The wait is finally over – DLR’s debut solo LP Seeing Sounds has arrived, and it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be! Having deliberately avoided listening to the preview clips I sat down with the full LP for a start-to-finish listen, and I wasn’t even remotely disappointed.
Understandably enough, this record feels like a spiritual successor to Octane & DLR’s 2012 LP Method In The Madness. The same cinematic sampling and atmosphere is present, as is the sonic detail and creativity. DLR’s sound has been refined further over the past three years, and the album seems less bent on complexity for complexity’s sake; the emphasis seems to have shifted slightly towards groove and weight over technicality, and the compositions really shine for that emphasis.
Above all else this is a record that firmly injects the funk back into the techstep sound, from the playful basslines of Charlie Brown and Break collab Human Error through the chunky lower tempo breakbeat workout of I Found Out and plenty more besides. There’s room for some surprises too, such as the melancholy liquid of Hydro collaboration Empyreal and the jazzed up tech of Minds Eye. There are also two fantastic MC-led steppers, with Gusto repping the mic on The Author and Fokus providing vocals on the politically minded Ask The Question.
Many of the LPs best tracks have been pressed loud and proud onto four slabs of that black crack we love so much, and having given them a thorough mix on the decks I’m happy to attest they all sound as tight and punchy as you’d expect from the Dispatch family. The vinyl releases are already sold out via the Dispatch Store, though the digital version is still available and the vinyl plates can all be picked up via Redeye.
The first couple of listens give me the distinct impression that this is an album which will grow and grow over the coming months while we wait with anticipation for DLR’s collaborative LP with Mako. Check out the clips below and go grab yourself a copy of what is undoubtedly one of the best D&B albums we’ll hear this year.
The eleventh installment in our exclusive mix series comes from Avantgarde alumni Hanzo & Randie. The duo celebrate their forthcoming track for the label’s Theory of the Avantgarde LP with a tasty mix focussing on the techier end of the D&B spectrum but still with place for melody and soul. Check it out via Mixcloud below or head to Hearthis.at for streaming and Dropbox for a download.
Inward – Monochrome (Avantgarde dub)
Cern – Tiamat (Dispatch)
Ulterior Motive – Longshot (Metalheadz)
Dabs – Objection (Dispatch)
Break & DLR – New Design (Symmetry)
Concept Vision & Segment – Deserted (Blackout)
Alix Perez, Phace, Misanthrop – Burn Out (Shogun Audio)
Enei – Hot Plate (Critical)
Dabs, ArpXP & Grotesque – Keep Shut (Avantgarde dub)
Spinline and Hydro – Perimeter (Demand)
EBK – Strength (Dispatch)
Break – Love So True (Symmetry)
Enei and Emperor – Liberation (Critical)
Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Tetra (Redlight)
Concept Vision & Segment – Mindshaker (Blackout)
Signs – Desert Storm (Cause 4 Concern)
Maztek – Limber (Renegade Hardware)
Noisia – Running Blind (Vision)
Stealth ft. Codebreaker – Nightfall (RAM)
DLR and Script ft. Martyna Baker – Blue room (Metalheadz)
Hybris, Quadrant, D-Struct & Iris – Graphene (Dispatch)
Animal Defection – Arcadia (Avantgarde dub)
Kasra & Enei – Breath (Critical)
Blu Mar Ten – In Your Eyes (Ulterior Motive Remix) (Blu Mar Ten)
DLR, Nymfo, Need for Mirrors and HLZ – Totem (Dispatch)
Heavy1 & P-Fine – Melee (Avantgarde dub)
Hanzo, Randie & Bayou – Totentanz (Avantgarde dub)
Foreign Concept – Ask yourself (Critical)
Sabre and Riya – Injustice (Critical)
Leeds-based Dispatch Recordings have been a steady part of the D&B scene for well over a decade now, with a well deserved reputation for releasing tough, rugged tracks from some of the best names in the scene. Never compromising their integrity in favour of current trends, the label has truly gone from strength to strength over the past few years with a couple of massive LP releases and a slew of singles and EPs to boot.
Early releases on the label saw tunes from the likes of Hidden Agenda, NOS and Q-Project taking centre stage, not to mention a rather tasty collaboration between Chris.Su, Stress Levels and Ant TC1.
Having gained this momentum, 2008 saw the label step up a gear with their first release from the mighty Break (collabing with Survival on the Sick/Warnings 12″). From here on in the discography speaks for itself, with a massive selection of great tracks from the likes of Hybris, EBK, Amoss and Octane & DLR (who’s 2012 LP Method in the Madness was widely hailed as one of the albums of the year).
All of this brings us up to the present day and the rather excellent release last month of Survival & Silent Witness’ LP In From The Wild. Every bit as high quality as the Octane & DLR album last year, and lavishly released on both vinyl and CD formats, the tracks below speak for themselves.
So if you don’t know Dispatch, sit down and have a browse of the back catalogue!