Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sun & Bass – 10 Years Selection

Sun & Bass continue their tradition from last year and release another stellar compilation featuring cuts from the festival’s regular DJs, with a host of big names on board. The first half of the compilation leans heavily in the deep liquid direction, with a collection of rollers and steppers from Triad, Fracture & Mark System, Seba, Alite & Arp XP and more. Tokyo Prose steal the show for me with the sublime, twinkling piano and crisp breaks of Goodbye Hands…truly a tune you could lose yourself in.

The second half of the selection sees the heat turned up with harder beats from Klute, Chris SU and Nymfo, Dom & Roland and more. Ulterior Motive turn in a strong, squelchy stepper with Fragola Invisible and Audio Habitat collaborates with Mad Vibes for a good old fashioned dirty roller. The LP closes up with a few more soulful numbers from dBridge, Code 3 and Zero T for good measure.

Check out all the beats below and watch out for the release dropping on digital from December 16th. Don’t forget you can also pick up the sublime Calibre/Paradox remix 12″ from Surus now!

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Picota – Take This Base / Secret Base [Brain Network]


Brain Network are back with another polished slice of neurofunk badness from Picota who returns to the label for a second single. Take This Base kicks in hard with punchy snares and a reese which is definitely taking no prisoners; aggressive mid-range tones are the order of the day here and the modulation is honed to a tee.

Secret Base continues the trend, building atmosphere on the intro before a heavy steppers beat slaps the tune into gear with squelchy bass and some nice sonic detail as different percussive elements echo in and out of the mix.

Watch out for this one dropping on Beatport from December 9th and everywhere else from December 23rd.

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Detail – Time Stretching / Pressure [Commercial Suicide]

Commercial Suicide rounds off a great year with a single from Ukrainian producer Detail. Showcasing the balance of technicality and musicality that fans of the label have long appreciated, Time Stretching lulls you into a false sense of security with mellow guitar licks before the deadly sub stabs hit you in the chest.

Over on the flip, Pressure builds the tension with a dubbed out, haunting intro; to call this moody would be the understatement of the year. The drop kicks the tune into gear with angular percussion, heavy sub and little else, proving that sometimes less is definitely more. Watch out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital from December 16th.

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December Mixtape Roundup

With so many good mixes touching down over the past few weeks it seemed only right to do a wee roundup of the best we’ve heard here at the Dojo. So in no particular order…

Joe Ford presents the 41st episode of the London Warehouse Events mix series with a short, sharp selection of dark techy D&B from the likes of Noisia, Maztek, Mefjus and Nickbee, including some new (and unlisted) tunes. JF dubs perhaps?

Mikal celebrates the impending release of his Immaterial EP for Metalheadz with a 30 minute promo mix featuring tracks from the EP alongside beats from Jubei, DLR, Villem and more. Watch out for the release dropping from December 16th.

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Chris Renegade presents the 23rd episode of the Lifted Music podcast featuring brand new cuts from Aeph, Memtrix, Prolix & Gridlok and more, alongside a new dub from Inward Phase, a classic from the Konflict vaults and plenty of random half-cut banter.

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While actually recorded back in October the audio from Fracture’s appearance at the Boiler Room Machinedrum special has recently surfaced on Soundcloud, and as usual it’s an eclectic treat. Definitely one for the deep heads to scope out.

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To celebrate the recent release of his M-Theory EP for Renegade Hardware, Maztek brings us a 30 minute mix packed full of top class techstep and neurofunk belters.

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Warm Communications head honcho EHL has recorded a nice mix of all things deep ahead of the labels latest release from Mako.

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Finally The Upbeats celebrate their recent appearance at Japan’s Hangover D&B night with a mix full of tidy D&B belters and a few unexpected surprises.

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Voyager – FAQ [Tempo]

Tempo Records return with a brand new 12″ featuring three tracks from Pete Parsons aka Voyager, a name which older heads may recognise from his releases on Good Looking and Creative Source including the classic Hypersleep.

