Category Archives: Releases

Mitekiss – Crate Six Seven [Hospital]

We first came across Mitekiss here at DNB Dojo back in 2014, when he released a crisp little single for now defunct Leeds imprint Sub:mission Audio. From there the young producer moved on to running his own label Goldfat, before catching the attention of first Shogun Audio and now Hospital Records. Now he lands on Tony Colman’s legendary liquid imprint for his debut album, and we’re pleased to say it’s everything we’d hoped it would be.

Naturally there’s plenty of that emotive liquid that we’ve come to know and love over the years, with higlights coming via Goolab and it’s effortless cascades of piano, the sultry licks of Body Move and the crispy breaks of Hutan. There are also tasty outings into different stylistic territory to enjoy though; rumbling tech aptly vocalised by frequent collaborator Mr Porter on Lenz and a nod to classic jungle on Human being the highlights.

At first glance Crate Six Seven could be dismissed as just another selection of D&B rollers, well-produced but forgettable, but there’s a lot of depth hidden away in these compositions; give it a few listens and we’re sure that the album will get under your skin, just as it has for us here at Dojo HQ. Check out the clips below and hit up the Hospital Store to grab a copy on vinyl, CD or digital now.

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Books – Station LP [Detuned Transmissions]

For all that we love a classic 2-step roller, one of the things that makes D&B in 2018 so exciting is the diversity of releases within the scene, and particularly those releases which blur the boundaries between what is traditionally considered “drum & bass” and other areas of electronica. So then, to the new Books LP for Detuned Transmissions…

Following on aptly from 2016’s Ensō EP for Ortem, the Station LP explores the deepest chasms of the 170 sound, working with ominous atmospherics and plodding halftime drums for a sound that owes as much to ambient, techno, industrial and noise as it does to D&B or jungle. That cross-section of influences has been melted down in some other-worldly sonic furnace, and the results are stark, ominous, bizarre and rewarding in equal measure.

From the creaking bass vibrations of halftime stomper Block1, via the throbbing textures of Endless Depths, through the biting drums of 7.7766 Gauss and out into the beatless space of Hopeless Unromantic, this album is a journey through soundscapes that while tonally dark and somewhat minimal are nonetheless rich and detailed. A desire to experiment with no consideration for the needs of the dancefloor or the DJ booth has led Books to produce a body of work designed purely for listening, and it’s all the more powerful for that focus.

The Station LP is out now at a variety of digital stores; follow this link to grab a copy.

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DYL – Infinite Dylays EP [Alphacut]

Alphacut has always been a great source of the deeper end of D&B, and their new EP from DYL is no exception. Infinite Dylays (do you see what they did there?) spans a wealth of deep and atmospheric 170 sounds, presenting DYL’s finest work to date, at least to our ears here at DNB Dojo.

From the spacey cinematic halftime of We, through the microfunk influences of Ioana and into the harsh, beatless industrial soundscapes of Space Program, DYL plays with both light and dark and a variety of different sonic textures. Over on the flip we’re treated to the ominous tones and skittering percussion of Mechanism, techno influences on Undefined and spooky halftime vibrations on final track Alpha.

Overall Infinite Dylays presents a proper journey through some of the richest experimental D&B you’re likely to hear this year, and it’s definitely worth your time. Check out the clips below and hit up Redeye to grab a copy on wax right now…

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Visages – ONYX008

Toulouse production crew Visages are only on to their second release, but they’re already making waves; following on from a top debut for Impact Music earlier this year they’ve just dropped a follow up for Flexout’s Onyx series and it features three cuts of razor sharp dark techstep that are well worthy of your attention.

Kicking things off is Para Days, featuring a simple but effective vocal hook from Messy MC; this one is a classic stepper with a solid progression and an infectious vibe. Next up the crew join forces with fellow Toulousian Trail for a hypnotic, techno-infused roller. Shifted is a proper earworm with one of the best synth leads we’ve heard in some time; subtle but absolutely vibing.

Last up, Mellow Honey brings a more soulful edge to the proceedings, keeping things minimal but adding some soft pads and sultry vocals to the crisp drums for a deeper workout. Overall it’s a great statement of intent from a crew that clearly have a lot of talent; we’re already looking forward to their next outing, wherever it might land. In the meantime, you can grab ONYX008 right now over here.

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Lockjaw – Human Research LP [Locked Concept]

It’s always exciting to see what an artist will do with the breadth of a full album, especially an artist who has been pushing the envelope as consistently as Lockjaw. In this case, the answer would be “a lot”; the Australian neurofunk producer has sidestepped the trap of producing twelve entirely-too-similar bangers and conjured a varied selection, while maintaining a coherent sonic identity and tone – no mean feat!

There are certainly a couple of more obvious modern neuro number in the form of title track Human Research and Current Value collab Passing, though both are interesting and impeccably engineered. Elsewhere though there are bizarre angular rhythms, jacking neuro-house, liquid-esque emotional rollers and cinematic, downtempo soundscape explorations. From dark and nasty to effortlessly effervescent, Human Research takes you on a journey through the vivid musical imagination of Lockjaw, and it’s a journey we’d thoroughly recommend you take.

The Human Research LP is out now on Locked Concept; check out the clips below and hit up Bandcamp to grab a copy now!

