A new book hits the shelves this month aiming to be the definitive tome on all things drum & bass. Written by DJ Magazine editor-in-chief Carl Loben and former editor-in-chief Ben Murphy, Renegade Snares charts the history of D&B from it’s earliest origins right through to the present day via interviews with a dizzying array of scene players. To find out a bit more, we caught up with Carl and Ben to chat D&B memories, favourite interviews and what it takes to distil decades of history into a manageable read!
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.
Ortem have been really impressing us here at the Dojo since their first release landed in January and their latest EP is no exception. The label’s fourth release sees owner and previously sole producer Metro step aside to welcome the elusive Books to the catalogue, and the results are an absolute treat for fans of the deeper end of 170BPM music.
The EP’s style centres around halftime D&B but brings in influences from IDM and the leftfield electronic arena, with floaty pads and glitchy drums giving the tracks a distinct sound from the Clarity copycats churning out gloomy “dark” halftime.
The compositions are sparse but still detailed, with elements given plenty of space to breathe, and the results are soft and faintly hypnotic. Our favourite here at Dojo HQ has to be the calming microfunk-esque Pseudo with it’s perfect combo of percussion and ambience, but all four tracks are top notch. Check out the clips below and hit up the Ortem Bandcamp to grab a copy right now.