If you feel like doing something charitable this festive season (and you think that Bob Geldof should do one) then Critical Music have the answer! Kasra’s label have collected together a full album of tracks from the label’s usual suspects and all you have to do to get your mits on it is head over here and donate some money to Oxfam.
The LP features a selection of stomping new tracks from Enei, Mefjus, Foreign Concept, Halogenix, Emperor, Kasra, Hyroglifics and Klax, and the quality is every bit as high as you’d expect from the Critical stable. Check out the clips below and give generously!
Ingredients return with a fresh new EP from liquid impresario Eveson. The opening track sees him team up with Halogenix for a moody stepper replete with deft touches, from the warm bass to the simple yet effective melodic flourishes and through to the vocal snippets which ice the cake during the breakdowns.
A Dystopian Romance heads for brighter, more rolling territory with uplifting synths, crisp breaks and more choice vocal highlights. Rounding the release off, Deluge drops the tempo for a soft, atmospheric breakbeat outing; pure armchair joy. Check out the clips below and watch out for this one dropping from June 23rd.
Critical Music are back with a vengeance with the Underground Sonics LP, a various artists compilation straddling all the styles of Drum & Bass via 18 tracks of cutting edge 170 BPM production from the label’s extended family. The compilation sees many artists exploring new territory away from their usual styles, to interesting effect.
Dub Phizix turns in an unusually mellow and unusually rolling beat in the form of The Clock Ticks, while Ivy Lab up the ante compared to their previous releases with a tougher and more energetic beat paired with the musicality we’ve come to know and love from the trio. Foreign Concept teams up with DRS to turn in the dark, skanking, hip-hop influenced halfstep of Falling Stars while Sam Binga and Redders blend trap, footwork and ragga to great effect on Lef Dem.
Elsewhere we’re treated to two surprising collaborations from tech heavyweights, with InsideInfo and Mefjus turning in a surprisingly minimal slice of tribal tech with Repentance while Noisia & The Upbeats put aside their usual aggression for a hypnotic deep liquid roller on Little Fling. Fans of brutal tech need not worry though – Stealth and Phace are both on hand to provide the dancefloor darkness, as are Emperor & Centra with the huge digital exclusive The Saboteur.
Enei and Kasra turn in a selection of characteristically heavy hitting beats, while Stray and Halogenix look to the experimental/hyperactive end of the spectrum with their individual takes on frantic drum syncopation with a footwork bent. Finally Blocks and Escher give Enei’s Thinline the old school tech workover with a huge beat and some serious menace on the low end.
Overall it’s hard to argue with this as the first essential release of 2014. Check out the tracks below and grab yourself a copy now from the Critical Surus store.
Early last year Kasra’s Critical imprint put out a tasty little 12″ from Sabre, Stray and Halogenix featuring the beautiful tune that is Oblique. The material was released to much critical acclaim and was generally lauded as one of the best tunes of the year (amongst some impressive competition too). Since then the trio have been quiet, mainly focusing on their individual solo activities. But just recently they announced the formation of a new alias for their collective work; Ivy Lab. Naturally this announcement also came with news of a new release, which is due out on Critical Music Feb 4th.
Afterthought on the A-side brings back the vocal talents of Frank Carter III to great effect, and is a beautiful (if somewhat predictable) soulful, understated roller. Very much Oblique-the-second. Over on the flip, Ivy Lab prove themselves far from one trick ponies with the dirty, weird, robotic half step sounds of Brat. To round the package off, those that pick up the digital release get a rather tasty House rework of Brat from South London Ordnance, taking the excellent sound pallet of the original and bringing it down to a slower, more methodical beat.
Check out the tunes below and watch out for the full release from your favourite vinyl or digital outlet!
To celebrate the recent release of the beautiful Follow You Around / Contract single on Blu Mar Ten Music, Stray has compiled a top notch mix spanning all the styles of drum & bass. Starting out with some smooth liquid rollers, then venturing off into darker territory, and featuring some absolutely outstanding tracks such as Amit‘s Killer Driller before finishing up with the A side of the single, this is thoughtful d&b at it’s best.
So much quality Drum & Bass has been hitting the speakers lately that we felt a little round up of highlights was in order!
First up, Techstep godfather and Metro Recordings head-honcho Matrix has teamed up with up and comer InsideInfo to produce Quattro and they’ve come up with something quite special. A sparkly, twinkling melody builds the song up during the intro leading up to a firm drop and some brilliant moving bass synths, with the flashes of high end keeping things sounding bright. Ice Beam on the flip on the other hand is a solid dancefloor roller with a healthy growl to it. Watch out for the release on Mar 12th.
Shogun sister label SGN:LTD have got a brand new 12″ from Technicolour & Komatic who have delivered a rough amen roller in the form of We Were Always One, also out Mar 12th.
The official video for Sabre, Stray & Halogenics feat. Frank Carter III – Oblique has dropped this week. The song has been receiving props left, right and centre and is probably the best piece of deep liquid dnb that’s been released in the last 5 years. We don’t throw around words like “essential” lightly but this tune is just that. Look out for the release on Critical coming Feb 27th, backed with a tasty garage remix from Synkro.
Last but certainly not least, Glasgow D&B stalwarts Symbiosis have just released Episode 4 of their show on Radio Magnetic, featuring 2 hours of top quality beats including a guest mix from Edinburgh DJ and Special Records chief, Special Ed. Check it out over here.