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.
This week’s Dojo Damager comes courtesy of Black Sun Empire & State of Mind with the ferocious Kill That Noise. Taken from their brand new EP The Violent Five (which we’re guessing is a little nod to Tarantino and The Hateful Eight), KTN delivers an absolutely slamming slice of tech D&B; simple but effective bass swells and an old school rolling break backed up by a hypnotic, bleeping lead melody make this a sure fire smasher. Weighty!
Blackout Music couldn’t really be a more perfect home for Pythius’ New Order; when I first heard the opening chords of lead track Executor it instantly took me back to 2005 and the trancey intros of old Black Sun Empire material. Following in the footsteps of the dutch trio, Pythius has succeeded in crafting a potent mix of uplifting melody and heavy duty bass, bringing a level of musicality to the sometimes sterile world of neurofunk production.
Be it on the angular, staccato rhythms of Driveyard or the hypnotic arpeggios of Coruscant, the EP’s tracks keep things varied, with plenty of room for expression and experimentation. There’s even space for a deep, moody roller at the close in the form of Convert (which the label have kindly given away for free to celebrate the release).
Futuristic, majestic and destructive, this is everything that high energy dancefloor D&B can and should be! Check out the clips below and head to Beatport to grab the EP now, with worldwide release following from Oct 30th.
To say that Current Value has a pedigree in the hard D&B scene is something of an understatement; the German producer has been knocking the fuck out of sound systems worldwide for almost two decades and judging by his latest work for BSE’s Blackout imprint he’s in no danger of losing his touch.
Our pick of his latest EP for this week’s Dojo Damager is the appropriately punishing Pulverized. Bringing together a classic technoid bleep melody with savage bassline pressure and a relentless drum line, this tune does exactly what it says on the tin. Ooooooft!
Frequent Phace collaborator, one half of Neosignal, and general all around neuro don; when it comes to credentials few hold a set as impressive as Misanthrop, and while most of his work is done in collaboration his solo releases are no less worthy. Following on from the impressive Greed of GainEP a year and a half back, Misanthrop now touches down on Blackout with four fresh new tracks exploring his unique take on the neurofunk style.
Interestingly the EP’s opener and title track is easily it’s most restrained and most rhythmic in nature, focussing on punchy drums and progression over aggressive mid range; definitely one for building things up before smashing them down later in a set. The rest of the EP heads for more peak-time neurofunk territory, with Capitalism, Big Data and Rock’n’roll all kicking down the door with the appropriate level of absolute fury! Stomping stuff.
Check out the clips below and look for this on Beatport now, with full release following from May 4th.
Telekinesis return to BSE’s Blackout imprint with five tracks of pure dancefloor danger! Coppa returns for the titular Fight Club which treads the same territory as Dojo favourite Pocket Full of Drops to great effect, with Bias and Jab proving more than effective neuro weapons to boot. Big, bad and not even a little bit subtle, this is peak time floor slaying D&B at it’s best; check out the clips below and grab the EP from Beatport right now.
Black Sun Empire’s Blackout Music imprint is steadily establishing itself as one of the premier sources of up front dancefloor neurofunk and their latest EP from The Upbeats proves no exception to that rule with five huge tracks including a collab with InsideInfo featuring some tasty LFO modulations and a nicely swung beat.
Asides from the full roll of Rituals and hefty riffage of Def Cresent we’re treated to a nice bit of skittering drumstep on Replacement, while Corposant provides one last riffy stomper for good measure. Check out the beats below and grab this exclusively from Beatport now, with full release following from May 19th.
To celebrate the upcoming release of the Judgement Day EP on BSE’s Blackout imprint (and because they love to tease) Telekinesis are giving away Eyes Closed via their Facebook page. As we’ve come to expect from the Slovenian duo it’s a slickly produced slice of neurofunk with an infectious hook and some serious bass texture. Check it out below and grab yourself a tidy freebie!