Tag Archives: Jazz

Premiere: Lizard – Road

Today’s exclusive comes from Bologna producer Lizard’s forthcoming album for Liquid Flavours, My Eyes. Blending old school drumfunk breaks with jazzy key melodies, this one is funky, melodic, breakbeat joy. Yes yes! Watch out for the album coming April 18th.

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Premiere: Low:r – Over 9000

Low:r returns to Such Music and the Dojo spotlight with a seriously funky jam! Over 9000 dials up the energy to appropriately exuberant levels and layers huge brassy synth hits with funk guitar and a bassline packed full of bounce. There’s even some rhodes action for a hint of the Blues Brothers! Something quite different from the usual D&B fare, but still more than big enough to smash up the dance. This one drops at all the usual outlets Feb 4th.

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Classic Album: Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms

When it comes to genre-defining albums, it doesn’t get much more legendary than New Forms. Propelling underground D&B into the mainstream musical limelight and snatching the Mercury Music Prize for good measure, the album delighted heads and newcomers alike, blending rapid drum programming with influences from jazz and hip-hop to form the perfect fusion of organic and electronic. Despite not setting out to make a crossover, Roni and the Reprazent gang certainly ended up with one.

Twenty years on, the album is getting a four disc deluxe reissue this month with the full original LP remastered, the full set of “Re Forms” remixes and most tantalisingly of all, a fresh disc featuring a live hardware mix of unreleased edits of the best tracks on the album. So how does it stand up after two decades? Pretty damn well it turns out.

The two discs of the original album have been given a fresh lick of mastering paint and are sounding just as exciting as they did in 1997, full of funky drum programming, enticing synths and classic hooks. Anyone who doesn’t get a shiver from hearing the guitar line on Brown Paper Bag just has no soul! The remixes don’t hold up as well to my ears (with a handful of exceptions) but they always felt like messing with perfection given the sheer quality of the original album.

The live hardware mix meanwhile is an absolute joy from start to finish; all of the album’s iconic tracks are there including some of the lower tempo beats and a number have been re-engineered to mash up originals and remixes, often to great effect. The new edit of Share The Fall featuring elements of Grooverider’s Jeep Style Mix proved a personal highlight amongst a thoroughly enjoyable bonus disc.

If you’re looking for the definitive version of an absolutely essential album then this is unquestionably it. Check out the first disc via Youtube below and hit up your favourite store to grab the deluxe package right now.

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Dave Catalyst – Play Your Hand EP [Deconstructed]

In a little under two years, US imprint Deconstructed have already carved a solid niche for themselves as purveyors of high quality deep liquid rollers, and their latest EP from Dave Catalyst is possibly their best release yet. From the ethereal and faintly melancholy opener Strong Suit, through the noodling jazz piano and swing vocals of Slim City over to the darker bass-led vibe of Distant Notion and out via the playful, uplifting tones of Room for Manoeuvre, this is a joy to listen to from start to finish. If you like you D&B detailed, melodic and full of soul then this EP is for you! Check out the clips below and hit up the label’s Bandcamp Store to grab it right now.

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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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Boston – Panoramic EP [Symmetry]

We’ve been eagerly awaiting new music from Boston since his last release for Symmetry and true to form he’s back on Break’s imprint with four new silky smooth rollers that glide along effortlessly.

As with previous releases, Boston’s compositions are characterised by live guitar licks, crisp percussion, rich synths and a hint of jazz. That hint of jazz is handled subtly too, unlike some of the rather sax-heavy “jazz’n’bass” stylings employed by other producers in the scene, and that subtlety really makes the music shine.

Treading that beautifully fine line between being musical enough for the living room and hefty enough for the club with style and aplomb, this is another superb EP from a producer whose style has found the perfect home on Symmetry. Absolutely lush. Check out the clips below and hit up your favourite store to grab a copy right now.

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Soul Intent – Late Night Sleaze EP [Lossless]

Soul Intent has been really impressing us here at the Dojo lately and his latest work on his own Lossless Music imprint proves no exception to that rule. The Late Night Sleaze EP collects four cheeky rollers imbued with plenty of character and soul, walking a pleasant line between dancefloor chops and musical deftness.

1,2,3,4 kicks off the release, featuring old school hero DJ Tango and a combination of twangy double bass and rolling breakbeats which should put a skip in your step and a smile on your face; low slung and funky as hell. Go Hustle takes things murkier, skuzzing out the bass behind some tasty jazz licks for a solid head-nodder.

Late Night Sleaze continues that jazz theme, with sultry saxophone riffs accompanying another satisfyingly chunky break for a tune that positively oozes class. Eyes might even meet on the dancefloor over this one! Last but not least, Nearly There spaces things way out for an epic downtempo jam, reverb drenched snares echoing out into the distance behind the mournful piano riff for a proper tug at the heartstrings.

It’s always great to hear artists proving that drum & bass can be about emotion as well as just making your feet move, and this EP more than accomplishes that feat. Check out the clips below and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to get a copy direct from the source on vinyl or digital now.

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DNB Dojo Mix Series 18: Hydro & War

MixSeries18_Hydro_War

For the latest in our exclusive mix series we’re extremely excited to welcome Utopia Music’s Hydro & War to the DNB Dojo decks. The boys have crafted a fantastic mix spanning rolling techstep, deep halftime, downtempo, hip-hop ambient and even a little jazz. We hope you’ll all enjoy the varied selections as much as we do!

No tracklist on this one but be sure to listen out for Hydro, War & Mateba’s latest cut for Utopia, 87, and forthcoming Hydro, Habstrakt, War & Mateba cut The New Age (again out on Utopia very soon).

As usual you can check out the mix via Soundcloud below or head to Mixcloud, Hearthis.at or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Dropbox.

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Saxxon – New Adventures In Modern Jazz [Liquid V]

The latest release from Liquid V sees Saxxon turning in something a little different as he applies live jazz trumpet from Jon Scott to the Drum & Bass template. The tracks have that classic Liquid V vibe to them, with rolling breaks and playful basslines layered under Jon’s bright and brassy tones.

The two styles blend pretty effortlessly, and it’s a welcome change from the more common styles within the scene right now. Check out the clips below and hit up the Liquid V store to grab a copy now.

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Need For Mirrors & HLZ – Opium Dream EP [Fokuz Recordings]

Need For Mirrors & HLZ reunite once again in the studio to bring us something a little “out there” for Fokuz Recordings. One foot remains firmly planted on the dancefloor throughout the Opium Dream EP but the pair seem nonetheless unafraid to explore more unusual musical influences.

Slash proves the most straight forward track on the release, with crisp breaks and warm bass combining for subby dancefloor roller. Opium Dream meanwhile explores some pretty psychedelic territory with mad saxaphone samples echoing in and out of the mix over a backbone of sturdy beats and bass.

Out into the second half of the EP Nostalgia continues the eclectic sampling with creepy chiming melodies, while Pinch provides a relatively stripped back composition with a few more unusual atmospherics layered over the top. Overall this is a nice little EP that proves you can play around with a massive range of musical styles within the basic D&B template. Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital right now!

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