Fuj – Talus Nights / Aphotic Zone [AutomAte Deep]

AutomAte Deep keep things dark and moody as Fuj returns to the label with two fresh new tracks. Similar in style to his previous Terror Firmer single, Talus Nights and Aphotic Zone both feature ominous pads, throbbing bass and detailed percussion. Halfstep heads will love these! Check the clips below and grab a copy from your favourite store right now!

Lakeway – Arroyo / Things You Say [E-Motion Records]

Lakeway returns to E-Motion with more punchy, experimental 170BPM beats following the success of his excellent Digital Serotonin single for the label earlier this year. Arroyo kicks things off with a dark, futuristic vibe and a precise, heavy hitting beat; the kicks and snares really pop, and the unusual rhythm drives the track nicely.

Things You Say meanwhile channels influences from hip-hop and LA bass on the intro before dropping into a minimal drum workout with rapid hats and tons of syncopation. Fans of Stray’s recent hip-hop and footwork infused beats will definitely enjoy this one. Check out the clips below and grab this one from your favourite digital store now!

Chimpo – Out An Bad EP [Exit Records]

Exit Records continue to push the experimental sounds on the edges of 170BPM territory with a brand new EP from Manchester MC/producer Chimpo. Restless Leg Syndrome kicks the EP off with rapid fire footwork infused beats and vocal snippets, paired up with a cheeky rave stabs and hefty sub hits – bouncin’ stuff. Haymaker heads for darker and slightly less frantic territory with warm bass growls and a half-time rhythm, while title track Out An Bad sees the man providing vocals in his usual playful style over a tasty beat which owes some of its stylings to the LA Bass scene.

The EP also finds space for two collaborations with Diffrent alumni Fixate, both of which play with a fusion of dub, soca, trap and hip-hop to pretty stomping effect. Overall fans of the “slowfast” 170 style currently gaining traction in the scene will definitely enjoy this EP; check out the clips below and grab it on vinyl and digital from your favourite store now.

Andy Pain & Z-Connection – Take It / Horizon [Diffrent Music]

Diffrent continue their quest to bring weird new sonic manipulations into the world with a pair of new beats from frequent collaborators Andy Pain & Z-Connection. Andy Pain goes in on the slouching swing of Horizon, drawing on hip-hop and deep, downtempo electronica for a soft, shuffling beauty of a track.

Z-Connection amps things up on the flip, bringing together frantic jungle-breaks with a hint of the footwork aesthetic and some rapid fire vocal chop ups. Fans of Fracture’s recent output will love this one. Check out the beats below and head over to the Diffrent bandcamp to pre-order a copy; the release drops there from September 27th with full digital release to follow on October 6th.

Horo Vision [Samurai Horo]

Samurai make an unusual break from their vinyl releases to bring us a retrospective digital release of the previously vinyl-only Horo series. In order to stay true to the series (and presumably avoid angering the vinyl collectors who’ve spent a significant amount of cash collecting the original releases), the new digital compilation only features one track from each of the 12″s; the rest will remain vinyl exclusives.

As fans of the label’s output will expect, the tracks on show are deep, dark and experimental, pushing the boundaries of what D&B is or should be. ASC’s contributions prove varied and excellent as usual, bringing together lush deep-techno and ambient influences with his unusual percussive elements. Other highlights come from Synkro’s Kiyoko alias on the lush downtempo ambience of Track 3 and from Clarity & Overlook on the ominous and angular Rohypnol. Honestly though picking favourites is tough; every track on here is more than worthy of your time and attention.

The limited edition CD being offered has already sold out, but you can still snap up the digital bundle direct from the brand new Samurai web store. Check out the clips below and grab the release now.

Rockwell – INeedU / 1_2_3_4 [Shogun Audio]

Rockwell returns to Shogun Audio with a fresh single that is sure to prove as divisive as it is innovative. Indeed the comments on the various social feeds are already polarising between love and hate! A side INeedU knocks down the door with a four-four backbeat, a melodic set of hooks and vocals and a slightly hyperactive array of FX and sonic details – it’s difficult to take it all in at first listen. You can hear the influences of disco, techno, D&B, footwork and who knows what else being smashed together here; D&B purists are sure to loathe it, and in a way that only makes it more brilliant.

