Children of Our Stars – Flanell Sessions

The beauty of Drum & Bass as a genre has always been the variety of styles and influences that can fit within its scope – united by tempo and perhaps drum patterns but otherwise hugely varied. Munich duo Children of Our Stars certainly exemplify that ethos, bringing strong influences from orchestral music and singer-songwriter territory and blending them with the familiar structures and 170 rhythms we know and love.

The pair have just dropped their debut LP and the resulting eleven track effort shows off their talent for soulful, evocative melodies and enthralling musical journeys. The use of live vocals and instrumentation really lends a natural edge to their sound, providing a welcome antidote to the sometimes overly digital sound of Drum & Bass in 2021.

As for the vibes, the tracks are uplifting, beautiful and engaging from start to finish, with particular highlights coming on Home, Take Us Back and First Snow. Check out the clips below and hit up Bandcamp or Spotify to buy/stream Flanell Sessions right now, and if you can’t get enough soulful vocal D&B then keep an eye out for an EP from Children of Our Stars on DNBB Records very soon.

Dedman – Blue Note EP [Four Corners Music]

Dedman’s latest EP sees him follow a string of releases for Lost, Parallel Depth and his own imprint Subconscious Audio with perhaps his strongest work to date via Melinki’s label Four Corners Music.

Inspired by the legendary Blue Note sessions run by Metalheadz (though somewhat indirectly – Dedman was only born two years after the events began), the tracks showcase a confidence unusual for a producer as young as 24. From the up-front floor-filling sounds of Ash & Pallor and Lead, via the dark depths of Dreidle and the drumfunk atmospheres of Sail Away, finishing up with the halftime dread of the title track, there’s certainly variety to be found here.

There’s also a refreshingly old-school style to the production, with crunchy breakbeats and grimy distortion rather than laser snares and harsh digital harmonics. Nice to see that sound still has traction with the younger artists as well as the pipe & slippers crew!  Check out the clips below and hit up Beatport or Bandcamp to grab a copy now.

Trilo & Vegas – Rush (Kemal Remix) [Bad Taste]

Kemal’s return to the scene continues! Following the release of a slew of remasters and a handful of new tracks via the Kemal & Rob Data Bandcamp, the neurofunk pioneer touches down on Bad Taste with a fresh remix for Trilo and Vegas.

This new take eases off on the raw bassline aggression of the 2019 original, focusing instead on a hypnotic synth lead for maximum earworm energy, lending a taste of old-school rave to the modern D&B sound. Delicious and tantalising…here’s hoping for plenty more where this came from. Check out the track below and hit up the Bad Taste store to pre-order a copy right now – the remix drops Apr 30th.

Premiere: John Rolodex – Until the Sky Takes Me (Loomis Remix)

Loomis doing what he does best on today’s exclusive, dialling up the atmosphere with a super deep, jungle-tinged remix for John Rolodex! This is out now on Bandcamp and Spotify as part of the MACH X 02 EP, with full release dropping tomorrow.

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Ben Verse – Crashing Cars EP [Rebel Music]

The often debated status of MCs within the D&B scene is certainly a hot-topic on certain D&B-focused Facebook groups and message boards, where detractors are prone to question the artistry of the scene’s lyricists. We’re sure said-lyricists have better things to do than concern themselves with online bad-mouthing, but nonetheless the emergence of more MC-led releases seems to provide a suitable riposte to the naysayers.

Ben Verse joins that burgeoning tradition with four great new cuts for Rebel Music. Production comes courtesy of a selection of up and coming talents with Wingz, Inner Terrain, Creatures and Screamarts providing a beat each. All four producers provide weighty but retrained sonics, allowing the lyrical content space to breath and Ben ample opportunity to flex his vocal chords.

That vocal style is nothing short of compelling too; smooth and controlled, varying from melancholy and introspective to pressing and insistent. If Verse hasn’t already caught your attention via his previous appearances with the likes of Maztek, Icicle, Calyx & Teebee and of course Pendulum then this EP surely should; hit up Beatport to grab it right now.

Black Sun Empire – Driving Insane Remixes [Blackout]

Black Sun Empire’s early output holds a very special place for a lot of D&B heads of a certain age, an exciting time when the relatively nascent neurofunk style was developing in interesting new directions, and the Dutch trio’s trance-infused take on the sound captured imaginations and dancefloors alike. Nearly twenty years on from the release of their debut Driving Insane LP they announced a remix contest, allowing producers the chance to provide fresh takes on these yesteryear classics with the stems to no less than five tracks from the album. But would these new remixes do the originals justice?

