Tag Archives: Techstep

Premiere: Kolectiv & MEDIKA – Underground

Diffrent’s latest sees a clash of underground heads as production trio Kolectiv team up with Bristol experimentalist MEDIKA for a seriously weighty slice of dark D&B. Echoes of hip-hop punctuate the heavyweight beats and bass on this system-shaking halftime beast. Badman sound! Check it out below and look for the release dropping October 6th via the Diffrent Bandcamp.

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QZB – Systems Vol. 9 [Critical]

Ill be honest, until I did my homework I had no idea that QZB are the artists formerly known as QBig & Zenith B. I should have known better. Perhaps their latest EP on Critical Music will cast a net even wider than their old alias did. Systems Vol. 9 definitely demonstrates the full breadth of their talent.

WYGD features entrancing whispers of vocals throughout the track, a style that pops up elsewhere on the EP. Lace that with clever percussive elements for a perfect example of a techy roller. Apollo – my favourite on the EP – features that repetitive vocal again, but in a very different manner. A totally screwed and chopped vocal alongside jazz-funk elements make this sound like Die & Break’s Grand Funk Hustle, Octane & DLRs Let Me Go, and DJ Rashad managed to pop out a child from a threesome gone awry.

Turning Point is true to its name, as for me this is where your attention turns from the vibe to the sound design. QZB seem to have captured the perfect snare, alongside a bassline that provides both textures to applaud and a vibe that matches it. I’m ready for the slating, but for me this bassline is ‘grown up jump up’. That really was the turning point on the EP. Revenant is far more stripped back, but with the same attention to intricacy and quality. The track is punctuated by open snares and fidgety percussive FX, and dare I say it an arpeggiated synth that is perhaps a nod to the Stranger Things soundtrack.

Its apt that the final track of the EP is named after the mythological Norse heaven, Valhalla. Another concrete demonstration that technical prowess in sound design can be matched with the atmosphere it creates. A heavily reverberated siren in the breakdown brings that Valkyrie-esque soundscape into focus. And rightly so that QZB sit atop the mythological heavens. For me, Critical are returning to sounds that got me into the label in the first place. Whilst its clear that Kasra is building a team of artists with distinguishable traits in sound – something any team-builders should aim to replicate – I would speculate that most of their UK audience prefer their tunes deep, dark, and intricate.

Hit up the Critical Store to grab Systems Vol. 9 on vinyl and digital right now.

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

Facebook: facebook.com/auzidnb

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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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Premiere: Black Opps – MicroKosm

Time for another exclusive today from up and coming Brazilian artist Black Opps who lands on London label Addictive Behaviour with a sick new EP this week! Title track MicroKosm dials the atmosphere up to 11, keep the beats sparse and the composition minimal for a rhythmic head nodder that gets under your skin. Check it out below and hit up Beatport to grab a copy right now…

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Premiere: Forbidden Society – The Last Tone (Raise VIP)

Our latest premiere comes courtesy of Czech artist Forbidden Society via his own FS Recordings imprint, taken from his new and appropriately titled Depths EP. Traditionally known for his industrial-tinged, hard as nails D&B bangers, Depths sees the producer exploring other sub styles including bassy halftime and more rolling, less angular D&B.

The Raise VIP of The Last Tone falls firmly into that latter category, combining a rolling break with dark bass and the tone of early 00s era techstep; perhaps FS’s nod to Klute and the like. Whatever the influences, it’s a sick roller with tons of atmosphere! Check it out and look for the EP dropping Sept 15th.

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Premiere: Samurai Breaks – Star Dog

Tsunami Bass Weight boss and all around badman Samurai Breaks steps up on our latest premiere as he drops a hefty two-tracker for Fragmented Recordings. Punchy halftime riddims and some serious low end on this one; not hard to see why Sam has been getting support on the mighty Noisia Radio! Check it out and watch for the release dropping September 7th via all good digital stores.

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Displaced Paranormals – Secret Space LP [Inception Audio]

Displaced Paranormals have been moving from strength to strength this year with a nice remix for Counterpoint and a track featured on Renegade Hardware’s Final Chapter LP, and now they bring us their debut album on long standing partner label Inception Audio.

The first thing that stands out about the album is the atmosphere. From the very beginning the pace is gentle, and the soundscapes are detailed and stark; a big bag of dancefloor rollers this most certainly is not. The crew have recruited promising underground producers like No Rules, Torn and Picota & Kumbh to help them out, and the resulting twelve tracks carry a grimey, industrial edge, which drives along despite the comparitively relaxed beat structures.

Fans of the kind of moody halftime grooves found on Samurai Music, Ronin Ordinance and the like will find plenty to enjoy here, and the level of sound design and imagination puts this up there with the best producers in the scene. As an added bonus, they’ve given DNB Dojo an exclusive free track to celebrate the album’s release; check out Gremlinz collab Paradox below (download via Soundcloud or Google Drive) and hit up Juno to grab the full album right now.


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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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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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DNB Dojo Podcast #10 – Aug 2017

Another month has rolled by so blog owner Hex is back on the platters that matter with a fresh mix of all the latest D&B. This mix includes cuts from Brain Crisis & Kije, Kit Curse, Frederic Robinson, 1991, Lockjaw and many more with beats spanning liquid, techstep, halftime, 160 jungle and much much more. There are also cuts from Nurtured Beatz Grenfell LP, the proceeds of which will go to survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, so please do head over to their Bandcamp store to pick that up and benefit a really vital cause.

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

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