Tag Archives: Electronica

Top 5: Still

Russian producer Still has really impressed us with his latest EP for Diffrent Music; weird and wonderful soundscapes, crazy sound effects and hints of techno play into a truly innovative selection of electronica on the fringes of the D&B sound. We caught up and asked the man for his Top 5 influences; check it out for a walk on the weirder side of the sonic spectrum.

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Premiere: Quentin Hiatus – The First Time Was The Last

The prolific and unpredictable Mr Hiatus returns with another EP on his own Free Love Digi imprint next month and we’ve got the exclusive on closing track The First Time Was The Last. Quirky melodic flourishes blend with garage style beats for a typically experimental take on the 170BPM sound from one of America’s most talented underground musicians. Check it!

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Premiere: Nuage – Shining (The Levels Remix)

We’ve got something a little different for your ears today as we present the premiere of The Levels stunning new remix of Nuage – Shining. For anyone not familiar with The Levels, it’s the collaborative project of Loxy, Resound and Alia Fresco, and their take Nuage’s original blends pop, R&B and years of D&B experience for a shimmering and understated rework with tons of soul.

Watch out for this dropping from August 5th alongisde remixes from Blu Mar Ten, Bop and Nuage on Translation Recordings, vinyl and digital.

The Levels:
Facebook → www.facebook.com/thelevelsmusic
SoundCloud → @thelevelsmusic
Twitter → twitter.com/thelevelsmsc

Translation Recordings:
Facebook → www.facebook.com/translationrecordings
SoundCloud → @translationrecordings
Twitter → twitter.com/translationrecs

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Books – Ensō EP [Ortem]

Ortem have been really impressing us here at the Dojo since their first release landed in January and their latest EP is no exception. The label’s fourth release sees owner and previously sole producer Metro step aside to welcome the elusive Books to the catalogue, and the results are an absolute treat for fans of the deeper end of 170BPM music.

The EP’s style centres around halftime D&B but brings in influences from IDM and the leftfield electronic arena, with floaty pads and glitchy drums giving the tracks a distinct sound from the Clarity copycats churning out gloomy “dark” halftime.

The compositions are sparse but still detailed, with elements given plenty of space to breathe, and the results are soft and faintly hypnotic. Our favourite here at Dojo HQ has to be the calming microfunk-esque Pseudo with it’s perfect combo of percussion and ambience, but all four tracks are top notch. Check out the clips below and hit up the Ortem Bandcamp to grab a copy right now.

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February Roundup

With winter rapidly escaping and another two weeks of the year down, it’s time for another roundup. New beats from Response, Lenzman, Metro, Ayshot prod and more… Continue reading

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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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Quentin Hiatus – I’m Neither Quentin Nor Hiatus [Free Love Digi]

Quentin Hiatus’ work has been skirting the boundaries of Drum & Bass for some time now, blending hip-hop, halftime D&B, footwork and who knows what else to craft a style which is almost impossible to pin down or pigeon hole. His latest mini LP, I’m Neither Quentin Nor Hiatus Vol. 1, drops on his own Free Love Digi imprint next month, and it features some of his most exciting aural experiments to date.

Let’s be clear straight away; this album isn’t drum & bass by any conventional definition. The influence of 20 years of jungle and its offshoots undeniably informs Quentin’s music, but this latest release features few if any of the genre’s standard tropes beyond a shared tempo region. Purists expecting 2-step rhythms or amen breaks may well be disappointed, but open-minded listeners should find themselves drawn into a rich tapestry of sounds and feelings unconstrained by the more formulaic standards of electronic music.

The LP features a wide range of vibes across its seven tracks, ranging from the funky halftime hip-hop of Wait Right Here to the threatening techno infused sounds of 56 and out into the semi-ambient synth ramblings of Kuchi Kopi. While some of the tracks feel like they could move a few dancing feet, for the most part this feels like a man trying (and indeed succeeding) in converting his inner thoughts to music without much concern for how the end product will fit into anyone else’s expectations.

Abstract, beautiful and challenging, this is an LP that may well be overlooked in the sea of more easily consumable DJ friendly-fare, which would be a great shame. Expand your horizons via the clips below, and look out for the LP dropping from November 11th via all good digital stores.

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Theme – Scenes 1-4 EP [Samurai Red Seal]

Berlin-based producer Theme returns to Samurai Music after a popular release on their Horo imprint with a new EP blending halftime D&B with elements of dub techno, and the results are pretty stunning. Shimmering synth progressions, reverb drenched snares and a muted yet euphoric vibe characterise the tunes, and the compositions really draw you into the abstract world of their creator via a hypnotic, enveloping array of sonics.

While words like “hypnotic” and “meditation” get thrown around willy-nilly when discussing electronica that draws on ambience or floaty synths, these descriptions seem entirely fitting here. What exactly Theme is meditating on via these tracks is probably known only to him, but the body of work certainly carries a serene, thoughtful aesthetic which isn’t common in drum & bass…but then to many this isn’t drum & bass, and isn’t really trying to be either. The overall tone certainly shares more in common with dub techno, though the tempo and drum structures give away the influence of 85/170BPM music, call it what you will.

Pointless chin stroking regarding “true genre” aside, Scenes 1-4 is a breathtaking selection of tracks and one of the best attempts we’ve heard recently at the kind of musical zen producers of Theme’s ilk endeavour to create. Check out the clips below and lose yourself in it all…then head over to the Samurai Store and grab a copy on vinyl or digital, out right now.

If you want more from Theme, be sure to check out his mix for the Samurai Podcast below; 58 minutes of dubbed out halftime selections.

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Alix Perez & EPROM – Shades EP [Alpha Pup]

Alix Perez’s latest collaboration with US bass-slinger EPROM sees him completely eschewing the D&B template in favour of lower tempo shenanigans, but if you’re a fan of bass heavy electronica with a hefty dash of hip-hop swagger then you should definitely give the Shades EP a listen.

Dropping today on LA imprint Alpha Pup, the four tracks feature some serious low end weight and a head nod inducing groove that is just irresistible. Check out possibly the EP’s biggest cut, Chiron, below and hit up iTunes to grab the EP now; vinyl should follow shortly.

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The Levels – The Levels EP

Long time collaborators Loxy & Resound have teamed up with vocalist Alia Fresco to form a new project called The Levels, and their first selection of work shows plenty of interesting ideas. Blending hints of soul and R&B with years of beat making expertise and a dash of pop sensibilities, the trio could yet turn out to be the Autonomic legacy’s Magnetic Man.

Great use is made of Fresco’s voice, leading the tracks nicely but allowing the music to breathe and fill the remaining space. Perhaps the best example of this comes on We Could Be, fittingly made in collaboration with dBridge. The EP closes out with a more conventional D&B beat on Right Here, giving a nod to Loxy & Resound’s musical roots, but to be honest the slower tempo productions are far more interesting.

The EP is out right now via The Levels bandcamp; check out the tracks below and keep your eyes peeled for more material from the trio very soon.

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