Tag Archives: Rollers

Q&A: Mindmapper & Silvahfonk

With releases for Blendits, Citrus, Fokuz and Demand, Dutch duo Mindmapper & Silvahfonk have made quite a name for themselves over the past 5 years as purveyors of soulful yet dancefloor worthy rollers. With their latest creations dropping this month on Dispatch LTD, we grabbed them for a chat about production, studio vibes and what’s next for the rest of the year…

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DNB Dojo Mix Series 57: Manta

Our latest exclusive guest mix comes from Austrian neurofunk producer Manta. With releases for Fragmented, Culture Assault and Moshbit and club appearances alongside June Miller, Emperor, Agressor Bunx, L33 and many more, Manta certainly knows how to rock a crowd and this 40 minute mix of neuro rollers more than proves that! Beats inside from Mefjus, Hazard, Current Value, Neonlight and many more, kicked off with a fistful of Manta dubs.

As always you can check out the mix via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.

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The Grenfell LP [Nurtured Beatz]

Watching the drum & bass community come together in the face of tragedy and adversity is one of the most heartwarming aspects of being involved in this scene. Whether it’s specific, personal responses like those to the deaths of scene legends like Marcus Intalex, or wider campaigns like Drum & Bass Against Racism, a huge number of figures in the scene are always pushing to make our world a better place, one beat at a time.

On that very tip, our pals at Nurtured Beatz couldn’t simply sit by and watch as survivors of the Grenfell tower disaster were left high and dry by their local authority, so the label bosses responded with what they do best; a charity LP featuring no less than 18 tracks by a cracking selection of underground producers. Label regulars like Kalm & Spindall, Genotype, Interline and Kolectiv bring some gully business to the table alongside other producers like Mitekiss, DBR UK and Mystic State, and there’s even space for hip-hop from Django Mancub and the legendary Chester P, plus an accoustic swansong from Blake Bastion.

We’d be recommending this album even if it weren’t for such a good cause, but given that it is also providing support for people who desperately need it this is a must buy. Hit up the Nurtured Beatz Bandcamp to grab a copy now.

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Premiere: Sirus – New Dawn

We’re back with a super-deep exclusive today as Scottish imprint Detached Audio bring us a brand new single from Sirus! Warm bass, tight but understated percussion and soft, evocative pad work make for a classic liquid roller; delicate vibes. Hit up the Detached Audio Bandcamp to grab this one from September 1st, with remixes from label regulars Manu and K2T for good measure.

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OneMind – EP2 [Metalheadz]

As individuals, these artists are arguably two of the most talented in the genre – certainly right now, if not ever. Impossible though it might seem, by joining forces, they have reached yet higher altitudes: OneMind’s EP2 is the second comprehensive testament to this. The EP’s opener, Pullup, is a future classic for certain. Only Mako & DLR combined could lace such a simple bassline with such complex eccentricities, and the result is frankly breathtaking sound design.

In every tune, you can hear both of their individual influences shine through. Mako’s old school vibe oozes through Late Addition, albeit with a little help from Total Science (and of course DLR). This collab definitely ticks the dBridge-coined ‘beautifully aggressive’ box, being both relentless and delicate – something many artists will never achieve. Early Daze is yet another example of the vibe OneMind are championing, intricate combinations of old-school vocals and one shots with modern-day sound design that provides such a rich texture to the track. The final track, Quiet Fire, features genre-agnostic Throwing Snow, whose Houndstooth & Moda Black heritage shines through in bags. I look forward to the prospect of more D&B from him.

OneMind have truly distilled all the ingredients that make Metalheadz the greatest label in the genre’s history – combining a pioneering integrity for sound design with a nuanced, yet deep-seated appreciation of the drum & bass past. Long live this sound; let’s end this before I run out of superlatives. Hit up the ‘headz Store to pre-order the EP ahead of the August 25th release date.

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

Facebook: facebook.com/auzidnb

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Q&A: GLXY

With a new EP out on Soulvent and affiliations with Spearhead, Med School, MTA and more, 2017 has been a big year for GLXY! The intrepid James Austin tracked them down to find out about their latest beats, their collaborative process and what’s next for the rest of the year…

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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.

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

Facebook: facebook.com/auzidnb

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Spirit – Think / Bounty Killer [Inneractive]

A fresh release from the legendary Spirit is nearly always a treat and the latest single for his own Inneractive imprint proves to be exactly that. As with many Spirit compositions Think carries more than a little of the old school flavour, with big floaty pads, analogue reverb and crunchy breaks a-plenty; energetic, but dubbed out and spacey at the same time.

Over on the flip Bounty Killer once again invokes the aesthetic of days gone by, but this time swapping the calmer elements of the A-side for a vintage-style jump-up workout based around hard hitting breaks and an infectious bass hook. This one will take you straight back to the late 90s and a sold-out sweatbox rave! Check out the clips below and hit up Bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital right now.

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Soul Intent – Delusions of Grandeur [Lossless]

The LP format; still a lofty goal for many D&B producers, and not a project to be embarked upon lightly. Making the transition from single and EP releases into a coherent body of work across an entire album is a quite a feat, and perhaps it’s for this reason that Soul Intent’s debut full length is only surfacing now, ten years into a healthy career.

Thankfully that decade honing his skills both in the studio and the DJ booth has left Alex more than equipped to create Delusions of Grandeur. As anyone familiar with his recent work would expect, the album has a huge range; it basically plays like a love letter to all the facets of drum & bass, or at least as many of them as Alex has had time to explore. Melancholy liquid rollers are represented in force, with a smattering of dancefloor smashers, some spacey halftime and a hint of jungle.

The string that joins the tracks together is definitely soul; apt given the production moniker in question. Even harder tracks like Test Fire and Cry For You bring character and emotion to the table, with analogue sensibilities and clever use of vocals giving the tracks depth and character. While more than punchy enough to compete, this album is the antithesis of the hyper-clean, slightly sterile production that dominates some corners of the scene.

Overall the album succeeds admirably in delivering ten tracks of emotionally charged yet dancefloor worthy D&B, and while not necessarily pushing the envelope it makes for a hugely enjoyable and genuine listen. Check out the clips below and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab the album direct from the source.

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Silence Groove – Blue Sky EP [Fokuz]

Polish-born, Bratislava-based Silence Groove has been impressing us a lot over the last couple of years and his latest work for Dutch liquid powerhouse Fokuz Recordings finds him at the top of his game. From the smooth and summery Blue Sky, through the rapid amens and floaty melodies of Shift and out into the funky hometown ode that is Bratislava, this is a masterclass in uplifting rollers.

Granted there’s nothing especially ground-breaking about an EP of lush melodic drum & bass in 2017, but Silence Groove has found that elusive sweet-spot where shimmering melodies, crisp breaks and warm basslines connect, and better still he manages to make tracks that are positive, even euphoric without ever running into the cheesier territory that ruins some of the more obvious liquid productions. We know what our summer soundtrack looks like, and this EP is definitely gonna get some heavy play; check out the clips below and hit up your favourite digital store to grab it now.

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