Tag Archives: Dispatch Recordings

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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DNB Dojo Mix Series 60: Kolectiv

Our exclusive mix series reaches the big 60 this month and we’re excited to have London production trio Kolectiv in the hot-seat with a blistering three deck mix! With releases for Dispatch, Celsius, Nurtured Beatz, Vandal and many more, the collective of Kalm, Carera & Keza have proven themselves versatile producers, dishing out everything from liquid rollers to techstep smashers and deep halftime grooves.

For their Dojo mix the boys have gone in with a murky selection, switching things up between rolling selections and deeper steppers. Beats from the likes of Fuj, Alix Perez and Survey sit alongside recent releases and a heap of dubs; serious business. As always 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.

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Q&A – Tephra & Arkoze

With a top notch new EP out on Dispatch LTD and a string of tidy releases for the likes of Proximity & Invisible, Tephra & Arkoze have been turning heads over the last two years. We caught up with them for a quick chat about the Ascertain EP, collaborating with Survey and their love for old school hip-hop.

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Premiere: Tephra & Arkoze – Ascertain

Tephra & Arkoze land on Dispatch LTD with a brand new EP this month and we’ve got the exclusive on title track Ascertain. Featuring the vocals of the ever dependable MC Fokus, the track combines playful hip-hop lyricism with swung beats and some grin-inducing bassline grime for a tidy workout that keeps the energy high while avoiding the usual rolling 2-step patterns. Sick one! Hit up the Dispatch store to grab the Ascertain EP right now, with full release at all good digital outlets from Mar 24th.

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DLR – Dreamland [Dispatch]

Dispatch are truly spoiling us right now. On top of their impending 100th release extravaganza and a ton of top notch releases over the last few months, Ant and the gang are treating us to a full length DLR album, barely more than a year on from his solo LP debut Seeing Sounds. Christmas comes early it seems!

The themes on the album couldn’t feel more topical either with the recent Brexit debacle in the UK and Trump’s election victory in the US. Where Seeing Sounds felt at times abstract and introspective, Dreamland is pointed and political, from the leftwing anti-capitalist patter of interlude tracks like Living The Dream to Gusto’s angsty attacks on modern society on standout title track Dreamland. Lyrics like “course politicians got their hand in the till” paint a vivid picture of disbelief at the status quo, and that fire in the belly comes across in the razor sharp production of whiplash snares and growling bass.

Production-wise this is very much evolution rather than revolution, honing DLR’s well tuned style of groove-laden tech-edged D&B. While this isn’t a tedious collection of “bangerz” by any stretch, pretty much all the tracks feel more than capable of causing some screwfaces in the dance, with Mako collab Anxiety Attack and the ominous, stalking basslines of album closer Time is Everything proving to be standout moments.

Dreamland is unlikely to convert non-believers to the DLR sound, but fans of his previous material will definitely be all over it. It’s great to see an artist using their music as a platform to make a statement and encourage social change too, especially in an age where so much music has little to no message beyond the intent to rip up a club. Props to DLR for balancing the dancefloor with a deeper message, and props to Dispatch for their continued belief in original independent music. Check out the clips below and hit up their store to grab this direct; Dreamland drops everywhere this Friday.

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Gerra & Stone – Unbreakable Remixes [Dispatch]

As Dispatch draw close to their landmark 100th release their latest main-label offering treats us to some stunning reworks from Gerra & Stone’s Unbreakable EP, and as usual from Ant TC1’s seminal imprint the results are among the finest underground D&B in the scene.

First up, Dublin legend Zero T is on hand to turn in a rolling liquid refix of title track Unbreakable. The soft vocal flourishes and melancholy melodies of the original are still present and correct, but the quirky drums and off-kilter bass of the original have been swapped out for a thoroughly trademark Zero T bongo roller break and warm sub textures. This one is sure to prompt smiling faces and dancing feet, and there’s an instrumental mix included for good measure.

When it came to the thoroughly Photek-esque vibes of Plates there was only ever one production team we wanted to hear on the remix so we were more than happy to see Blocks and Escher on the buttons. The duo flip the script on this one, dishing up a moody, stripped back take which swaps the chopped up drums of the original for an ominous percussion routine that keeps the tension bubbling away.

Last but by no means least, Mako brings his signature funk stylings to Almost U with a new version that is all about the drums. This perhaps isn’t the most adventurous mix in terms of changing up the original melodic elements, but when the parts are this lush and the new drums are this sharp it’s still impossible to argue with.

Another sick release from Dispatch! We’re hugely looking forward to hearing what they have in store with DIS100… meantime you can check out clips of the EP below and hit up the Dispatch Store for full length previews and WAV/MP3/12″ purchases.

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April Roundup

Once again the sands of time have slipped past and we have another slew of top notch D&B to cover! Read on for all the latest from John B, J:Kenzo, Eighth Moon, Paradox and more…

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Top 10 Albums of 2015

2015 has been another strong year for the D&B LP in what seems to be a growing trend for more established artists to explore their sound across a full length record rather than just churning out singles. As the year draws to a close, here’s our run down of the then best albums we’ve heard this year. In no particular order… Continue reading

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Amoss – Shadow Theories EP [Dispatch Recordings]

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.

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Cern – Hollow Moon VIP [Dispatch Recordings]

After a bit of a hiatus, Dispatch return with the fourth instalment of their Dispatch Dubplate series and this time it’s Cern on the buttons. As per previous releases in the series there are some new VIPs and one vinyl exclusive track, with Hollow Moon and Tiamat both getting the VIP treatment and new Mayhem collaboration Hydraulic on the wax for the vinyl buyers.

As you’d expect from Dispatch and Cern the EP features three tracks of rugged techstep, with a nice balance between bassline scuzz and atmosphere. If you haven’t yet snapped up a copy you should move fast – pre-orders are already flying out of the door via the Dispatch Store and Redeye.

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