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…
When it comes to D&B MCs, you can count those worth hearing outside the rave on one hand (and even those worth hearing inside the rave on a few hands more…). The jump from host in the club to the true lyricism required to spit bars on record isn’t one that all wannabe microphone fiends have the talent for, but thankfully Sense has more than proven himself worthy of the task.
Many years in the making, The Elephant In The Room sees the self-described “illegitimate offspring of a scouse and a cockney” land on Diffrent Music accompanied by some of the best producers in the scene, with a plethora of material spanning D&B and hip-hop, dark and light, hype and chill. There are plenty of highlights in the uptempo region, from the coy and playful rhymes of Lynx-produced Disconnected to the aggy lyrical duel of After Dark, where Sense is joined by longtime friend and equally talented MC Codebreaker.
The lower tempo beats tend towards beauty and introspection, such as album opener Love Is… which muses on romance against an eclectic beat from Frank & Furter that brings to mind Frederick Robinson’s work. Two Planets brings in jazzy influences and rhymes on an intergalactic tip, while Just A Ride closes the album with thoughts on the meaning of life.
Descriptions struggle to do the work here justice; the important point is that The Elephant In The Room is a polished selection of songs with depth beyond the usual hype-man lyricism or catchy verses found on MC-led tracks. We’ve no doubt this is only gonna get better on repeat listens too. Check out some of the tracks below and hit up the Diffrent Store to grab a copy on digital, CD or vinyl…as they’ve been telling us for weeks, #BuyTheAlbum.
Ever since 2012’s State of Suspension EP we’ve been waiting for the return of Amoss to Dispatch Recordings. We’re a bit surprised it’s taken this long, but their brand new Shadow Theories release has certainly been worth the wait.
While the EP treads familiar ground for the most part, sometimes evolution can be just as satisfying as revolution and hearing the the countryside duo’s sound mature proves to be exactly that. Their dark and gnarly style sounds as fresh and dangerous as ever on tracks like The Wayman Break and driving Fre4knc collab Vortice, a track that fans who have caught any of their sets over the past few years will probably recognise.
There’s room for something a little lighter amongst the grimey shenanigans too, with Viv May and C. Tivey coming aboard for the jazzy vibes of Stalling Theme before the release closes out with the thundering kick/snare riddims of Crooked Arm. Another top release from a production duo we hope will be around for a long time to come! Check out the clips below and hit up the Dispatch Store now to grab the EP on vinyl or digital.
Flexout bring us possibly their biggest release to date with three fresh tracks from well established grit-merchants Amoss. Crab Stance opens things up with a deep head nodder, keeping things simmering with tight percussion and nice mid range textures without ever allowing the mix to boil over into more aggressive territory.
Liqer ups the ante slightly, rolling steady with more crisp textures and atmospherics to create a powerful groove. Last but not least M Set & Deefa’s All Consuming Fear gets the remix treatment with the boys letting loose on a more insistent bass and beats arrangement to match the aggy vocal line.
The EP is out right now via all the usual outlets, but you can get it cheaper and support the label directly by grabbing it through their Bandcamp page. Get to it!
Fearful returns to Diffrent Music with a great new EP exploring dark and experimental rhythms. Since the last outing on Diffrent nearly two years ago Fearful has moved from a duo to a solo project, but remaining member Chris’s output hasn’t lost any of its edge.
All four tracks carry a distinctly brooding vibe, with eerie pads, grimey bass and a general air of tension coming together to create soundscapes steeped in darkness and suspense. The whole EP is strong, but the hard edged percussion and tempo bending finale of The Lurker edge it out as the Dojo favourite (closely followed by haunting Amoss collab Carcosa).
Check out the previews below and hit up the Diffrent Bandcamp for a copy right now.
It has been too long by half since the last Amoss release; with the exception of some appearances on the Horizons Ten LP it’s been nearly a year since their last output, and longer still since their last release for Dispatch back in 2012. Naturally news of fresh material was, ahem, music to our ears (bad-um-psh) and their latest work sees them at the top of their game.
Lead track Oxide comes with added Fre4knc, a match up that makes perfect sense given both parties tendencies in the direction of dark, militant sounding techstep. Growling bass detail and heavy kicks and snares laid over a backdrop of creepy FX and atmospherics make for a tidy little outing.
Hold Back proves to be all about the drums, with tense, insistent cymbal rolls shuffling between an angular rhythm. Last up, Skittles sounds like a homage to the classic late 90s techstep of Photek, stripping back the bass to dark punchy stabs over a rolling break.
As usual it’s difficult to argue with Amoss and Dispatch! Check out the clips below and hit up the Dispatch store to pre-order this one on vinyl or digital ahead of the Mar 30th release.
Horizons Music celebrate 10 years in the game with an excellent new compilation featuring 14 fresh cuts from names that will be familiar to anyone who’s been following the label in recent times. The compilation takes a look back at the label’s very first release, with Jubei and Amoss both turning in remixes of Skitty’s 10 Steps, but for the most part they’re looking forward with new material from some of the best names in the scene.
It’s difficult to pick highlights from such a strong selection, but a few stand out from the pack. Silent Witness brings a perfectly balanced combination of melodic elements and rolling, dancefloor tech on Fields, Amoss explore their deeper side on the subby liquid of Piano Licks and DLR turns in a trademark chunky stepper on Outta Time. The whole LP is well worth a listen, so check out the clips below and head to your favourite outlet to grab this on CD, vinyl or digital now!