After something of a break from the scene Pete is back with tunes that embody the classic era of ‘intelligent’ D&B while embracing modern production techniques. FAQ certainly has Good Looking written all over it, with classic rolling breaks layered with simple sub bass and beautiful chord structures.

LuvBLoved takes the listener on quite a journey, swapping rolling breaks for a more chopped up style of beats while retaining soft, mellow synths and vocals to create a soundclash between the harder edge of jungle and the softer edge of IDM. Finally Big Picture drops the tempo for a lush slice of downtempo, piano led ambience.

Have a gander at the Tempo Records page to see the man describe the tunes in his own words. Check out the clips below and look out for the single dropping on vinyl from December 10th and digital from December 24th.

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Quadrant & Iris – Spinout [Commercial Suicide]

US duo Quadrant & Iris have been busy lately with releases for Dispatch, Intrigue and Avantgarde and now the duo grace Klute’s Commercial Suicide imprint with a new 12″ featuring their signature style of rolling beats and weighty bass.

The titular Spinout sees Quadrant on a solo outing, delivering a tight, techy roller embellished with some floaty synth action in the breakdowns. Next up the pair collaborate on Depth Sounder, featuring an insistent bass riff and super detailed percussion which is sure to have you nodding along. The EP wraps up with a deeper, halftime number featuring the additional talents of Calculon and Homemade Weapons, filling in the sparser beats with twin basslines and echoing vocal snippets.

Check out the clips below and watch out for the release dropping on vinyl and digital from December 16th.

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Altered Perception – Don’t Test [Transmission Audio]

Transmission Audio return with their second release featuring more dark, techy beats. Don’t Test sees label runner Altered Perception carving out a nice grimey sound, with crisp breaks and a gangster rap sample characterising the tune over a solid bedrock of modulated sub.

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Over on the flip Automate offers up a slightly looser drum sound with plenty of funk layered over a playful bassline with a hint of menace.

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If you like what you hear grab yourself a copy at your favourite digital outlet!

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Afterlife – Haters / Fist of Fury [Brain Network]

Brain Network continue their relentless neurofunk onslaught with a new release from Afterlife. Haters hits home with a super crisp break and a cheeky rap sample before the meaty warped bass kicks in with a satisfying fuzzy bitcrush on the very end of the growls.

Over on the flip Fist of Fury brings a heftier beat to the fray with an ever-changing artillery of bass modulations that should keep a floor on it’s toes! Check out the clips below and go grab the release – it’s out now on Beatport and will be dropping at all other stores from December 16th.

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Q&A – NC-17 [Mainframe Recordings]

Toronto’s NC-17 has racked up quite the rep with a string of releases for the likes of Viper, DSCI4 and Renegade Hardware, showing a versatility of style and the sort of attention to detail that elevates D&B producers above their peers.

His latest EP for Mainframe Recordings continues that trend with a diverse array of tracks and some nice collaborations. Ahead of the release we caught up with him to find out about his hookups with Ray Uptown, his favourite techstep tunes and the Toronto scene.

DNB Dojo: The title track from your EP features some really slick vocals from Ray Uptown, how did that collaboration come about? 

NC-17: To be honest I don’t really remember how we hooked up. I know I had heard some of his work in the past and I thought his material was very interesting & unique especially from his leftfield approach. I know we linked up on Facebook and talked about potentially working on something together in the future. A few months had rolled by and I received a message on Facebook Chat from Ray letting me know he was headed to the studio. Luckily I took that day off work and was working on something that I had laying round for ages which was a leftfield minimal Hip- Hop influenced DnB track. I had been trying to finish it for a while but I always felt it was lacking the vocals that the track truly deserved. So I sent him the WAV & the rest is history!