Over on the flip the imaginatively titled 1_2_3_4 continues where previous Rockwell banger Detroit left off, combining influences from Techno and Ghettotech with Rockwell’s ludicrously tight engineering and that D&B energy we all know and love. Punchy sub bass and rapidfire beats should have any party bou-b-b-b-bou-bou-bouncin’, though once again the purists will likely be unimpressed. Haters gonna hate; make up your own mind from the clips below and watch out for the release dropping on digital from July 20th and vinyl from August 4th.

Hyroglifics – Binary Vol. 1 [Critical Music]

Critical Music present their latest sub-imprint in the form of Binary – a digital only label that will seek to put out the freshest new music by embracing the speed and agility of the digital medium. The first release comes from Hyroglifics, who turns in three tracks at the cutting edge of the 170 sound.

Bay City Ballers Club melts down influences from Footwork, Jungle, Ragga, Dub and Hip-hop into a crazy bubble of drum syncopations and bass weight which is sure to resonate with fans of the latest beats from Sam Binga and Alix Perez. Killamanaman continues the trend as the sounds of LA Bass and Trap collide with the 170 template, massive synth lines giving the tune its character. Finally My Own rounds things out with a slightly more chilled out slice of Hip-Hop-esque beats with soft vocal cut ups and twinkling synths a plenty.

Check out the clips below and head to Beatport or Surus to grab this now, with full release following from June 16th.

Hidden Turn – Simon Says EP [Translation Recordings]

Translation Recordings continue to reinforce their position as one of the most innovative labels in the scene with a fresh new EP from Hidden Turn. The sounds on display here really challenge preconceptions of what kind of music can be made in the 170BPM arena and effortlessly combine musicality and heft in a way that few producers can.

The titular Simon opens up with ominous sub and a half-tempo beat before filling in the drum lines with extra beats and gradually seguing between acid basslines, floaty female vocals, wailing sirens and sampled spoken word – quite the sonic canvas! Next up Binary drops in with a beat that I challenge you not to nod your head to. Go on, try. Sheer groove on the intro alone, let alone once the main drop comes and the beats are falling all over the place amid an atmosphere of bouncy dub-imbued joy.

Champion Change heads for more ominous territory, with the intricate percussion of the previous tracks preserved but the bassline and overall tone of the composition replaced with a brooding (yet never sombre) aesthetic. The vocal sampling on this track combined with the higher frequency melodic flourishes prevent it from ever sounding like a dirge and break the mould of the usual moody D&B to boot.

Last but by no means least, What’s Going On hits that head-nodding drum groove once again with more low end growl and some deft glitching providing the background while eastern sounding strings take centre stage to round out an unusual and rewarding EP. Check out the tracks below and grab the EP from Beatport now, with full release following from May 26th.

Redeyes – Feeling This Way [Vandal Ltd]

Vandal Records return with the second release on their “Ltd” sub label from French producer Redeyes, who delivers a diverse 6 track EP. Fans of Redeyes’ previous work won’t be surprised to find a slick liquid roller opening the EP and Reflections ticks all the boxes nicely, simple piano and a crisp break offering us a Calibre-esque slice of deep D&B.

Feeling This Way continues the pattern, chopping up the breaks a bit and adding some soulful vocal snippets to the mix. But then things take a more interesting turn as we enter Get Me Paid. It seems Redeyes has been paying attention to the movements of the likes of Alix Perez and Stray recently as he serves up the joyously glitchy, jungle imbued Get Me Paid. 

The trap and juke influence continues throughout Man Down and Is You Rollin’. Finally Sleeprunner heads for super deep, almost ambient territory to close out the EP with a beautiful, melancholy composition packed with atmosphere. Check out the beats below and grab the EP from your favourite digital outlet now.

20/20 LDN – Om Unit, Deft, Hannah Faith & Ivy Lab

Good news for fans of the experimental 170 sound in our nation’s capital – Ivy Lab are starting up their own club night! Entitled 20/20 LDN, the new night aims to showcase “the emerging  landscape of fusions between Drum and Bass, Hip Hop, Footwork, and Future-Soul”. Not a bad aim methinks.

The first event on June 11th will feature sets from Om Unit, Hannah Faith and Deft (with support from Ivy Lab themselves). To celebrate, the team are giving away a series of free bootlegs, the first of which you can hear below as Sabre gives Jeru Da Damaja’s Come Clean a gritty halftime refix. Head over to the 20/20 LDN Facebook page for a free download of the track and check out the full event details here.