J Bostron – One Foot Skankin Free EP [Free Download]

Glasgow based Ragga Jungle beatsmith J Bostron delivers another nice little freebie with a package of 5 tracks delivering upbeat jungle and dubwize vibes. His refixes of Cutty Ranks’ Fully Blast and Popcaan’s Ravin deliver sunshine drenched reggae vibes, and elsewhere the EP brings some slightly heavier jungle beats on the remix of Serum & Northern Lights Don’t Let Go. Check out a couple of the tracks below and grab yourself a free download here!

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Donny & Unknown Error – Songs From The Living Dead [Barcode]

The Barcode camp deliver a characteristically stomping 12″ from Donny and Unknown Error! First up South African hardstep veterans turn in a seriously rough and tough remix mashing up Donny’s The Forgotten and Symptomless Coma. The drop on this one is vicious!

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 Over on the flip Donny steps up for remix duties on Unknown Error’s War Games, stripping back the hammering drum lines to let the grimey, warped bass breath, and chucking in some chunky distorted amens for good measure.

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Grab these tracks on strictly limited 12″ vinyl or digital, out now!

In The Mix…Nickbee

Nickbee steps up to provide a special edition of the regular NeurofunkGrid Talents mix series, serving up just shy of an hour’s worth of beats including tunes from Noisia, The Upbeats, Phace and Mayhem. The mix is packed full of dubs too, so expect the unexpected, and expect it dark and heavy.

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Hibea – White Owl [IM:Ltd]

IM:Ltd keep the flow of quality releases coming with a top notch EP from Hibea. Title track White Owl is full of character, from the iconic chord stabs to the frantic steel tom syncopation when the break switches gear. Hitting a nice sweet spot between depth and dancefloor sensibilities, this is definitely a tune DJs will be reaching for time and again. Over on the flip Phil Tangent steps up for the remix duty and provides a characteristically soulful refix of The Form.

For the digital lovers, the packages also includes a couple of digital only bonus tracks, with the original mix of The Form and a superb Fade remix of White Owl, bringing the vibes with a techier bassline and a rolling jungle-infused beat. Check out the previews below and look out for this one dropping April 29th.

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Om Unit Edits Vol. 2 [Cosmic Bridge]

Om Unit continues his travels into all things not quite D&B with another pair of excellent 170BPM explorations for Cosmic Bridge entitled Om Unit Edits Vol. 2. Weird and wonderful synths and frantic half step syncopation are the order of the day here, blended into a musical tapestry like only this man can. Check it out and grab yourself a copy from the Cosmic Bridge Bandcamp page. 

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Chris Octane Q&A [CO:RE]

Ahead of the first release on his brand new label CO:RE, we caught up with Chris Octane to talk about the label, his musical approach and his dream collaborator.

DNB Dojo: I was kinda surprised to hear that you and DLR were going your separate ways after the success of the Method in the Madness LP. Was this always the plan, to use the album to launch solo careers, or did circumstances conspire to keep you apart?

Chris Octane: It was a crazy time after the album. It was never the plan to split. We didn’t have a plan. The Method LP was the pinnacle of OD and we put everything into it.  Throughout the process we explored a lot of new ideas and territory and I think we grew in different ways. That naturally led to us playing with new ideas outside of the OD project. DLR moved to Bristol to be nearer family and I think having a break from each other actually pushed the solo side further. It all seems like natural progression and I’m happy we left OD on a high. We’re both open to working together and we still have our Cymatic project. In the not too distant  future there’ll likely be new material as a duo but we’re both really enjoying the freedom of solo work right now and we’re pushing our own boundaries as individuals which is what we needed to do.

DD: Tell us a bit about your plans for CO:RE; what prompted you to launch a label of your own, and what sort of stuff can we expect to hear from the label over the next few months?

CO: CO:RE is a little place for me to experiment. The label is about my journey through sound design and music. I’d thought about it for a long time before the solo project started but after speaking with Ant TC1 and James DLR after the OD split, now seemed like the right time to dive in. I’m still very much part of Dispatch. We’re all good friends and it’s great to have the support. I can’t imagine that would be the case in any other industry!

DD: The first release on CO:RE sees a certain disparity between the two tracks, with the A side providing more traditional drum & bass kicks while the B side sees you off exploring more experimental territory. Any plans to move away from traditional drum & bass, or will one foot always be on the dancefloor?