I let Ray know my that my  Hip-Hop influences growing up were mainly the West Coast sound, especially from artists like MC Eight, Ice Cube, Spice 1, Ghetto Boyz, Easy E, Too $hort and others from the early to mid 90’s. I let him know exactly what I was after. Then literally 2 hours after sending him the WAV he had a clip of what he had done and I was in love. Literally he hit a home run out of the park! Once I finished it I felt it was it was a perfect fit for Mainframe for the EP I was working on. When I sent it to Disaszt he fell in love with it and we both felt that ‘Sex, Drugs, Lies, Alcohol & Video Tape’ was a perfect title for the EP.

Ray Uptown is a seriously talented vocalist and it was a pleasure for me to work with him. We also just finished two other tracks, one which is forthcoming on a major label which I can’t talk about just yet.

DD: Sleaze Disease sounds like a nod to the old school techstep sound of late 90s Virus releases. What’s your favourite record from that era?

NC: The late 90’s & early 2000’s are easily my favourite time period for the techstep sound in Drum n Bass. I think mainly because back then tracks had a lot more soul & funk. I feel a lot of today’s tech step is missing that. If I had to pick one record that captures that era perfect it would be Funktion by Ed Rush & Optical. I think that record captures the true essence of that era & it gives me chills every time I hear it. Also, it would be a crime if I didn’t mention the Matrix Sleepwalker LP. From the first track to the last its pure brilliance, definitely the soundtrack to any Jedi!

DD: How’s the Toronto scene these days? I understand there’s quite a thriving ragga jungle scene in the city, does that crossover with the more modern D&B scene or is it quite segregated?

NC: The Toronto scene can be up & down. There’s no doubt the promoters out here love their old school, which makes it really hard for artists to get work, especially some of the newer producers/DJs coming up. But I must say it is slowly getting better, especially compared to a few years back. More promoters are starting to think progressively, even though some promoters cherish and will never let the past go, no matter what. But, to be honest, we have so many great promoters now that this is less of a problem than before.

I also want to add that, at the moment, Toronto has been producing a lot of great artists such a Marcus Visionary, Rene La Vice, Nusense, Stranjah, Artifice, Statistic & many others.

DD: NC-17 used to be a duo but I believe it’s down to just Peter these days, how and when did that come about? Do you miss the partnership?

NC: Yeah, we actually haven’t been together as a group for quite a while now. I started the group in 2005 and had a few releases on various labels and Korosiv was part of another group and jumped ship to NC-17 in 2007. To be honest, from 2007 to 2009 we worked very well together, but after a while both of our tastes in music started changing and it became a struggle for both him and I. Every year we would work less frequently together and our musical differences just took their toll on both of us. For a very long time, at least for me, it didn’t feel like a group. Both of our sounds were totally different to a point where very little music was getting done together. Not to mention that both of us were also at different points in our lives. We kept holding each other back creatively so we decided it was best not work together. Being in a group is very much like a marriage and some times it just doesn’t work out for whatever reason.

I don’t miss the partnership because now I am free to make whatever I want to make without having to have someone else’s approval on everything I do. Partnerships are great when both artists are on the same page creatively, but when it’s the opposite it can be a creative nightmare. Since being solo I have been able to make five times the amount of music I was making before. There’s no room for being lazy because it’s all on you!

DD: What’s been your highlight of 2013?

NC: The highlight of my year was my time spent working hard in the studio. There is so much in the pipeline I can’t wait to announce all of it.

DD: Any Christmas tips from the NC-17 household?

NC: Stay safe and remember to always to help the less fortunate. Christmas is a time where I find people don’t stop to think of people who are in way worse positions than us, so if there is anyone reading this, even if its some thing little like buying some one a sandwich or donating to the Salvation Army, please help people who are going through a tough time through the holiday season.

Check out the clips of the Sex, Drugs, Lies, Alcohol & Video Tape EP and watch out for the release dropping on Mainframe Recordings from December 16th.

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Mayhem & Logam – Orion [Free Download]

Mayhem & Logam give us a taster of forthcoming D&B releases with Orion, a tidy mix of crisp drums, stark synth stabs and crunchy bass. This one is more about groove than a huge drop, but the attention to detail in the breaks and synth work is impressive. Check it out and grab yourself a free download below.

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