Tag Archives: Experimental

Fybe:one – New Soul Music [Diffrent]

Fybe:one is a producer we’ve had half an eye on for a few years here at Dojo HQ; while his usual explorations tend towards lower tempos, he is nonetheless one of the most interesting musicians in the electronic sphere. Having contributed some downtempo reverberations for Diffrent’s Evolution of the Giraffe LP back in 2013, Dexta’s London imprint was the clear avenue for a move into the 160+ tempo range and the results are top notch.

Fans of the likes of Frederic Robinson and Machinedrum will find plenty to enjoy here; there’s a playfulness and an old school sampling methodology at work with plenty of influence from more “conventional” D&B, but without the music becoming trapped in the confines of the more traditional genre hallmarks. Jazzy synth hits, rapid-fire percussion and unusual rhythms are the order of the day here, and there are some tasty collaborations to boot as Sense MC steps up for vocal duties and the ever talented Hyroglifics comes in to push some buttons on With You.

As you’d expect if you’ve kept an eye on Diffrent, this EP embodies the label’s ethos by doing its best not to sound like anything else out there, and while it might not quite be revolutionary it’s certainly off the beaten track. Combine that with a loving craft and that mix of club-heft and armchair sensibility and you’re onto another winning release from our favourite London giraffe-enthusiasts. Check out the preview mix below and hit up the label Bandcamp page to cop the EP now.

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Exkursions 002 [Lossless]

Lossless Music, Soul Intent’s increasingly diverse and incredibly reliable imprint continue their Exkursions output with the second EP to drop on the sub-label since its inception early last year. Better yet, they’ve tapped Concealed Identity for production duties, and as usual for one of our favourite producers he doesn’t disappoint.

First up comes a remix of Soul Intent’s No Answers from the previous Exkursions EP. Where the original’s drums had a sharp-edged urgency, Concealed Identity has spun intricate percussion into subtle reverb, dulling the edges for a more euphoric, tripped out sensibility that perfectly matches the floaty pads and atmospherics of the original. The proverbial cake gets a layer of icing later in the progression via a tasty reese bassline swelling out of the mix in warm, jubilant waves. Lush!

Concealed Identity original Zahir delivers more along similar lines; the use of space and reverb that have characterised most of his recent output (see his absolutely sublime 12″ for Narratives if you missed it last year…) is present again here in abundance, and his compositions are rich and detailed. Think Conduct but with an edge of Photek and you’re in the ballpark.

As if two slices of cinematic D&B deepness weren’t enough, Soul Intent brings us a slice of 140BPM heat to close the EP via his Odyssia alias. Hints of the stripped-back tone of early dubstep and a steppy garage-ish beat characterise a tune that straddles the dancefloor and more cerebral space with aplomb. Another tasty selection from a label we can’t get enough of! Check out the clips and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.

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Premiere: Kolectiv & MEDIKA – Underground

Diffrent’s latest sees a clash of underground heads as production trio Kolectiv team up with Bristol experimentalist MEDIKA for a seriously weighty slice of dark D&B. Echoes of hip-hop punctuate the heavyweight beats and bass on this system-shaking halftime beast. Badman sound! Check it out below and look for the release dropping October 6th via the Diffrent Bandcamp.

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Premiere: Draize – Tell Me

Weighty sub vibrations and creepy sampling on our latest premiere as Tesseract Recordings ready their latest release from Rafiki and Draize! Tell Me sees the latter half of the duo on solo production, delivering a weird and slightly unsettling halftime rumbler; yes yes! Check it out below and look for the Connections EP dropping September 15th.

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Initial Breeding LP [Black Crane]

A disclaimer; we’re not generally big fans of the compilation LP here at Dojo HQ. While the format has its strengths, it can be difficult to form a coherent narrative on a compilation, and the larger ones often feel too big to digest sensibly, allowing great tunes to get lost in the wash. When they’re done well however they can be a powerful statement of intent; enter new imprint Black Crane’s debut release, Initial Breeding. 

Fans of the deeper end of D&B will only have to glance at the artists involved to get an impression of the kind of label movement Black Crane is; beats are provided by Thing, Dominic Ridgway, DYL, Mark Kloud under his ‘Yushan’ alias and a host of lesser known producers, so as you’d expect this is an exploration of the more experimental and less club focused end of the 170 sound.

