Tag Archives: Mateba

Hydro – Ethos EP [Methlab BNKR]

Methlab’s dark and minimalistic BNKR imprint returns for it’s 3rd outing with Utopia Music’s Hydro on the buttons accompanied by familiar partners in crime Villem, War and Mateba.

Unsurprisingly given the artists involved, the release has a very ‘headz-y vibe, combining crisp modern production with the influence of golden era techstep D&B from the likes of Source Direct and Photek. Despite the grimey basslines and dark, ominous atmospheres there’s still an emphasis on funk and groove which can be lacking in some of the hyper-clean productions of 2016. In amongst the sharp snares and carefully tuned reverbs there’s still plenty of analogue distortion and warm, organic tones, melted together into compositions that feel both driven and hypnotic.

The drum programming on show here deserves a special mention too; after the more straightforward steppers beat of opening track Ethos Hydro and friends have gone in on hyperactive funk drum chopping that is an absolute joy to listen to; think somewhere between the chaos of a Paradox break and the sharpness of DLR’s best efforts and you’re in the ballpark. This back to basics approach, revelling in the origins of the genre and the most central elements of the D&B sound while still leveraging modern techniques is what makes these tracks such a joy to listen to.

If you’re a fan of precision, dark edged techstep with depth beyond the dancefloor then BNKR continue to deliver right at the top of the game! Check out the clips below and look for the EP dropping at all good digital stores from Nov 29th.

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Hydro, Habstrakt, War & Mateba – The New Age [Utopia Music]

Mako’s Utopia Music imprint has been relatively quiet lately, probably due in no small part to Mako’s increasingly busy release schedule and his work on an LP for Metalheadz with DLR (which we can’t wait to hear).  Busy schedule notwithstanding, it seems the label is still getting some love as evidenced by their first new 12″ since Inner Revolution dropped at the start of the year.

Both tracks on the latest release come from super-collab style lineups, with Hydro at the centre of each. He’s recruited Habstrakt, War and Mateba for a chunky halftime outing on The New Age, which is all heaving sub bass and perfectly placed percussion, plus a few ominous pads for good measure. The track carries a really deep, tribal vibe and the overall effect is absolutely hypnotic.

Over on the flip Hydro is joined by Samurai Music/Auxiliary mainstay Sam KDC and unknown quantity Modabke for the achingly beautiful Voyage Nocturne. This one goes well outside of what can really be called D&B, hitting more of a downtempo/ambient vibe but still with those super crisp drums and an element of dark bass gargling away in the background behind the wash of jazzy licks, spacey synths and other instrumentation. If the first track was hypnotic this one is full on trance-inducing, and defies a worthy description.

Utopia Music continue to be one of the most exciting and innovative labels in the game, and we hope their strong tradition continues around Mako’s journey to the upper echelons of the scene! Check out the clips below hit up your favourite store to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.

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The Re:Birth EP [Utopia Music]

Utopia Music have had something of a hiatus recently (probably due in no small part to Mako’s extensive work with other labels) but the label is back with a new EP and for the first time they’re going digital only. According to the press release the previous strict vinyl-only release policy is now being relaxed to try and get more of the label’s signings out into the world, so expect to see more digital releases over the coming months.

As usual from the Utopia Camp the tunes are all top quality, but the vibes are even deeper than usual, with the imprint making it’s first forays into halftime D&B. Hydro, War & Mateba go in on 87 with some pretty spooky synths over a chunky back beat, while Coerce serves up floaty, almost ambient business on Merkava.

Israeli producer PLK switches things up with a chunky slice of angular D&B with a techy edge, leaving it to label boss Mako to close things out with a blissful “ReDub” of Sunchase’s previous release for Utopia, Nathennia. The track lives up to it’s name, being entirely dubby and almost entirely unrecognisable from the original.

You can grab these right now from the Utopia store, and if you want more Utopian vibes be sure to check out Hydro & War’s brand new mix for our exclusive mix series!

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