Our latest mix comes courtesy of Russia’s Fakemachine who serves up a label showcase mix for his Harder & Louder imprint. True to the label’s aesthetic the mix brings together all the shades of hard D&B with neurofunk rollers and crossbreed mashups a plenty; this one is not for the faint of heart! For more from Harder & Louder hit up their website, Soundcloud or Facebook.
Today we’ve got a brand new production / label project for your listening pleasure in the form of AGN7 Audio (that’s pronounced ‘Agent Audio’ if you were wondering; perhaps a sly nod to Trace’s DSCI4?). Coming at you from the US, AGN7 is the new brainchild of established producers SPKTRM and Ronin Selecta, and their press release sets out the bold aim of “adventurous” drum and bass.
While the first single perhaps isn’t defining any new sub-genres quite yet, it’s certainly ignoring current trends in both US and worldwide D&B; a cynical attempt to top the Beatport charts this is not. Mantra brings to mind 2005-era hard, break driven techstep with a deep, ominous build-up giving way to harsh chopped up drums and massive bass hits. Over on the flip Vignette takes the foot off the gas a little, easing back on the bassline heft to focus on cleaner break manipulation set to creepy atmospherics. This one brings to mind darker material from the back catalogues of Seba, Paradox or Blocks and Escher, and it’s totally up there in terms of quality too.
Overall this is a solid statement of intent from a duo we’re looking forward to hearing more from! Check out the clips below and hit up Beatport to grab the release now, with other stores following in two weeks time.
Where do you go when you’ve been a mainstay of the D&B scene for twenty years, with six albums already under your belt and a back catalogue spanning Moving Shadow, Renegade Hardware, your own immensely successful imprint and plenty more?
If your name is Dominic Angas aka Dom & Roland, you head into the studio and write possibly your best album yet for none other than the mighty Metalheadz. As one of few labels with both the pedigree and the reputation to match Dom himself, we can’t think of a more perfect home for Dom’s work, and anyone who’s heard Goldie hyping the album over the last year will know they feel exactly the same way.
There’s always the risk with any album from a producer this established that the results will prove either too far from their style or too close to it, but thankfully the line trodden on the enigmatically titled Last Refuge of a Scoundrel sits perfectly within these boundaries; recognisably Dom, but pushing his style in new and intriguing directions. Those new directions are found most prominently on vocal tracks Sacrifice and Sirens Song, featuring Natalie Duncan and Robert Manos respectively. Both tracks blend Dom’s talent for heavy hitting, detailed percussion with a softer and more melodic side lent from the immensely talented singers he’s recruited, and they make a welcome change from the instrumentals of the rest of the LP.
That’s not to say in the slightest that said instrumentals become tedious; from classic Dom smashers like Tone Poem, Steam and Hive collab DMT through the hip-hop infused vibe of King of the Hustlers and out into more playful tracks like A New Renegade, there’s plenty of variety and every track is presented with that match of precision and scuzz that makes the Metalheadz output some of the best in the scene. The layers of drum distortion and bassline growl on even the lighter tracks give this a punky edge that ultra-clean modern mixdowns so often lack, and that’s just the icing on a very, very delicious cake. Check out the clips below and hit up the ‘headz store to grab the LP on vinyl, CD or digital now.
As Dispatch draw close to their landmark 100th release their latest main-label offering treats us to some stunning reworks from Gerra & Stone’s Unbreakable EP, and as usual from Ant TC1’s seminal imprint the results are among the finest underground D&B in the scene.
First up, Dublin legend Zero T is on hand to turn in a rolling liquid refix of title track Unbreakable. The soft vocal flourishes and melancholy melodies of the original are still present and correct, but the quirky drums and off-kilter bass of the original have been swapped out for a thoroughly trademark Zero T bongo roller break and warm sub textures. This one is sure to prompt smiling faces and dancing feet, and there’s an instrumental mix included for good measure.
When it came to the thoroughly Photek-esque vibes of Plates there was only ever one production team we wanted to hear on the remix so we were more than happy to see Blocks and Escher on the buttons. The duo flip the script on this one, dishing up a moody, stripped back take which swaps the chopped up drums of the original for an ominous percussion routine that keeps the tension bubbling away.
Last but by no means least, Mako brings his signature funk stylings to Almost U with a new version that is all about the drums. This perhaps isn’t the most adventurous mix in terms of changing up the original melodic elements, but when the parts are this lush and the new drums are this sharp it’s still impossible to argue with.
Another sick release from Dispatch! We’re hugely looking forward to hearing what they have in store with DIS100… meantime you can check out clips of the EP below and hit up the Dispatch Store for full length previews and WAV/MP3/12″ purchases.
Methlab’s foray into record label territory over the past few months has resulted in some seriously impressive releases, and their latest from US production trio Audeka is undoubtedly the label’s most ambitious project to date.
Unsuprisingly given Methlab’s heritage and artist roster and Audeka’s previous work, the first thing that jumps out about Lost Souls is the quality and detail of the sound design. Bassline production geeks will definitely find plenty to be impressed by here, but despite the technicality the results are powerful and emotionally resonant. Neurofunk and it’s related lower-tempo cousins can sometimes become a biggest-bassline dick-waiving contest and thankfully Audeka have avoided falling into that trap.
There’s also a versatility on show here with the album’s first two tracks alone showing a huge range, jumping from dubstep-esque industrial-tinged destruction to beautifully soft trip-hop. Most of the tracks on the LP definitely lean more towards the former than the latter, but even within that signature Audeka sound of groaning bass distortion and heavy hitting percussion there’s room for tons of experimentation with both rhythm and sonic texture.
Most ambitiously still the album attempts to tell a complex story of a man’s journey from a small village through a forbidden underworld as he attempts to rescue his wife from the clutches of a dark magic. Given the album’s largely instrumental nature it’s difficult to imagine this narrative coming across without prior knowledge, but it’s nonetheless interesting to bear this in mind when listening to the sounds and moods of each track; it certainly conveys a journey through myriad fantastical landscapes.
Overall if you like your electronica a little avant-garde and have ever enjoyed productions from the likes of Broken Note, Amon Tobin or Noisia then this album is absolutely essential listening. Lost Souls is available right now from the Methlab Bandcamp; grab it straight from the source and net yourself some attractive artwork posters into the bargain.
It’s been a couple of years since we caught up with BRKCHK but the man has been plenty busy in the intervening years playing shows around the Houston area and running Multilux Recordings with partner in crime Amathyst. We jumped at the chance to get him onto the Dojo Mix series and the resulting mix is a pleasure to listen to; deep, liquidy selections from Random Movement, Technimatic and more plus a couple of tasty new BRKCHK productions. Wicked stuff!
If you’ve ever wanted to show some support for a fine independent D&B blog by wearing a rather fetching t-shirt then now is your chance! We’ve teamed up with Everpress to offer DNB Dojo t-shirts featuring our distinctive logo in one of four different colours, but you’d better hurry – you’ve got just under a month to order one while the getting is good! Check out the other colours below and hit up the Everpress store to order now.
Turin clubnight and label The Dreamers bring us another exceptional release from Milan’s Treega! Frenetic drum programming and hints of footwork and bassline merge with the 170 sound on Bit Kid. This one is sure to rip up the dance. Check it!