Tag Archives: Paradox

15 Years of Secret Operations

15 years is a long time in music. 15 years from the time of writing, Nelly’s Hot in Herre was top of the US billboard charts – a position it had occupied for 6 weeks previously, and would surrender the following week.  15 years is an even longer period of time to be pushing music; some flash in the pan artists are lucky to go a five-year stint in the limelight. This makes Seba’s seminal Secret Operations label even more important.

Reaching 15 years of age, Swedish-sprung Secret Operations has decided to look back, not forward, to appreciate all that has gone before it to date. Seba has selected 18 tracks to represent the label’s ever-expanding history, including collabs and features from the likes of the timeless Robert Manos, the genre stalwart Paradox, and an unusual track from the ever imaginative Resound.

Musically, the LP features that signature Seba sound, carefully constructed breaks alongside a musicality so often overlooked by today’s brightest producers. Tracks like Pieces, Wake Up Call, and Forever amongst others capture that vibe expertly. That said, there’s also room for the darker side of drum and bass that has woven its way in and out of this genre’s discourse since the early 90s. Cuts such as External Reality, Fire Like This, and Day By Night are my go-tos as far as darker material goes.

But my wanton pigeonholing of tunes here doesn’t allow for some of the classics present on here. Before I Can Breathe from Seba & Physics was one of the first tunes I heard getting into the genre, and much of the rest of the album will represent similar audible milestones for you, too.

Distilling 15 years into 18 tracks would be hard for any label manager, but I think those selected for this compilation both reflect the outstanding musical ethos of the label, as well standing the test of time. Here’s to 15 more years of Secret Operations.

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Written by James Austin, aka DJ Auzi, label manager at Terabyte Records

Facebook: facebook.com/auzidnb

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Alaska – Solace / Earthloop [Arctic Music]

UK producer Paradox has just released his latest 12″ single under his more chilled-out pseudonym, Alaska. While Solace is a sparse, sort of liquid drum and bass track with funky vocals and Paradox’s omnipresent jungle-style drums, Earthloop is a downtempo, almost trip hop-like track with slow, jazzy snares and beautiful, wintry synths. Paradox himself calls Solace “a sequence of sad violin loops set the tone over fast breaks and strings”, which is certainly accurate, but Alaska fans should be sure to check out Earthloop as well for its complexity and incredibly clean production.

Paradox as Alaska has created something really special with this release, conjuring a completely different vibe from his more well-known releases, and his continued dedication to high-quality 12″ presses makes this single as highly prized as anything else he’s put out under his main moniker.

The Solace/Earthloop single is already sold out in vinyl form on the Alaska Bandcamp page, but it appears to still be available on the Samurai/Arctic Music Group website. Check out the clips below and go grab a copy while you still can!

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Written by Layla Marino
Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science
Twitter/IG: @dropweirdsci

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Nucleus & Paradox – Ubiquity [Esoteric]

Fresh beats from Nucleus & Paradox are always gonna put a smile on our faces here at the Dojo; we just love a crusty old breakbeat and these guys are the masters of manipulation when it comes to those funky riddims.

Their latest work for Esoteric isn’t exactly breaking new ground; more honing their established artform, and honing it well. Ubiquity keeps the beats relatively minimal, layering them in between squelchy bass and old school pads for a warm slice of analogue depth.

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Foundation ups the ante with more insistent percussion and light, jazzy chimes giving the tune that characteristic Paradox b-boy flavour. Wicked stuff! As usual you can find this via the Samurai Store with orders going out tomorrow; move fast as this will surely be gone before you know it!

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April Roundup

Once again the sands of time have slipped past and we have another slew of top notch D&B to cover! Read on for all the latest from John B, J:Kenzo, Eighth Moon, Paradox and more…

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February Roundup Part Two

Once again we’ve been inundated with quality music in the Dojo inbox and despite the bonus extra day February has vanished before we could write it all up! Here’s some coverage of the best of the rest including new music from Alix Perez & Ivy Lab, Calibre, Hanover, SCAR, Bone and more…

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Paradox – Breaker / Kickdat [Paradox Music]

I almost know before I even listen to it that I’ll enjoy a new 12″ from Paradox; so few of his releases have ever disappointed me, being imbued with such a distinctive style and singular focus on breakbeat culture. Looking back to my early explorations of all things Drum & Bass, the discovery of drumfunk via old albums like The Age of Outsiders was a formative moment, a moment of realisation that this music could be about more than just dancefloor chops, about speed but also subtlety.

Maybe that nostalgia tints my appreciation of Paradox’s music, but I like to think that any positive bias based on old favourites remains fairly insignificant in the face of the care and attention he puts into his tracks. Never has old fashioned break chopping been honed to such a fine art, and the combination of stripped back breaks, simple bass and b-boy sampling remains as infectious as it ever has been.

