Top 5: Quentin Hiatus

Prolific US experimental beatsmith Quentin Hiatus launches the fourth volume of his I’m Neither Quentin Nor Hiatus album series into your living rooms this week, so to celebrate we asked him to pick through his extensive musical catalogue and pick his five favourite beats.

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Exkursions 002 [Lossless]

Lossless Music, Soul Intent’s increasingly diverse and incredibly reliable imprint continue their Exkursions output with the second EP to drop on the sub-label since its inception early last year. Better yet, they’ve tapped Concealed Identity for production duties, and as usual for one of our favourite producers he doesn’t disappoint.

First up comes a remix of Soul Intent’s No Answers from the previous Exkursions EP. Where the original’s drums had a sharp-edged urgency, Concealed Identity has spun intricate percussion into subtle reverb, dulling the edges for a more euphoric, tripped out sensibility that perfectly matches the floaty pads and atmospherics of the original. The proverbial cake gets a layer of icing later in the progression via a tasty reese bassline swelling out of the mix in warm, jubilant waves. Lush!

Concealed Identity original Zahir delivers more along similar lines; the use of space and reverb that have characterised most of his recent output (see his absolutely sublime 12″ for Narratives if you missed it last year…) is present again here in abundance, and his compositions are rich and detailed. Think Conduct but with an edge of Photek and you’re in the ballpark.

As if two slices of cinematic D&B deepness weren’t enough, Soul Intent brings us a slice of 140BPM heat to close the EP via his Odyssia alias. Hints of the stripped-back tone of early dubstep and a steppy garage-ish beat characterise a tune that straddles the dancefloor and more cerebral space with aplomb. Another tasty selection from a label we can’t get enough of! Check out the clips and hit up the Lossless Bandcamp to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.

Premiere: Onism Qi – Fear Death Love

Today’s exclusive comes courtesy of our pals at Free Love Digi and new project Onism Qi! Representing the combined musical intelligence of Quentin Hiatus, Thomas B and Ghast and bringing the thoughtful, experimental flavours, their new EP Null Explodes is something of at treat.

Lead track Fear Death Love brings together a face melting bassline with tripped out melodies and quirky vocal loops, spread over a progression from halftime D&B, down to something vaguely dubstep and up again into a fearsome crescendo finale. Some tune! Watch out for the EP dropping 6th March at all good digital stores.

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Audeka – Lost Souls LP [Methlab]

Methlab’s foray into record label territory over the past few months has resulted in some seriously impressive releases, and their latest from US production trio Audeka is undoubtedly the label’s most ambitious project to date.

Unsuprisingly given Methlab’s heritage and artist roster and Audeka’s previous work, the first thing that jumps out about Lost Souls is the quality and detail of the sound design. Bassline production geeks will definitely find plenty to be impressed by here, but despite the technicality the results are powerful and emotionally resonant. Neurofunk and it’s related lower-tempo cousins can sometimes become a biggest-bassline dick-waiving contest and thankfully Audeka have avoided falling into that trap.

There’s also a versatility on show here with the album’s first two tracks alone showing a huge range, jumping from dubstep-esque industrial-tinged destruction to beautifully soft trip-hop. Most of the tracks on the LP definitely lean more towards the former than the latter, but even within that signature Audeka sound of groaning bass distortion and heavy hitting percussion there’s room for tons of experimentation with both rhythm and sonic texture.

Most ambitiously still the album attempts to tell a complex story of a man’s journey from a small village through a forbidden underworld as he attempts to rescue his wife from the clutches of a dark magic. Given the album’s largely instrumental nature it’s difficult to imagine this narrative coming across without prior knowledge, but it’s nonetheless interesting to bear this in mind when listening to the sounds and moods of each track; it certainly conveys a journey through myriad fantastical landscapes.

Overall if you like your electronica a little avant-garde and have ever enjoyed productions from the likes of Broken Note, Amon Tobin or Noisia then this album is absolutely essential listening. Lost Souls is available right now from the Methlab Bandcamp; grab it straight from the source and net yourself some attractive artwork posters into the bargain.

Joe Ford – All Of Us EP [Shogun Audio]

Joe Ford returns to Shogun Audio for a big new EP delivering detailed dancefloor neurofunk in spades. If you’re expecting much in the way of surprises you’ll probably be disappointed, but the tracks on show here hold the same appeal of Ford’s previous material, leaning towards the heavier end of his sound.