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Philth & Wreckless – Heimlich EP [Dispatch]

Philth and Wreckless are two artists we’ve been following for a long time now here at Dojo HQ. From promising early releases for the likes of AutomAte and Flexout Audio, it’s great to see the duo stepping up to release on Dispatch, and the result is some of their finest material to date, either solo or collaboratively.

The EP covers their style of dark, techy D&B through and through, with deeper but still chunky cuts like Heimlich Savage and On My Mind sitting alongside heavier outings Entropy and Surge Wave, the latter being an absolute weapon that takes influence from the classic Renegade Hardware sound of the mid 2000s. If you want four slabs of rolling tech funk then it doesn’t get much better than this! Check out the clips below and head to the Dispatch Store to grab the EP right now…

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The Upbeats & Noisia – Shibuya Pet Store [No Sleep Til]

A little while ago, The Upbeats launched a kickstarter for an ambitious project called “No Sleep Til…”. Their plan involved flying to unusual parts of the world with some collaborators and exploring their locales to see how it might influence the music made. Following the success of the fundraising campaign, and with help from Creative New Zealand, the first of the material has surfaced this week featuring regular studio pals Noisia, made on a recent trip to Japan.

Named after one of Tokyo’s busier business districts, Shibuya Pet Store sees both groups of producers easing off their sometimes full-tilt production styles in favour of something a bit more relaxed and unusual. From the weird melodies of the intro into the quirky main riff, this one definitely isn’t a high octane smasher, but the result is one of the most interesting pieces of music to come out of either camp for some time.

We can’t wait to see who else The Upbeats have been working with for the rest of the No Sleep Til… releases, but in the meantime you can check out Shibuya Pet Store below. Hit up your favourite store to grab a copy right now.

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RQ – Season of the Emergence EP [Blu Mar Ten Music]

A new release on Blu Mar Ten Music is pretty much always a cause for celebration, and their latest material from Kiwi producer RQ is no different, though it’s certainly a step away from the label’s usual fare.

Drawing influence from the likes of Photek, Source Direct and Blocks and Escher, RQ’s latest work (ahead of an album due on the label at some point in the future) is tense and ominous. Three of the four tracks are powered by a backbone of intricate percussion, with an array of finely processed breaks skittering in and out of the mixes. Building on top of the militant drum section, there are hints of psychedelia, touches of jazz, and a flirtation with melody that feels faintly threatening. Uplifting liquid this is most certainly not.

We could waffle on about the depth and emotional resonance of the tracks on show here but it feels complex and elusive enough that we’ll never do it justice, so just wrap your ears around the clips below instead. The EP is out now at the Blu Mar Ten Store.

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Tokyo Prose – Wild Grace [The North Quarter]

The arrival of a new album from Kiwi liquid maestro Tokyo Prose last month took everyone by surprise; in a world where even EP releases are often stage managed and teased one track at a time over a period of weeks, to find out that a full album was in the offing and the first tracks were available instantly was a breath of fresh air. But when the artist and the material are as good as this the hype is unnecessary.

Tempting as it was to jump in with an instant reaction review, this one seemed worthy of a little contemplation…so with the dust now having settled and Wild Grace having been on rotation fairly regularly for a month, how does it stand up in the cannon of Tokyo Prose?

The first thing to note here is that Tokyo Prose hasn’t lost his gift for understatement; as the only artist besides LSB who really gets close to Calibre in the evocative roller stakes, the “less is more” aesthetic of previous work is present again here. Moving piano chords and crisp breakbeats reign supreme, and any temptation for over-editing tracks has been ignored in favour of smooth progressions and disarming simplicity of form.

Wild Grace lives up to it’s title too; the tracks conjure a sense of natural beauty through soft, mostly organic instrumentation and a deftness of touch. Highlights include Trick of the LightInnate Motion and Impressions, all of which tread that fine line of mellow yet uplifting, beautiful but not cheesy, a kind of muted euphoria that is at once imbued with a sense of speed and also a sense of stillness.

If we have a complaint, it’s that the vocal work on this album doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by 2014’s Presence; whereas the Riya and Zoe Klinck collaborations of that LP are among the highlights, the instrumentals are definitely the tracks we’re more drawn to at Dojo HQ this time around. Overall though it’s still a stunning collection of music from an artist we’d love to hear from more often. Wild Grace is out now on vinyl and digital at all good stores.

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Shades – In Praise Of Darkness [Deadbeats]

When two of the best producers in their respective scenes come together on a new collaborative project it can yield something pretty special, and that’s definitely the case with Shades. Combining the D&B chops of Belgian native Alix Perez with the low slung bassline wizardry of West Coast USA’s EPROM has yielded three absolutely deadly EPs, and now their debut album In Praise of Darkness is upon us.

That title definitely rings true in the sounds on show here; as with previous releases the vibe here is very much dark rooms, oppressively heavy basslines and a militant, thuggish swagger. This is bass music’s answer to doom metal; an electronic Sunn O))) for 2018.

As you’d expect from previous output there are some obvious club ready rattlers; lead single The Saga stands out, as does the warped G-Funk of Faultline and the stomping bassline wobbles of Kolumbo. There’s plenty of exploration into more experimental corners of their sound too, including a cracking track featuring the vocal talents of Killa P.

Some listeners may find elements of this album a little esoteric compared to the more accessible beat-led rhythms found elsewhere in the scene, but if you’re looking for something a bit different then this is an impressive voyage through some of the best sound design around. In Praise of Darkness is out now on Deadbeats – hit up your favourite store to grab a copy now.

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