The latest release on Paradox Music sees him treading familiar ground on punchy, rapid A-side Breaker while flipside Kick Dat drops the tempo for a more hip-hop oriented track complete with some cheeky turntablism, and a damn funky outing it is too. This might be a well worn groove but those licks still sound mighty fine to this reviewer; check out the clips below and hit up the usual outlets to grab this on vinyl and digital now.

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Nucleus & Paradox – Blade 9 / Break North [Metalheadz]

When it comes to chopping up the breaks, it’s harder to find a duo more dedicated and skilled than Nucleus & Paradox. Their latest outing sees them landing on Metalheadz with two crisp, dark and dangerous slices of old school tinged D&B which carry that unmistakable ‘headz vibe.

Blade 9 is definitely the more upfront of the two tracks, with a relentlessly rolling break pared with big, dirty sub stabs for maximum impact. Over on the flip Break North goes in darker, leaving more space between the beats but slamming down kicks, snares and sub with a dangerous level of menace. This one will shake you in your chest cavity on a proper rig!

Hit up the Metalheadz store to grab this one vinyl including a limited edition A2 print. Noice!

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Paradox – Rockdown / Divination [Paradox Music]

The original junglist b-boy Paradox is back with another superb 12″ for his own Paradox Music imprint. Rockdown is a pure drum workout, chopping the breaks with the finesse or a man who’s been at it for the best part of two decades. Combining funk drum chops with hip-hop sampling sensibilities, this one is a stone cold killer!

Divination takes things deeper for the flip, opting for a less rolling drum line and darker bass and atmospherics. It’s great to hear Paradox keeping the drumfunk sound alive and refusing to conform to current trends that have left the style all but dead. Check out the clips below and head to the Paradox Bandcamp to pre-order now ahead of the May 4th release date.

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DNB Dojo Mix Series 12: G.H.O.S.T

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We were so impressed with the last G.H.O.S.T release here at the Dojo that we just had to hit them up for an exclusive mix! The boys have obliged with a fantastic all vinyl/dubplate selection featuring some of their own beats alongside techy cuts new and old including classics from the likes of Dillinja and Kemal & Rob Data. Check it out via Mixcloud below or head to Hearthis.at for streaming and Dropbox for a download.

Tracklist:

G.H.O.S.T – Caught Slippin [Music House Dubplate]
Overlook – False [Narratives Music]
Spirit – Cobra [Ineractive Music]
Fracture & Neptune – The Limit [Astrophonica]
Om Unit – Timelines [Metalheadz]
Sicknote – Cold Chamber [Music House Dubplate]
Dom & Roland – Prisms [31 Records]
Stakka & K-Tee – Bad Influence [Liftin Spirits]
Lemon D – Break it up [Reinforced]
Dillinja – Threshold [Prototype]
Capone – Guess Who [Hardleaders]
G.H.O.S.T – Snatch [Music House Dubplate]
Kid Lib – The Rifle [117 Records]
Nucleus & Paradox –  Analogue life [Metalheadz Platinum]
Breakage & Jubei – Still Here [Emcee]
Kemal & Rob Data – Konspiracy [Industry]
Rhyme Tyme – Payback Part II [DISCI4]
Cause4concern – Research (Usual Suspects Remix) [Renegade Hardware]
Mampi Swift – Trippin [Charge]
Kemal – Re-Animation [Architecture]
Vicious Circle & Nocturnal – Skylark [Quarantine Records]
Cause4concern – Sensor [C4C Recordings]
Kraken – Side Effects (Stakka & Skynet Remix) [Underfire Recordings]
G.H.O.S.T – Soho [Music House Dubplate]
Ed Rush & Optical – Bacteria [Virus Recordings]
G.H.O.S.T – Rattler VIP [Music House Dubplate]
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Future Beats – The Album [31 Recordings]

The relaunch of Doc Scott’s 31 Recordings imprint has been the cause for much celebration across the scene, and the label’s output has been absolutely stellar. Rounding off 2014 in style, they’ve unveiled a massive 24 track compilation featuring artists from across the D&B spectrum, and frankly pretty much all of it is excellent.

The huge selection takes in half-time beats from Sinistarr and Ital Tek, future jungle from Moresounds, liquid rollers from Bungle and Calibre, rowdy techstep from SCAR and plenty more besides. Special mentions have to go out to the broody, militant syncopations of House of Lanterns’ Take Control, the ethereal atmospherics of Hidden Turn’s Dream of Tron and the bleepy, atmospheric vibes of Gremlinz Forlorn, but honestly the whole LP is of such a high standard that picking favourites is pretty tough. Check out clips of all the tracks below and head over to the 31 Recordings store to preorder the compilation on vinyl or digital now – the release drops on December 15th.

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