Standout tracks for us here at the Dojo are the titular All Of Us and the absolutely brutal Icicle collab Crossbreed; both of these should slay floors without any issue at all. For those who like their 140 there’s also a cheeky dubstep bonus track featuring the vocal talents of Miss Trouble. Tasty! Check out the clips below and grab this on vinyl or digital now.

Survival & Silent Witness – Trust No One EP [Dispatch Recordings]

Dispatch return with another top class techy release and this time it comes courtesy of Survival & Silent Witness. As you’d expect from these two the release offers up chunky slabs of tech funk with plenty of groove and bassline pressure; title track Trust No One edges it out for us as the Dojo favourite, but Cutter is no slouch either, slicing up the dance with an ominous bline and crisp snares a plenty.

On top of the two fresh tracks the EP also features the results of the recent remix contest, with Renegade Hardware’s Minor Rain serving up the winning remix of Fletcher alongside the minimal drum workout stylings of Depth Mode’s remix and Diecast’s atmospheric 140 flex. Can’t say fairer than that really!

As usual you can cop this one on vinyl and digital from the Dispatch Store right now; general release to follow from Monday. Get to it!

Evol Intent – Middle of the Night Remixes

Following on from a most successful Middle of the Night remix contest, Evol Intent collect the five winning entries along with a trap remix from Knick’s Bro Safari side project. The full spectrum of genres is covered nicely here, with Bl4ck Owlz turning in a hefty dubstep mix and Jamestown Thieves & Dirty Doses bringing the electro house vibes on their mix.

The highlights here at the Dojo proved (unsurprisingly) to be the higher tempo reworks. Jorts’ purple/future bass rework provides a fantastic reimagining of the original with a very different tone, while Teknian & ZeroZero give the track a crisp new D&B mix that borrows heavily from the Break school of production. The star of the show however has to be the madcap breakcore edits of the Fantastic Planet remix, which carries a simply unbelievable level of detail. Badass chops!

Check out the clips below and head to your favourite store to buy the release; it’s also available for free via Topspin.

Marso & Gala – Promise / Monochrome [Blu Mar Ten Music]

Blu Mar Ten welcome a pair of fresh new talents to their ever expanding roster with a new single from Siberian duo Marso & Gala. Promise kicks things off with massive, sweeping, Vangelis-style synths that lead an airy composition set at 170BPM but bearing little in common with most D&B. Gala’s vocals drift effortlessly over the mix, icing a lush cake drenched in ambience and style.

Monochrome drops the tempo to dubstep territory but once again eschews genre tropes in favour of more shimmering melodies and atmospherics. Gala takes a slightly more prominent role this time, with warmer bass driving the tune onwards under her rich, soaring, reverb-drenched vocals. Check out the clips below and look for this at your favourite digital store now.

AMIT – 4 Stories EP [AMAR]

Fresh material from AMIT is always a treat, and a relatively rare one at that. The elusive producer seems content to buck the trend that sees many in the scene releasing new records as much as twice a month, preferring to bide his time and hone his craft, and the quality of his output is a fierce testament to that ethos.

As with the previous two releases this latest selection of beats comes via AMIT’s own AMAR imprint, and spans a variety of tempos while exploring his very distinctive sound. Hunted follows in the footsteps of Human Warfare and Killer Driller, blending ominous vocal samples and old school reese bass with a half-time gate and more than a hint of techno as the kick drums drive the tune on. Chalvey Town meanwhile brings a dub vibe to the table set over another techno-esque kick beat, bending the 170BPM tempo to his unusual template and sending it out to space.

Frequent vocal collaborator Rani pops up on Survivor, which sees the tempo drop to 140BPM and the tone back in haunting, creeped out territory. Last but not least, Mind Over stops the flirtation and jumps into techno territory with both feet, to great effect. Check out the clips below and look for the EP on vinyl and digital via the AMAR Bandcamp.

Bensley – Fandango [RAM Records]

RAM’s latest signing Bensley makes his debut on the label with a warm, melodic instrumental with soft yet soaring leads and a nice chunky bassline. The track should prove a useful DJ tool for those who like to genre-hop, dropping tempo from D&B in the first half to a garage-y shuffle in the bridge, before returning to that familiar 170BPM. Check out the track below and hit Beatport to grab it now!