The LP format; still a lofty goal for many D&B producers, and not a project to be embarked upon lightly. Making the transition from single and EP releases into a coherent body of work across an entire album is a quite a feat, and perhaps it’s for this reason that Soul Intent’s debut full length is only surfacing now, ten years into a healthy career.
Thankfully that decade honing his skills both in the studio and the DJ booth has left Alex more than equipped to create Delusions of Grandeur. As anyone familiar with his recent work would expect, the album has a huge range; it basically plays like a love letter to all the facets of drum & bass, or at least as many of them as Alex has had time to explore. Melancholy liquid rollers are represented in force, with a smattering of dancefloor smashers, some spacey halftime and a hint of jungle.
The string that joins the tracks together is definitely soul; apt given the production moniker in question. Even harder tracks like Test Fire and Cry For You bring character and emotion to the table, with analogue sensibilities and clever use of vocals giving the tracks depth and character. While more than punchy enough to compete, this album is the antithesis of the hyper-clean, slightly sterile production that dominates some corners of the scene.
Overall the album succeeds admirably in delivering ten tracks of emotionally charged yet dancefloor worthy D&B, and while not necessarily pushing the envelope it makes for a hugely enjoyable and genuine listen. Check out the clips below and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab the album direct from the source.
Soul Intent brings another quality release to his Lossless Music imprint and this one sees four producers facing off against one another in the first volume of the label’s Versus series.
US producer SPKTRM makes an appearance with a slice of his atmospheric, crunchy halftime; the combination of gnarly bassline scuzz and ethereal pad work really makes this one stand out from the wealth of fairly generic “dark” halftime to be found in the scene these days.
Acid Lab delivers a tough, break focussed roller on Tundra, while Chromatic turn in a stripped back stepper with a killer bass hook on The Machine. Last but not least, Soul Intent closes the EP with a Photek-esque slice of old school break chopping tech business. Quality vibes!
As always you can pick this up on vinyl or digital direct from the source via the Lossless bandcamp; check out the clips below and go grab yourself some genuine underground D&B while the getting is good.
Commercial Suicide are back and that means (among other things) another amusingly spurious press release! This time Klute would have us believe that Soul Intent produced the EP “entirely on a Kindle in his tent on a mountainside using the latest in solar energy technology”. I think we’ll assume that’s a bit of a fib.
Klute’s sense of humour aside, the EP offers three solid and entirely distinct tracks worthy of any discerning fan’s attention. Funk Lick kicks off the EP with a stripped back tech stepper with (you guessed it…) a hint of funk, while Move Your Body opts for blissful melodies set to chaotic amen-chopping that is reminiscent of classic drumfunk and even older jungle in equal measure.
Last up, Soul Intent teams up with Chromatic for a big, nasty slab of bass led dancefloor filth for the titular Wanna Fight. Hopefully it’ll inspire bassface and rowdiness on the dancefloor without actually initiating any punch ups! Check out the clips below and hit up the Commercial Suicide bandcamp to grab it on digital right now. There’s also a promo mix from the man himself (embed below the clips) featuring some suitably rolling selections.
Chromatic follow up a slew of signings for Vandal, Utopia, Blendits and more with a diverse selection of fresh beats for Fokuz sister-imprint Celsius. First up, Flight Of Imagination sees the trio teaming up with RV for a big stomping tech-edged roller; the influence of V Recordings classics is fairly obvious here but it’s still an enjoyable skank out.
Open Your Mind continues that trend but heads in even tougher, smashing the amens out hard and fast with a growling bassline throbbing away underneath and some nice old school stabs and vocal cuts.
The true star of this show however comes on the distinctly lighter and more melodic title track Epic Lunch. Apparently made while basking in the warm glow of a steak & ale pie, it’s a blissful little roller in the mould of their triumphant cut for Utopia, Found You, and we think it’s pretty damn good.
The EP is out now at all good digital outlets so check out the clips below and get to getting!
Rotterdam-based imprint Blendits return with possibly their most varied release to date featuring four fresh new tracks from up and coming producers in the scene. Chromatic kick things off with grimey tech roller Inertia that hits the ground at a hefty pace with a catchy bass riff and tight, funky drum lines. Bredren & Philth keep things moving along at pace on Ghost Palace, taking the vibe deeper with booming sub and creepy atmospherics.
Le Tricolore changes the vibe completely, bringing the melodies to the fore on a liquid beat built on cheeky melodic flourishes and soaring pads. Last but not least Bredren close things out on an experimental tip with the sparse, melancholy halfstep of Passing Period. One for the deep heads! Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital from April 13th.
Following our run down of our favourite albums of the year, we felt it was only right to put the spotlight on our top tracks. These are the ten tunes that haven’t left our record box since their release…
The Utopia dream-team combine forces once again for a predictable but nonetheless satisfying slice of rolling tech-funk. Fans of the crew’s output will know what to expect – crisp breaks, grimey bass and the kind of production values that 40 odd years combined experience brings to the table!
Over on the flip Mako has signed up something distinctly mellower in tone from rising liquid producers Chromatic, who turn in a blissful slice of melodic D&B which is smooth as silk as it washes over the eardrums. Once again, maybe not the world’s most original stylings but the execution more than makes up for it, and the warmth and groove are up there with the best of the scene. Check out the clips below and look out for this on vinyl (which you can pre-order now at Redeye) and digital from 27th October.