Thankfully the competition inspired some superb work and the resulting remix EP provides varied and entirely worthy adaptations of the source material. Myselor’s contest-winning take on Breach opens the EP, retaining the recognisable twin-leads of the original but imbuing them with additional melodic elements that utterly change the vibe of the track. Brooding and atmospheric is replaced by uplifting and heroic, elevating the feeling to truly epic levels.

Russian scene stalwart EastColors delivers a respectful take on title track Driving Insane, keeping the flavour intact while providing a modern switch on the drums and bassline elements with a touch of foghorn for good measure. Australian duo V O E serve up the heaviest dancefloor number with a mashup of Don’t You and Stasis, landing the punches with their aggressive modern neuro sound.

Rounding out the EP, Waeys dives deep into hypnotic territory with unusual rhythms and driving drums on his experimental remix of Stasis. Finally Rillium gives us a short and sweet 3-minute take on Arrakis which crescendos into intricate drumwork and pulsing synths, fading as quickly as they rise.

Varied and exciting reworks from all concerned; the Driving Insane Remixes EP is out now at Beatport and available to stream on the usual platforms.

Loomis – Blurred Horizon EP [Modern Conveniences]

If this is the first time you’re coming across Loomis (or indeed Modern Conveniences) then we urge you to stop what you’re doing and seek out some listening; both artist and label have been forging a creative path along the outer boundaries of Drum & Bass and have released some of the most exciting music we’ve heard over the last 12 months.

The latest from both parties comes in the form of the Blurred Horizon EP, and from the very start the vibes feel epic, but not in that “hands in the air” way associated with main-room dancefloor D&B; the sound here is of a more cinematic scope, majestic synth swells, reverb drenched drums and a subtle, muted euphoria in the melodies. Imagine the soundtrack to something like Drive filtered through the prism of autonomic electronica and you’re somewhere close.

Enthralling, uplifting and enveloping, the four tracks on show here (plus a delicious remix from label boss Akuratyde) showcase the talents of a composer and producer we can’t wait to hear more from. Check out the EP below and watch out for the release coming March 19th via digital stores.

Premiere: Strago – Las Moscas 2021 VIP

We’ve got dark, brooding halftime for your ears on today’s premiere as Strago returns to Anticlockwise Music with the VIP of his 2014 release Las Moscas. Trading the original’s uptempo rolling vibes for a much sparser arrangement, the new VIP bumps the atmosphere up to eleven…wicked stuff. Look out for this (and a remaster of the original) dropping March 24th at digital stores!

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Quadrant & Iris – Libration EP [Guidance]

Behold the myriad influences on Drum & Bass production; it’s not every day you see a techstep EP inspired by choice beverages. It perhaps comes as no surprise that Seattle residents Quadrant & Iris are big coffee drinkers but apparently they’re also partial to a cocktail or two based on the track titles here.

Whatever they’re drinking at the moment, said libations have spurred them on to create some of their best work yet. Channelling classic 90s D&B influences and modern production techniques to terrific effect across four groove-laden rollers, the EP spans three dancefloor damagers and the more soulful vibe of Fernet. Better still, all the tracks here showcase the somewhat lost art of the second drop switchup, something we’re big fans of here at Dojo HQ.

As if we weren’t already itching for clubs to reopen, we seriously can’t wait to hear these ones smashed out on a big system. Essential listening; check out the EP below and hit up Beatport or Bandcamp to grab it right now.

Subcriminal – Dragon EP [X-AMNT]

Regular readers will probably already have noticed that while we cover a bit of everything here at DNB Dojo, we’re generally not a fan of the more jump-up/up-front end of the sound. Every now and then though we hear something drawing on that energy which is too good not to shout about…and that’s exactly what we found on the new Subcriminal EP!

Released a few days ago via Bristol imprint X-AMNT, the exuberant style on show here is both refreshing and fairly unique, ignoring the often po-faced aesthetic of dark and moody D&B in favour of an uplifting and effervescent focus on melody. Make no mistake though, these aren’t cookie-cutter liquid rollers either, and therein lies their unique appeal.

Clearly drawing on influences from outside of D&B (if we had to guess we’d say future garage and videogame soundtracks), Subcriminal is carving his own niche with this one. The EP delivers dancefloor focused stompage on Dragon Egg and Incubator, and melodic joy via Flying Dragon and Movie. We’ve had this on heavy rotation here at Dojo HQ and we suggest you do too – check it out below and hit up the usual digital outlets to buy or stream right now.