CO: Synthetics is aimed more at the floor on first listen but it is quite deep when you study it. It’s entirely built from Synthesis and the vocal fits the idea that nothing is as it seems. I’m trying to put more depth and meaning into my work as well as a heck of a lot of engineering and hopefully some listeners will appreciate that. Gaia’s Dub has a lot in common from a design perspective but I wanted an opposing sound. Something to show my exploration and a bit of my obscure design side. It sounds quite minimal but the way everything is chained is the reason for that. It’s designed to push and pull itself and everything interacts. To carry on the natural theme I arranged it live and left in a lot of the natural hiss and pops from the circuits it went through.

Both tracks actually sit at the same tempo. I don’t think I could move away from D&B entirely. It’s engrained in me, but I’ll definitely try to push the boundaries of the norm with CO:RE. I’m also aiming to push collaborators outside their usual comfort zone. I have a few great collabs lined up and it will be brilliant to see how their artistic minds work in a no holds barred environment!

DD: Sound design and texture have always played a big part in your work both with DLR and on these new solo productions. Care to give us an insight into your creative process? What do you draw on for inspiration and how do you get from an abstract sound design to a more structured overall tune?

CO: I try to find a theme or a kind of story in the new work. Not that it’s always apparent to the listener but it gives a little more definition to the path the music will take. I have to be able to imagine what the sounds represent otherwise they’re pointless to me. It’s a nice way to explore my own mind and make music artistically. Something I can only do as a solo artist with my own imprint. But then again sometimes I can just hit something with a stick and it sounds really good.

DD: If you could pick any musician to collaborate with on a future release, who would it be and why?

CO: Aphex Twin. It would be nice to feel like I’m a little less obscure in my writing than I do now! After writing for so long as a duo / quartet  it’s quite unnerving to finally be baring myself like this. I have no idea where I’ll end up or how people will react but one thing for sure is that I’m really enjoying writing and being myself entirely. I’m expecting mixed reactions to some things but I think I need to be myself. I’m putting a lot of work into the music but I don’t want CO:RE to be anything more than my journey through everything I love about music / sound.

Check out Chris Octane’s brand new single below and watch out for it dropping via his new CO:RE imprint on May 6th!

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The Upbeats – Primitive Technique [Vision]

After weeks of hype and several single releases the date draws near…The Upbeats’ long awaited 4th LP for Noisia’s Vision Recordings drops April 29th. In anticipation the full audio is now up on their soundcloud, and they’ve saved plenty back, with some of the previously unheard tracks proving to be the best on the album.

Collabs are the order of the day, with Armanni Reign stepping in to provide vocals for the monsterous halfstep of Drum Stop and the hip-hop infused Again I. Elsewhere fellow Kiwis Trei and Dose provide additional production on Thrasher and Tangerine respectively.

Better still, while the album provides neurofunk tearers in ample measure space is still left for a few explorations of other territory, such as the natural drum breaks and melodic emphasis found in Falling Into Place and the hypnotic, techno infused vibes of Monogram. Definitely one of 2013’s must have albums!

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In The Mix…Mikal

Mixtape action from Mikal ahead of his appearance at Metalheadz Bristol on April 27th! True to form the man keeps things deep and dark with a 40 minute mix that hits a sweet spot for fans of the likes of Ulterior Motive and the current Metalheadz sound. Check out the mix below and check out details of the event over here.

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Alix Perez – Annie’s Song (S.P.Y Remix) [Shogun]

I was pretty disappointed when I heard Annie’s Song since Mr. Perez seems to have abandoned everything distinctive about his style in favour of producing pop music. Good job then that we’ve got S.P.Y on remix duties, giving it his trademark D&B roller treatment. The samples are really nicely used and fit the higher tempo well, and the tune hits a tidy sweet spot between dancefloor vibes, deeper musicality and (dare I say it) pop sensibilities. Get in Carlos!

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SEVA – Shapeless EP [Free Download]

Rising talent SEVA brings us his debut release via NeurofunkGrid and it’s a bit of a doozy! Crisp, clear drums and monstrous bass are the order of the day on both tracks, and the attention to detail and texture of sound design is top notch for such a young producer. One to watch! Better still, the release is a free download – grab it here.

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