LSB and DRS should certainly need no introduction; the former one of the finest liquid producers of a generation, a rare pretender to Calibre & Marcus’s throne, while the latter is undoubtedly one of the best and most versatile lyricists in D&B. A handful of previous collaborations have proved their chemistry, not least the anthemic The View from DRS’s Mid Mic Crisis LP. So an LSB & DRS album should be something special, right?
Right indeed. The Blue Hour is an undeniable joy, a melding of minds and a proper musical journey. For one thing it’s almost equal parts soulful D&B rollers and equally soulful hip-hop beats; the yin and yang of an MC’s twin musical expressions filtered through the lens of the producer’s unique style.
Whether riffing on laid-back downtempo cuts like I’m Changing and Umbrellas, or bearing his soul on emotional rollers like Faded or Like It Used To, DRS is on fine form, and his thoughtful poetry finds a perfect match in the fluttering, delicate, jazz-infused beats found across the record. Mellow and melancholy but always with an uplifting edge, this is pure, honest and moving music…just as it should be.
The Blue Hour is out now via LSB’s Footnotes imprint; check out the tracks below and hit up your favourite store to grab a copy right now.
Lewis James returns with another exceptional EP this month for no less than Exit Records, and he’s notched up some superb collaborations on the record; dBridge, Alia Fresco and Lorn all feature among the five tracks on show. To celebrate, we tracked Lewis down and asked him for his Top 5 collaborations. Check it out…
Toronto imprint Inner City Dance bring the fiya on today’s exclusive with Imran Graffiti remixing his own Werkflow alias and flipping the jam into a luscious halftime cut that’s absolutely dripping with funk. Proper head nodder vibes…this one drops Sep 16th at all fine digital vendors.
Severity is back on Unchained with his second release for the label, and we’ve got the premiere today of lead track Hyperghetto! Blending footwork sensibilities into the D&B template, this one is a rapid-fire head-nodder with a hip-hop edge; maximum swagger. Release coming Aug 30th at all the best digital emporiums…
Something a bit unusual in the Dojo spotlight today as we present a seriously funky slice of 160 business from Detroit’s Filthiest. Merging hip-hop and funk with smooth breakbeat riddims, we just can’t get enough of this; so infectious! Look for Funky Sperm alongside three other tracks coming on Defrostatica October 19th…
When it comes to genre-defining albums, it doesn’t get much more legendary than New Forms. Propelling underground D&B into the mainstream musical limelight and snatching the Mercury Music Prize for good measure, the album delighted heads and newcomers alike, blending rapid drum programming with influences from jazz and hip-hop to form the perfect fusion of organic and electronic. Despite not setting out to make a crossover, Roni and the Reprazent gang certainly ended up with one.
Twenty years on, the album is getting a four disc deluxe reissue this month with the full original LP remastered, the full set of “Re Forms” remixes and most tantalisingly of all, a fresh disc featuring a live hardware mix of unreleased edits of the best tracks on the album. So how does it stand up after two decades? Pretty damn well it turns out.
The two discs of the original album have been given a fresh lick of mastering paint and are sounding just as exciting as they did in 1997, full of funky drum programming, enticing synths and classic hooks. Anyone who doesn’t get a shiver from hearing the guitar line on Brown Paper Bag just has no soul! The remixes don’t hold up as well to my ears (with a handful of exceptions) but they always felt like messing with perfection given the sheer quality of the original album.
The live hardware mix meanwhile is an absolute joy from start to finish; all of the album’s iconic tracks are there including some of the lower tempo beats and a number have been re-engineered to mash up originals and remixes, often to great effect. The new edit of Share The Fall featuring elements of Grooverider’s Jeep Style Mix proved a personal highlight amongst a thoroughly enjoyable bonus disc.
If you’re looking for the definitive version of an absolutely essential album then this is unquestionably it. Check out the first disc via Youtube below and hit up your favourite store to grab the deluxe package right now.
We’re exceptionally pleased to welcome Sweetbox / Diffrent Music signing and all-round talented bass-slinger D’TCH to the Dojo decks for our latest exclusive mix! No tracklist on this one but expect to hear the man’s own unusual productions alongside plenty of future jungle, wonky halftime and even a handful of good old fashioned 2-step rollers. Serious selections!
As always you can check out the mix via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.
The Dojo Mix Series reaches its 50th instalment this month as we welcome Kiwi producer InDifferent to the decks! Featuring beats from his brand new Hip-hop Will Incarnate EP for Free Love Digi alongside a host of other D&B, Paul’s mix takes the listener on a journey through future jungle, halftime steppers, deep riddims and finishing up on an old school roller tip. Beats from the likes of Greazus, Thomas B, Crypticz, War, Bladerunner & Total Science inside…check it!
You can check out the mix via Soundcloud below or head to Youtube or iTunes to stream. You can also grab a download from Google Drive.
Genre-bending vibes on today’s exclusive as we present a cut from Defrostatica’s brand new Rogue Style EP from HomeSick! Celebrating the crossover between hip-hop, footwork and D&B, Mass Appeal lurches along to a fantastic swung beat as chops, slaps and snares rain down around soft, bleepy melodies. Futuristic and retro all at once, this is that crossover sound at it’s best; look for this alongside new beats from Sinistarr, Kiat and Kabuki from May 19th.
Tephra & Arkoze land on Dispatch LTD with a brand new EP this month and we’ve got the exclusive on title track Ascertain. Featuring the vocals of the ever dependable MC Fokus, the track combines playful hip-hop lyricism with swung beats and some grin-inducing bassline grime for a tidy workout that keeps the energy high while avoiding the usual rolling 2-step patterns. Sick one! Hit up the Dispatch store to grab the Ascertain EP right now, with full release at all good digital outlets from Mar 24th.