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.
How time flies! It seems like only yesterday we received the first Addictive Behaviour release in the Dojo inbox, but 2018 sees the label celebrating five years in the game, and their output has never been stronger. To mark the occasion they’ve dropped a massive compilation LP featuring twenty three brand new tracks alongside fourteen classics from the back catalogue, so we thought it mighty appropriate to ask the label bosses for their Top 5 from the Addictive vault. Read on for their choices…
EastColors is back on Demand Records this month with a characteristically deep and detailed EP and we’re pleased once again to present an exclusive! Keeping the basslines dubby and the beats skippy, this is a proper deep stepper; 100% vibes. Hit up your favourite digital retailer to grab the EP right now…
Our latest premiere comes courtesy of veteran Saint-Petersburg producer EastColors as he returns to Demand Records for the Vaska EP. Title track Vaska blends tight breaks, modulated bass hits and shimmering melodic elements for a mixture of beauty, funk and low-end heft. Serious attention to detail on this one; fans of Break, Total Science and the like will be all over it. Check it out below and look for the release dropping October 27th.
Regular readers should know we’re big fans of the vinyl format here at Dojo HQ; in an age where music has become increasingly disposable, a well produced and curated slab of wax stands as something slightly more tangible than the ever increasing slew of digital releases. Of course it sounds cracking too!
Enter Swiss label Demand and their new vinyl EP series, Requisites. To quote their own press release, “every release symbolises one particular requisite that you’d evidently need to rock the so called black gold”, starting with the obvious; headphones. It’s clear that the Demand crew hold vinyl in as much esteem as we do, and everything about this release from the artwork to the tracks themselves suggest this is a labour of love.
On to the music, and we’re treated to a diverse array of tracks from artists mostly familiar from the label’s back catalogue. Phil Tangent and Phase both turn in respectable deep but edgy rollers that are well worthy of your attention, but the limelight falls elsewhere for us. EastColors and Tiiu team up for a super deep and moody outing on Naked Skin, synths stalking through the track as Tiiu’s delicate vocals shimmer above a sparse beat.
Perhaps the best of all though comes from the super team of Big Bud, RoyGreen, Protone and Dual, who join forces to deliver blissfully laid back vibes on Gospodi. Taking a few notes from the Calibre playbook without resorting to cheap imitation, this one just grows on us more and more with every listen. Hypnotic stuff. Check out the clips below and hit up the Demand Store to grab a copy right now.
2016 is a weird time for D&B labels. With the tendency towards more rapid release schedules and the increasingly crowded marketplace, it can be tough for a label to forge a distinctive sound and identity while fighting not to get lost in the wash. With that in mind, Addictive Behaviour’s accomplishments are all the more impressive.
With a commitment to quality over quantity, an eye catching visual brand and some seriously heavyweight artists on the roster, Addictive Behaviour are already floating to the top of the pack after two short years with no signs of stopping. Read on for our top 5 from the label’s back catalogue.
Enei returns to Critical with his sophomore LP following up 2012’s excellent debut Machines. Rituals feels very much like a continuation of the themes found on Machines, with perhaps a slightly broader array of tones reflecting the evolution of Enei’s production in the intervening years.
The moody tech which formed so much of his debut LP (and indeed his discography) is still present here on tracks like Bad Proof and Iron Curtain, but there are also a selection of brighter cuts featuring some excellent vocalists. Frank Carter III (who you should recognise from Ivy Lab’s seminal tracks Oblique and Afterthought) turns in a typically deft and soulful performance on the playful, jazzy Moment of Now, while Charlie Brix steps up to the mic for up front roller Homeworld and the darker and more introspective Just One Look.
It wouldn’t be a Critical LP without a few label roster collaborations and these don’t disappoint either. Kasra & DRS get on board for a pessimistic ode to the music industry on Lessons, providing one of the album’s punchiest tracks. Elsewhere Foreign Concept gets involved on the more melodic and contemplative Forgotten Planet,fellow Russian producer Eastcolors joins Enei for the raved up flavours of Jungle Business and neuro badman Mefjus climbs aboard for the typically relentless Dead Space.
Polished and punchy but with more than enough variation to keep things interesting, this is a solid album from a producer at the top of his game. Check out a minimix of the album’s tracks below and hit up the Critical Store to pre-order on your pick of physical and digital formats; the LP drops Friday 4th December.
Following on from their rather tasty single for the label last year, Handra return to Addictive Behaviour with new material that continues their style for techstep with a deeper vibe and unusual elements.
Lead track Eyes On You sees the duo team up with Mortem for a track that marries a solid tech backbone of beats and bass with a truly weird vocal line…either the vocalist was pretty agitated during the recording session or the boys have done some pretty wacky processing, but either way the results catch your ear immediately and provide a unique take on the D&B template.
Next up comes a remix of Coat Of Dust from Russian techstep maestro Eastcolors. True to form this is crisp, techy and warm, with tough beats contrasting nicely against the more melodic elements. Last but by no means least, Far Away sees Handra going in super deep on a beautiful slice of mellow halftime D&B with a soft, melancholy air and tons of feeling. It’s definitely the least dancefloor friendly tune on the release but also the most heartfelt, and it’s definitely out favourite on a really strong EP.
You can pick up the EP on vinyl or digital direct from the Addictive Behaviour store right now. Check out the clips below and go grab it!
Nottingham-based producer Ed:it steps up on the latest release for Addictive Behaviour, providing a fresh lick of sonic paint for Eastcolors Mad Day alongside two fresh new tunes of his own. Super punchy and highly detailed drums are the order of the day here, with three techy stompers to choose from. The frenetic percussion of the Mad Day remix makes it our pick of the bunch – check out the clip below and look out for this on vinyl from Feb 23rd with digital to follow from March 9th.
Demand Records aren’t messing around this year – hot on the heels of a great single from Mortem comes a new 3-track from Eastcolors showing off the first track from his forthcoming LP for the label alongside two other new beats.
Could Be provides a chunky slab of techstep with an instantly memorable vocal and some great bass modulations, followed by a big stomping remix from Hybris that’s sure to do the damage on the dancefloor. The real star of the show here though is Traffic & Noel collab Dreams; a perfect combo of smooth MCing, crisp breaks and kinetic bass. The keen eared among you may remember this from S.P.Y’s recent Essential Mix for Radio 1, and we suspect you’ll be hearing it a whole lot more over the coming weeks! Check out the clips below and pick up a copy on vinyl or digital now!