This week takes us back to the early days of Samurai Music, a label that has been on the forefront of the more unconventional realm of Drum & Bass. Cold Blooded by Soul Intent marked the beginning of a shift in musical direction for Samurai Music that would gradually come to fruition over time.
This criminally underrated 2008 classic shows us a completely different side of Soul Intent, who savagely doles out coarse bass stabs, swells, and wobbles tempered with contemplative atmospherics. The rhythms here are measured in a military-esque discipline. Cold Blooded is an excellent balance between visceral and calculated, minimalist and elaborate. Definitely fitting for a label with the name of Samurai Music, Soul Intent’s intimidating tune entices us to become one with the way of the samurai.
Today’s premiere comes from Slider & Expose on the collab with Soul Intent for Lossless Music! Growling tech basslines, airy synth atmospheres and skittering halftime breaks…this one goes deep. Hit up the Lossless bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital right now.
Soul Intent is back with a fresh EP on the Exkursions arm of Lossless Music this month, featuring possibly the imprint’s most beautiful music yet. To find out more about the tracks, musical influences and all things Exkursions, we grabbed the bossman and Elementz of Noize for a chat about the new EP. Check it out…
Lossless Music, Soul Intent’s increasingly diverse and incredibly reliable imprint continue their Exkursions output with the second EP to drop on the sub-label since its inception early last year. Better yet, they’ve tapped Concealed Identity for production duties, and as usual for one of our favourite producers he doesn’t disappoint.
First up comes a remix of Soul Intent’s No Answers from the previous Exkursions EP. Where the original’s drums had a sharp-edged urgency, Concealed Identity has spun intricate percussion into subtle reverb, dulling the edges for a more euphoric, tripped out sensibility that perfectly matches the floaty pads and atmospherics of the original. The proverbial cake gets a layer of icing later in the progression via a tasty reese bassline swelling out of the mix in warm, jubilant waves. Lush!
Concealed Identity original Zahir delivers more along similar lines; the use of space and reverb that have characterised most of his recent output (see his absolutely sublime 12″ for Narratives if you missed it last year…) is present again here in abundance, and his compositions are rich and detailed. Think Conduct but with an edge of Photek and you’re in the ballpark.
As if two slices of cinematic D&B deepness weren’t enough, Soul Intent brings us a slice of 140BPM heat to close the EP via his Odyssia alias. Hints of the stripped-back tone of early dubstep and a steppy garage-ish beat characterise a tune that straddles the dancefloor and more cerebral space with aplomb. Another tasty selection from a label we can’t get enough of! Check out the clips and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.
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.
Soul Intent brings another quality release to his Lossless Music imprint and this one sees four producers facing off against one another in the first volume of the label’s Versus series.
US producer SPKTRM makes an appearance with a slice of his atmospheric, crunchy halftime; the combination of gnarly bassline scuzz and ethereal pad work really makes this one stand out from the wealth of fairly generic “dark” halftime to be found in the scene these days.
Acid Lab delivers a tough, break focussed roller on Tundra, while Chromatic turn in a stripped back stepper with a killer bass hook on The Machine. Last but not least, Soul Intent closes the EP with a Photek-esque slice of old school break chopping tech business. Quality vibes!
As always you can pick this up on vinyl or digital direct from the source via the Lossless bandcamp; check out the clips below and go grab yourself some genuine underground D&B while the getting is good.
Soul Intent’s latest sublabel for Lossless Music, Dope Plates, keeps things retro with three new slices of old school-tinged breakbeat jungle goodness. To celebrate the label’s launch, we asked Alex to give us his Top 5 90s Jungle classics. Serious selections! Read on for Alex’s thoughts on each track…
2016 is already looking like a great year for drum & bass, so without further ado we’ll be taking a look at some of the worthy releases that have hit the Dojo inbox so far this year. Read on for new beats from Genotype, PIN, Sully and more… Continue reading →
We’ve been a little less active than usual with the posts this festive season so for our very last post of 2015 we’re rounding up the best releases this month which might otherwise have slipped the net. Read on for new beats from Trilo, Was A Be, Sikey and more… Continue reading →
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.