Tag Archives: Redders

Top 5: Kusp

Portsmouth producer Kusp is someone we’ve had an eye on for a while. Through a slow trickle of releases for Authentic, Context and now Lynx’s Detail Recordings imprint, he’s slowly been carving a rep as a versatile producer capable of slinging traditional 2-step rollers and bassy halftime growlers alike. As he gears up for his debut album on Detail, we asked Kusp to give us the rundown of his top 5 halftime cuts. Check it out…

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July Roundup

Real life has been getting in the way of the important matter of blogging about D&B lately here at Dojo HQ, leaving us with a glut of worthy releases in need of coverage. Without further ado then, here are some of the finest new beats from the last few weeks courtesy of Redders, Straying Reality, Gancher & Ruin and more…

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Sam Binga – Wasted Days LP [Critical Music]

UK dance music’s cross-pollination of musical styles and influences has contributed to the excitement, longevity and innovation of the scene from the very genesis of rave in the late 80s, with everything from jazz to metal at some point playing its part in the evolution of some corner of the electronic sound. Perhaps the strongest of those influences though is that of dub and reggae, without which it’s difficult to imagine the early Jungle sound ever having emerged at all.

All of which brings us to Sam Binga and his new LP, Wasted Days. To say that Jamaican soundsystem culture informs this album would be a vast understatement; while there are many other elements being smashed into the aural supercollider that is Binga’s sound, the reverberations from Kingston can be felt everywhere from the patois of the vocals to the deep bass hums and beyond.

This isn’t mere cultural appropriation though, but more accurately a fantastic melding of musical styles by one of Critical Music’s most exciting and relevant artists. Bring together the positivity of dub with the urgency of grime and footwork, topped off with the polish and engineering expected within the D&B scene and you have an album that couldn’t feel more potent.

Refreshingly, this also feels like an album engineered for listening rather than for the selector’s convenience. Tracks weigh in at two and three minutes rather than five or six, and you’ll find few yawningly DJ friendly intros amongst the material. Rather than relying on breakdowns to change the energy, the track sequencing changes the pace instead, such as the fantastic switchup as the hyperactive grime of Run The Dance gives way to the beautiful, deep ambience of Hyroglifics collab Dark Day.

Speaking of collaborators, Wasted Days is stuffed with so many featuring credits that the whole thing should probably be credited to “Binga & Friends”. Deft, Chimpo, Om Unit and Hyroglifics all get in on the beats while vocal stylings come from Warrior Queen, Fox, Rudey Lee, Rider Shafique, Romaine, TT The Artist, Slick Don and of course the inimitable Redders. Quite a roster!

Overall this is one of the best albums we’ve heard in a year that continues to prove not only the quality but the diversity of the 170BPM sound. Absolutely essential listening! You can check out a selection of the tracks below (including some fearsome remixes from Ivy Lab available on a special edition 10″) so get yourself a flavour of Wasted Days before you hit up the Critical Store for a copy.

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Sam Binga – Nuh Chat EP [Critical Music]

New beats from Binga for Critical mean many things to many people; the man’s unusual take on the 170 sound (and indeed Redders’ vocal stylings) have proved controversial among followers of the scene, some decrying the style as gimmicky or not true D&B while others praise the fun loving vibe and general innovation. Here at the Dojo we fall into the latter camp; anything pushing the boundaries of this music we love can only be a good thing.

The latest round of beats sees two new MC led cuts featuring Redders and two new instrumentals, plus a bonus Enei remix of Lef Dem. The latter proves pretty disappointing, taking the playful vibe of the original and smashing it against a brick wall with a rather unsubtle dose of amens and bass. The rest of the EP however proves much more entertaining, even if the patois/jungle/grime combo of the tracks with Redders is beginning to feel a little cookie cutter. The highlight in our eyes is the joyously swung Elastic, with its big enthusiastic synths and unusual drum groove. Check out the clips below and make up your own mind; this one’s out right now on vinyl and digital at the Critical Store.

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Top Tracks of 2014

Following our run down of our favourite albums of the year, we felt it was only right to put the spotlight on our top tracks. These are the ten tunes that haven’t left our record box since their release…

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Sam Binga – AYO [Modulations]

Critical sister-label Modulations continues it’s fine tradition of putting out the less conventional end of the 170BPM sphere with it’s latest release from Bristol’s Sam Binga. AYO kicks things off with an MC-led halfstepper featuring the vocal talents of Redders over a distinctly trap-influenced beat that brings to mind Fracture’s half-time explorations in terms of drum structure, but moves off into synthier territory for the lead and bassline. The influence of EPROM and the glitchy LA hip-hop sound shines through here to give the tune real character, not to mention a healthy swagger.

Freezy keeps things bouncy and half-time but ups the syncopation, drawing on classic jungle breaks and some ghetto-tech/footwork style vocal cuts for an effortless blend of slow and fast. a hypnotic lead line and some tasty old-skool rave stabs fade in and out of the mix for extra sizzle. Lastly for the digital buyers 8 Barr ups the glitchyness with a tune that’s sure to have crowds raising a gun finger or two for the deadly subs.

Check out the tunes below and watch out for the release from October 7th on vinyl and digital.

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