Amoss return to Horizons Music with another essential 12″ for fans of their deep, grimey stylings. Bleed It gets the VIP treatment with a heavily syncopated rhythm and deep sub bass giving a nice new spin on the original’s more rolling flow.
Over on the flip Calokan continues the trend for odd beat arrangements with a shuffling, kick led drum line punctuating a wide array of odd atmospherics and a generally gloomy vibe. There’s a nice switch up on the second drop too, just to keep the crowd guessing. Check out the beats below and watch out for this one dropping from May 26th.
When the debut single from brand new Melbourne crew Plasma Collaborative landed in the inbox we were suitably impressed by not just the tunes but the presentation and ethos of the outfit. To find out more we caught up with Safire about the collective’s ideas and their plans for world domination over the coming year.
DNB Dojo: Plasma Collaborative is clearly a group with many talents and many ambitions, can you tell us a bit about how the collective came together and who does what?
Safire: Plasma Collaborative is a creative platform that allows artists & musicians to express their creative works to the world. We wanted to create something new that isn’t afraid to takes risks in a new environment. We are a group of friends – artists, musicians, audio heads, fashion designers etc. from Melbourne.
The project is driven by Safire & Finna. We’ve been orchestrating tours and events in Australia for almost a decade. Through our events company BBA we’ve been lucky to develop relationships with a lot of great people and has been one of the major factors we’ve been able to get a project like this off the ground, having the global support we do. Our two closest partners are Morph & Tobias J. We’ve always seen so much talent around us and needed a way to bring it all together, so we decided to form the collaborative as this would give us a way to expose our works to the world. The concept was to create a collective made up of various components…A (Record label), Apparel (Products hand made in Australia & locally produced), Digital Media Production (Music Videos, Audio Tutorials, Sample Packs etc.) and a studio facility based in Melbourne. This kind of platform would give us freedom to work within our creative sector…now that it exists the scope is endless moving forward.
DD: The teasers of the first single are sounding enticing, and you’ve netted some big names for a new collective. How did the single come together?
S: We always had an intention for Plasma Audio’s inception to be one of very high standard. We’ve worked with Icicle quite a lot over the years through promoting events in Australia and couldn’t think of a better artist to help us kick off our label, he is very aware & aligned with our direction & intentions. We knew we’d get exactly what wanted, so I hit him up regarding a remix and he suggested I send over something over. Myself, Amoss & Gusto had just finished up a tune which had lyrics referring to ‘Plasma’ and the ‘4th state of matter’ so it made sense for Icey to remix 4th State!
DD: Can we expect some home grown singles from Australian producers in the future?
S: Yes definitely, if the quality is there then for sure. Plasma Audio isn’t necessarily about representing music from the south pacific though. There have been a few labels pop up over the years that have had the concept of exposing music from from a continent that isn’t quite as active in the drum and bass world as some but that isn’t not our focus to be honest. We want to represent production that aligns with our concept & vision regardless of where its from…we just want to have a certain standard representing our sound and through the relationships we’ve developed over the years we’re lucky enough to have access to artists from around the globe from our inception.
DD: You’ve already notched up some fantastic videos for The Upbeats and Subtitles Music. Do you feel the music video is underused or under-represented in the D&B scene?
S: Definitely, I think music videos and media production is very important nowadays. In my opinion is shows extra effort has been put toward a label’s productions. I feel it’s important to show that you’re doing these kinds of things if you want to set yourself apart from the rest in some way. The music videos were created by one of our artists ‘Tobias J who represents his own media production company Defnative. A lot of the credit goes out to him for all the video productions on the Plasma website. He is a talent and expect to see a lot of work from him popping up throughout various audio and visual scenes throughout the world.
DD: What’s in the pipeline for 2014?
S: We’re currently wrapping up music for 002, and 003. 002 will be another 12″ from artists we’ve worked in the past through BBA. We’re looking at doing an EP for 003 which will feature artists from around the globe. It might not be the case with every single release, but for some of them we plan to include a range of artistic products relative to the release such as limited edition vinyl sleeve, art prints & t-shirts etc.
We have a new range of apparel coming including new t-shirt designs, a jacket and various other apparel products. We’ve also aligned with various audio companies around the globe such as hardware and software developers. We’ll be demo-ing some of their products and making production videos giving insight to new products from boutique analogue equipment to our own audio sample packs including a Plasma Audio Virus TI Soundset & even our own acoustic treatment products. We’re lucky to have a wide range of talent & artists working with us to cover a huge range of fields giving us the opportunity to immerse in various fields.
Music will be at the forefront of our agenda although apparel, digital media, studio work & various other creative avenues will no doubt be providing us with plenty to do over the years to come!
Check out the new Plasma Collab single from Amoss, Safire, Gamma and Icicle below and watch out for the release dropping next month.
Amoss celebrate 9000 followers on Soundcloud with a menacing amen smasher in the form of The Kirbis. Weird mid-bass reverberations and hefty, angular breaks characterise the tune with creepy tones adding to the tension in the bridge…lovely. Check it out and grab yourself a free download!