One for the jungle historians…the iconic State of Bass book has been revised and reissued for the first time since it’s original publication. Written by Melody Maker journalist Martin James and originally published in 1997, the revered tome covers the origins of jungle and D&B and explores the social, cultural and musical roots of the genre we all love so much.
The revised edition bolsters the original content with previously unpublished interviews with the likes of Fabio, Goldie and LTJ Bukem, plus coverage of Roni Size’s Mercury Prize win for New Forms. General release is coming in April 2020 but if you can’t wait til then you can grab a copy right now over at the Velocity Press website.
In the mid-90’s, the sound of Jungle/Drum & Bass was forever changed with the arrival of the Techstep style, showcased brilliantly by Spider Net’s Awake. Spider Net was an alias used only once — for this particular release — by none other than No U-Turn label boss and collaborator, Nicholas “Nico” Sykes.
A fat B side by any standard, Awake is a 1996 jolt of Techstep that stomps heavy and hard. The rough and rude bass here is characteristic of the No U-Turn sound for the time, and is quite honestly one of my favourite sounds in the world. Protean drum sampling establishes a decisively wicked groove comprised of three break flavors. Sparse samplings of complementary sounds provide just enough atmosphere to round out this monster of a classic.
No U-Turn’s catalogue boasts a heap of bangers like these, making it easy to see how the label’s trademark style indelibly marked the scene.
Unchained are back in our hotseat today with a sick new tune taken from their Year of the Rat compilation LP. Dave Owen and Root for the Villain team up on a hefty slice of slow/fast halftime business…jungle inflections and sub boom all the way. Look for the release dropping Mar 13th at all good stores!
Samsara Beats are currently winding up to release a massive new compilation LP called Detonation, so naturally we had to grab a premiere! Label boss HNGVR brings the halftime weight with a lilting, entrancing melody paired with a healthy dose of hip-hop swagger. Big! Look for this coming Mar 16th at digital stores…
Experimental vibes on today’s premiere, with VRUM bringing an epic sound to his new single for Subplate Recordings. Burial-esque vocal manipulations, sweeping synths and an insistent drum line combine for a track that feels ethereal…emotional stuff. Look for this one coming Mar 20th…
Tempo Records have been a steady presence on the scene since 2013, releasing a slow but inspiring selection of releases from the likes of Voyager, DJ Trax, Soul Intent and Digital. 2020 sees new ventures on the horizon including a brand new sublabel called “Speed”. To find out more we grabbed label boss Frodo for a chat…
Jazz Juice (previously known as Unit 1) was the ephemeral two-piece collaboration between Alex Reece and Wax Doctor, featured on the equally ephemeral Precious Material label formed by the steadfast Phil Wells, better known as Basement Phil (side note – an excellent account of the Precious Material label can be found over on God Is No Longer a DJ).
Jazz Juice’s self-titled song on their 1995 self-titled EP is a beauty of a tune beloved by those who are enchanted by its soothing vibes. This ramble through a languidly lush soundscape is speckled with the unmistakable Do This My Way break from Kid ’N Play that cleverly captures a cadence marked by 90s techno influence. Alex Reece and Wax Doctor employ an impeccable palette of colourful sounds, each one tastefully complementary to the last. Perhaps my favourite aspect of this tune is its clever phrasing, highlighted by alternations between just beats to beats with melodic backing. No doubt a unique track, give Jazz Juice a listen below to discover (or remember) what makes it so special.
Context Audio take things a bit less rolling than usual for their latest VA release, delving into the realms of halftime, autonomic and experimental 170. Today’s premiere comes from that release; Khords teams up with the mysterious Burns for an evocative journey through sparse drum rhythms and dubbed out sounds. Hit up the Context Audio Bandcamp to grab the Per Ardua II LP right now; all other stores follow on Mar 13th.
If you’ve been looking for a deep liquid roller then today’s exclusive is for you! Shibumi brings an effortless, shimmering cut to DLT9, a warm blanket of sub bass set to rolling breaks and understated, hypnotic melody. Wicked tune! Look for this coming Mar 6th at Beatport.
RMS and Dublic bring the jungle fiya on today’s exclusive! Dubwise guitar chords and old school chopped breaks all the way on this one…watch out for Inna Dub dropping alongside a selection of other RMS collabs on Inner City Dance’s Stereo One imprint, coming Mar 9thy at all good digital stores.