The danger with a compilation of this ilk is that it might easily become a morass of third-rate Samurai Music wannabe tracks that blend into each other in a “12 tracks of industrial halftime with not much character” sort of fashion. Thankfully Initial Breeding avoids this scenario via three key elements; breadth, quality and sequencing. The breadth aspect is truly impressive, taking in everything from the more obvious gritty halftime of Yushan’s Hitchhike and Cuelock’s Grey Crowned, through the IDM-tinged melodies of Snik’s Anxiety, dubby business from Thing, autonomic-inspired ambient explorations from Eusebeia and future jungle from Dominic Ridgway. The material is all left of field but the diversity is more than sufficient to avoid the sameness of your average VA compilation.

The quality of the tracks on show is really impressive too; from percussive precision to abstract sound design to just sheer rhythmic joy, all the producers have knocked it out of the park. Last but by no means least, the sequencing from Istota and the label crew is perfect, taking the listener on a journey that gives the album poise and glues the tracks together. This trifecta of excellence puts this LP in that rarest of categories; a truly enjoyable compilation rather than just a bag of vaguely linked tracks. Check out the previews below and hit up the label’s Bandcamp to grab a copy now.

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Premiere: Quentin Hiatus – Extreme Malice

US experimental beatsmith Quentin Hiatus continues his relentless onslaught of new material with a fresh EP dropping on the ever dependable Translation Recordings. The oddly titled Extreme Malice doesn’t really live up to its name, but it does serve up a delicious bongo-imbued rhythm, stark atmospheres and that unusual production that makes all of Quentin’s music so compelling. Look for this alongside four other tasty sonic concoctions from September 15th; pre-orders are up now at Bandcamp.

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Premiere: Samurai Breaks – Star Dog

Tsunami Bass Weight boss and all around badman Samurai Breaks steps up on our latest premiere as he drops a hefty two-tracker for Fragmented Recordings. Punchy halftime riddims and some serious low end on this one; not hard to see why Sam has been getting support on the mighty Noisia Radio! Check it out and watch for the release dropping September 7th via all good digital stores.

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DNB Dojo Podcast #10 – Aug 2017

Another month has rolled by so blog owner Hex is back on the platters that matter with a fresh mix of all the latest D&B. This mix includes cuts from Brain Crisis & Kije, Kit Curse, Frederic Robinson, 1991, Lockjaw and many more with beats spanning liquid, techstep, halftime, 160 jungle and much much more. There are also cuts from Nurtured Beatz Grenfell LP, the proceeds of which will go to survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, so please do head over to their Bandcamp store to pick that up and benefit a really vital cause.

As usual you can check out the podcast via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.

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Premiere: Quentin Hiatus – Magnetic Blast

The inimitable Quentin Hiatus continues his rapidly expanding discography with the third part of his I’m Neither Quentin Nor Hiatus album series this month, and we’ve got the exclusive on exuberant electronic explosion Magnetic Blast. Joyous synth hits, slow/fast halftime clap riddims and an oddly serene quality; it’s Drum & Bass Jim, but not as we know it. Look for this dropping August 7th at all the usual outlets.

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Delta – EP-1 [Microdot]

Younger heads may not recognise the name Delta, but older D&B fans (and particularly connoisseurs of the deeper end of the sound) should recognise him from his productions in the early 00s alongside production partner Format. Their concise but influential discography from that period is well worth a look, with cuts on legendary labels like Dread, Creative Source, Reinforced and Hospital for those who fancy crate digging a little.

Fast forward to 2017 and Delta is back with a fresh EP on the pair’s resurrected Microdot label. The pioneering and experimental spirit remains as exciting as it was 15 years ago; there’s an old school aesthetic at play, with everything from classic vocal sampling techniques to acid-y basslines weaved into the tracks. Opener Dreaming From The Hip combines a hint of b-boy funk a-la-Paradox with rolling breaks and soft pads more reminiscent of the old “intelligent D&B” style. Feel meanwhile takes things tougher, with hard edged rhythms and a stabbing set of vocal cut-ups punctuated by sections of warping analogue bass bleeps.

Kundalini Serpent goes out into jazz jam territory, combining a playful break and bassline with echoing piano and sax for a distinctly unusual take on the D&B sound. Last but not least, Second Wave throws the 2-step beats out of the window for a hypnotic bass-loop workout driven along by a truly bizarre drum arrangement. Lilting, swung and spaced out, this is possibly our favourite track on the release, and it sounds like nothing else you’ve heard this year.

Overall this EP shows a true pioneer of the sound back in the groove and on fine form. Broaden your horizons and head to the Microdot Bandcamp to pre-order a copy now on vinyl or digital. The release drops August 11th.

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