Tag Archives: Drumfunk

Andy Skopes – Who Are You [Inperspective]

Andy Skopes is a producer we’ve always rated really highly here at Dojo HQ, and one that sadly we don’t hear enough from! His latest work for Inperspective is the first solo outing this year, and very much feels like the spiritual successor to the excellent True Chord Redux from Utopia Music in 2013 (which incidentally we’re still rinsing hard…)

Combining old school breakbeat manipulations with shimmering atmospherics and cinematic sample snippets creates a fantastic duality between tough beats and softer musical backgrounds, both on the full frontal drum assault of Who Are You and B side Laterality. As is so often the case with Andy’s work, this is all in the drum programming and that craft has been lovingly honed to perfection. Check out the tracks below and hit up the Inperspective Bandcamp to grab the single on digital or 12″ picture disc right now.

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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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Premiere: SubMarine – Nitro

Our latest exclusive comes straight outta Deutschland courtesy of Cologne producer SubMarine and Leipzig label/events collective Boundless Beatz! Nitro combines rich bass, delicate atmospherics and detailed, intricate percussion work for a top slice of thinking-man’s D&B. So lush!

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dgoHn – Ralph [Love Love]

We’re suckers for a bit of old school break chopping here at Dojo HQ so news that dgoHn would be returning to Love Love with more of his ruffneck jungle stylings was met with rapturous applause and jubilant celebration (not really, but we were pleased). Side-note: if you missed his rather excellent All The Fuckin As EP earlier this year then definitely go and give it a listen.

The Ralph EP sees dgoHn (pronounced “John”, apparently) treading a well-worn path of breakbeat manipulation, stopping short of the full on breakcore of artists like Venetian Snares but nonetheless injecting a fair bit more chaos into the drums than is to be found in most modern drum & bass. The attention to detail is palpable too; every edit, glitch, reverse and FX stab feels placed for maximal efficacy, keeping the listener engaged with an onslaught of unpredictable kicks, snares and hats for a beautifully anarchic rhythm.

Asides from the two dgoHn originals, the EP also features a tidy remix from Rephlex producer Jodey Kendrick, who twists the relatively light and playful tones of the title track into a darker and more ominous flex, playing with tempo on a glitched-up halftime intro before knocking into full-roll choppage later in the track.

Tasty business all round; fans of Paradox, Fanu and the higher end of the beat mangling craft should definitely give this one a listen. Check out the clips below and look for the release on vinyl and digital from Sep 30th; pre-orders up now at the Love Love bandcamp.

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Nucleus & Paradox – Ubiquity [Esoteric]

Fresh beats from Nucleus & Paradox are always gonna put a smile on our faces here at the Dojo; we just love a crusty old breakbeat and these guys are the masters of manipulation when it comes to those funky riddims.

Their latest work for Esoteric isn’t exactly breaking new ground; more honing their established artform, and honing it well. Ubiquity keeps the beats relatively minimal, layering them in between squelchy bass and old school pads for a warm slice of analogue depth.

Foundation ups the ante with more insistent percussion and light, jazzy chimes giving the tune that characteristic Paradox b-boy flavour. Wicked stuff! As usual you can find this via the Samurai Store with orders going out tomorrow; move fast as this will surely be gone before you know it!

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Option – Blueshift / Section 9 [Detached]

Scottish electronica label Detached Audio are taking things a little old school on their latest release as Option explores the much neglected drumfunk sound. Eerie atmospheric-pad work and chopped-funk breaks are the order of the day and while these tracks perhaps lack the mixdown sheen of modern D&B the injection of vibe is a welcome change from the often sterile hyper-production of 2016.

Alongside the two originals from Option label boss Manu turns in a brooding remix of Section 9, flipping the drums around into a robotic, techno-infused groove with tons of analogue snap, crackle and pop. Check out the clips below and hit up the Detached bandcamp the grab the release right now!

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Lynch Kingsley – Eden EP [Inperspective]

Lynch Kingsley continues his impressive run of releases with three new tracks for long-running London imprint Inperspective. The results are outstanding, taking the musicality of Lynch’s work to a new level while retaining the tasty break chopping that has always characterised his beats.

Vision of Suffering kicks things off with a dark, moody take on old school jungle-tinged techstep; eerie pads, heavy breaks and massive sub hits drive this one along nicely. The track manages to maintain a threatening vibe without ever veering into more tearout territory and the crunchy drum work really makes it stand out.

Minutes of Silence continues in a similar vein, with a beautiful guitar lick intro giving way to frenetic break chopping business. Last but not least, Eden touches down with huge distorted bass hits and helter-skelter drums that veer in and out of the mix at breakneck pace. The second half sees the tune drop into a serene, ambient breakdown before switching things up into less angsty drumfunk riddims for a really tidy progression.

The drum programming on show here is top notch from start to finish; fans of Mako, Paradox and Photek should be all over this. You can pick the EP up right now via the Inperspective Bandcamp page so check out the clips and go grab a copy!

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February Roundup Part Two

Once again we’ve been inundated with quality music in the Dojo inbox and despite the bonus extra day February has vanished before we could write it all up! Here’s some coverage of the best of the rest including new music from Alix Perez & Ivy Lab, Calibre, Hanover, SCAR, Bone and more…

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Paradox – Breaker / Kickdat [Paradox Music]

I almost know before I even listen to it that I’ll enjoy a new 12″ from Paradox; so few of his releases have ever disappointed me, being imbued with such a distinctive style and singular focus on breakbeat culture. Looking back to my early explorations of all things Drum & Bass, the discovery of drumfunk via old albums like The Age of Outsiders was a formative moment, a moment of realisation that this music could be about more than just dancefloor chops, about speed but also subtlety.

Maybe that nostalgia tints my appreciation of Paradox’s music, but I like to think that any positive bias based on old favourites remains fairly insignificant in the face of the care and attention he puts into his tracks. Never has old fashioned break chopping been honed to such a fine art, and the combination of stripped back breaks, simple bass and b-boy sampling remains as infectious as it ever has been.

The latest release on Paradox Music sees him treading familiar ground on punchy, rapid A-side Breaker while flipside Kick Dat drops the tempo for a more hip-hop oriented track complete with some cheeky turntablism, and a damn funky outing it is too. This might be a well worn groove but those licks still sound mighty fine to this reviewer; check out the clips below and hit up the usual outlets to grab this on vinyl and digital now.

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Fanu – Polar

Prolific and dedicated break chopper Fanu is back with a new LP that sees him returning to his roots to some extent. As with much of the work that he first made his name with, Polar focuses on break chopping, dark aesthetics and a b-boy sampling style that’s very much cut from the same cloth as Paradox and the other originators of the drumfunk sound.

In terms of originality the album isn’t treading any particularly new ground but as a love letter to the versatility of the funk break it’s a thoroughly enjoyable and accomplished piece of work. Sometimes it’s more than enough to provide a well honed example of a specific style and Fanu is definitely up there with the best when it comes to chopping up drum loops and picking evocative samples.

You can hear the whole LP below via Soundcloud, and better still it’s available on a “pay what you want” basis from Fanu’s Bandcamp page. Crank the volume and enjoy those jungle textures the way they were always supposed to be!

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