempo, almost trip hop-like track with slow, jazzy snares and beautiful, wintry synths. Paradox himself calls Solace “a sequence of sad violin loops set the tone over fast breaks and strings”, which is certainly accurate, but Alaska fans should be sure to check out Earthloop as well for its complexity and incredibly clean production.

Paradox as Alaska has created something really special with this release, conjuring a completely different vibe from his more well-known releases, and his continued dedication to high-quality 12″ presses makes this single as highly prized as anything else he’s put out under his main moniker.

The Solace/Earthloop single is already sold out in vinyl form on the Alaska Bandcamp page, but it appears to still be available on the Samurai/Arctic Music Group website. Check out the clips below and go grab a copy while you still can!

Written by Layla Marino
Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science
Twitter/IG: @dropweirdsci

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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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Akuratyde – Embrace EP [Blu Mar Ten Music]

After a short hiatus, Blu Mar Ten Music are back with more effortlessly beautiful music, this time from US producer Akuratyde. The Embrace EP occupies the same sort of musical space as artists like Kiyoko or Ulrich Schnauss; glistening pads, an air of melancholy and the influence of ambient and IDM characterise the recordings far more than the influence of conventional D&B, particularly on the EP’s first two tracks. Embrace and Lights In My Eyes both relegate beats and bass to a modest supporting role behind the swathes of reverb drenched chords and lush sonic imagery, creating a sense of distance and longing.

The second half of the EP sees a slight shift towards more beat driven compositions, with Time Left Behind exploring the halftime tempo with crisp but understated percussion under a warm blanket of sub bass and blissful echoing melodies. Sway closes the EP out with what could well be a love letter to Seba or Blu Mar Ten themselves, the release’s most “D&B” track. As usual Blu Mar Ten Music are right on the pulse, bringing us fantastically creative work from a new name we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on in future! Check out the clips below and hit up the Blu Mar Ten Bandcamp to grab a copy right now.

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Koronis – The Replicant LP

Koronis

Kiwi producer and sound-design artist Koronis isn’t a name I’ve come across before, but it’s certainly one I’ll be keeping an eye on in future based on the strength of his latest LP project The Replicant. Bringing together creepy atmospherics more common to dark ambient and crisp techstep minimalism, the resulting tracks have a bleakness and intrigue which draws the listener in impressively.

The LP’s first half focuses on more conventional drum & bass patterns, and while not unduly dancefloor focussed features three tracks which wouldn’t feel out of place in a “room 2” set from the likes of Amoss or Cern. Tough amens, intricate drum patterns and a gloomy vibe pervades the material here nicely.

The second half takes things far more abstract, dropping the beats almost entirely to focus on sound design and texture, with powerful ambience and use of atonal melodies taking the tone to a deeper and almost spiritual place. Koronis is tapping into the cross section between dark D&B and dark ambient for a truly unique experience here, not least on the haunting tones of Kara, the LP’s final track.

For those who enjoy exploring the less than beaten paths at the fringes of drum & bass, I can’t recommend this record enough. Check out the video mix below for a flavour of the material and watch out for the LP dropping later this year on vinyl and digital.

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Classic Track: Apex – Inner Space

Not long after the relaunch of Subtitles in 2010, Teebee’s label treated us to a fantastic track from one of my favourite producers, Rob Dickeson aka Apex. While I discovered Apex initially through his harder tech and neurofunk productions on Lifted Music (and earlier as one half of Unknown Error), I later fell in love with his more musical output which featured on Horizons and Hospital, and this gem is definitely up there with his best.

Inner Space explores lush, synthy ambience and remains downtempo until the second verse at which point that familiar, crisp D&B break kicks the track up a notch. The whole thing is just beautiful and unusually serene for even liquid D&B, and it’s a track I never get bored of hearing. Unfortunately this 12″ would prove to be one of his last before his apparent retirement sometime in 2012, and his output is much missed (by me at least). Check it out below and go look out a copy on vinyl or digital!

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Kiyoko – Fragments EP [Samurai Horo]

Synkro & Bering Straight’s Kiyoko project returns to Samurai’s vinyl-only Horo imprint with another lush EP of downtempo beats. Fans of the duo’s work will know what to expect – effortlessly beautiful compositions with massive, sweeping pads, soft percussion and a decidedly “less is more” approach. The whole EP is stunning but the achingly beautiful echoed guitar melodies of Lost Object stand out in particular. Check out the clips below and head to the Samurai Music store to grab this one now.

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Stray – When It Rains / Thumbprint [Blu Mar Ten Music]

Blu Mar Ten opened the doors of their label to outside talent at the end of last year to widespread acclaim, and their latest release from Stray shows a continuing commitment to releasing the best in leftfield drum & bass.

A side When It Rains is elegant, ambient, so minimal it can barely even be called drum & bass, and perfect for it. All echoes and reverb, a sculpted soundscape in every sense of the word.

Thumbprint on the flip delivers a totally different vibe, with utterly glitched vocals layered over an off kilter beat and some dark bassy stabs to create a robotic, angular sound that’s reminiscent of some of Rockwell’s tunes, if rather less angry.

Watch out for the release on Jan 28th.

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