Tag Archives: intelligent

Premiere: Johnathan Thomas – Clarity

Johnathan Thomas is back this month with a solo EP for Samsara Beats, and we’re hyped to have him back in the Dojo spotlight for a premiere of Clarity! Going in deep with influences from the atmospheric sounds of 90s Good Looking Records, this one is all about soft textures and crunchy breakbeats. Blissful! Look for the EP dropping Aug 27th at all the usual digital outlets, and on cassette via the Samsara Bandcamp.

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Premiere: Peshay – Capricorn

Today’s premiere is a little special to say the least; we’re honoured to have an exclusive from legendary Drum & Bass pioneer Peshay! Taken from his first D&B album in over a decade, album opener Capricorn builds slowly with epic pads and soft piano, eventually breaking into a wash of jungle breaks, warm bass and melodic overlays; liquid that takes inspiration from the glory days of the scene while also looking forward to the future. Beautiful! Watch out for the Reflections LP coming on triple vinyl and digital via Belgian imprint De:tuned from June 1st.

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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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Classic Track: Adam F – Circles

This one shouldn’t need any introduction; today’s classic selection takes us back two decades to 1995 and the golden years of the jungle sound. Keeping those crispy breaks but swapping the darker vibe of many jungle tunes for a lighter tone based around floaty synth melodies, there’s no doubt that this served as the inspiration for many artists in the development of the intelligent and liquid D&B scenes in later years.

Interest in the track clearly hasn’t waned with the likes of LTJ Bukem dropping a new bootleg from dRamatic & dbAudio so maybe we’ll see a fresh mix hitting the stores soon, but meantime the original still does the business; check it out below and lose yourself in those synths…


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RQ – Shimmer / Traces [Blu Mar Ten Music]

Blu Mar Ten Music kick of 2015 with a great new release from Kiwi producer RQ. Shimmer combines soft piano, deft atmospherics and interesting natural percussion for a sublime slice of melodic electronica; think Liquid meets Autonomic and you’re halfway there, though that lazy journalistic shorthand doesn’t really do the tune justice.

Traces provides a worthy flipside, harnessing the spirit of golden era GLR/Intelligent D&B with more lush synth work. The entire first half builds the suspense before the classic breaks kick in for the second half providing that ever vibrant contrast between soft, melodic elements and tough, distorted amens. Deeper beats as usual from the BMTM camp – check out the clips below and grab the release from your favourite digital outlet now!

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Duoscience – Dawn / Declarations of Love [E-Motion Records]

E-Motion start their year with a pair of musical, funky liquid rollers from Duoscience. Dawn employs the classic liquid tropes of warm sub bass, catchy hooks and an emphasis on melody, making great use of harmonics to provide a really rich tone to the lead lines.

Declarations of Love heads for similar territory, with strings and guitar taking the foreground over a background of crisp, rolling breaks. Check out the clips below and watch out for the release dropping from Jan 20th at all good digital outlets.

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Alaska – Jasheri / Zoranine [Arctic Music]

Paradox kicks off the year with a slice of beautiful, atmospheric drumfunk under his Alaska moniker. Jasheri is truly lush, soaring strings and understated sub-bass punctuated by crisp, elegant drum breaks which while heavily syncopated convey no sense of impatience whatsoever. Despite the tempo, this is music to lose yourself in, not music to lose it to.

Zoranine heads for even deeper territory, swapping the uplifting synths of the A side for equally lush but slightly more melancholy tones. Flute, oboe, xylophone and subtle touches of guitar all play into a true musical masterpiece, laid out to a downtempo back beat.

As usual with Paradox’s releases you can pick this up on beautiful limited edition snow-white vinyl, available to pre-order now from Surus. Watch out for the release dropping from January 10th.

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Voyager – FAQ [Tempo]

Tempo Records return with a brand new 12″ featuring three tracks from Pete Parsons aka Voyager, a name which older heads may recognise from his releases on Good Looking and Creative Source including the classic Hypersleep.

After something of a break from the scene Pete is back with tunes that embody the classic era of ‘intelligent’ D&B while embracing modern production techniques. FAQ certainly has Good Looking written all over it, with classic rolling breaks layered with simple sub bass and beautiful chord structures.

LuvBLoved takes the listener on quite a journey, swapping rolling breaks for a more chopped up style of beats while retaining soft, mellow synths and vocals to create a soundclash between the harder edge of jungle and the softer edge of IDM. Finally Big Picture drops the tempo for a lush slice of downtempo, piano led ambience.

Have a gander at the Tempo Records page to see the man describe the tunes in his own words. Check out the clips below and look out for the single dropping on vinyl from December 10th and digital from December 24th.

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LTJ Bukem – Music (Technicolour Rework) [Good Looking]

LTJ Bukem‘s legendary Good Looking Records has been somewhat dormant for a few years now, despite continual promises from Bukem that the label will be making a resurgence. However it seems the man has finally made true on said promises, as the last couple of months have seen the first releases on the label since 2009. The latest of these is a rather tasty rework of Bukem’s classic Music by deep liquid maestro Technicolour (of Technimatic). The rework aptly captures the spirit of the original but brings the tempo up a little in line with more modern D&B releases. Smooth vibes all the way.

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Over on the flip the original has been repressed, and for anyone who might have missed the 90s heyday, here it is in all it’s 10 minute long glory! Go grab yourself a copy of the release on white label from the Good Looking Store.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TppFL2LV2Zc]

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