Machinedrum’s evolution over the years has been fascinating to follow. Active now for nearly 20 years, Travis Stewart’s musical journey has taken in most shades of what you might consider “bass” music; low-end weight and syncopated beats run throughout, but style, tempo and tone have varied wildly across many releases.
While previous releases have certainly flirted into the realms of 170, notably Vapor City (and some of the excellent remixes around that release from the likes of Om Unit), this is possibly the most “drum & bass” album we’ve heard yet from Machinedrum. Wait 4 U delivers silky rolling D&B soul, while Sleepy Pietro combines yearning piano with skittering drumfunk drum rhythms. We’re also treated to an effortlessly beautiful liquid roller in 1000 Miles with none other than Sub Focus on board in the studio.
Other tracks take in halftime, hip-hop, funk and plenty more for a colourful ride with plenty of ups and downs, and the album has been on heavy rotation here at Dojo HQ as a result; equal parts boom and beauty. A View of U is out now everywhere – check the clips below and hit this link for a vast selection of stores.
IMANU’s music has gone from strength to strength since moving away from his previous Signal moniker, and his latest work for Noisia’s Vision imprint sees him branching out into more experimental pastures.
Nagow and Cheren deliver the heavyweight neuro workouts that have become his trademark, with the former bringing a more colourful vibe via some deft melodic touches; Cheren by comparison pursues a more industrial aesthetic for pure sonic punishment.
The back half of the EP takes in some tempo drops; Whatever It Takes explores vaguely dubstep-adjacent territory with crunchy beats and grimy bass that’s sure to get your head nodding. After all that stiff competition it’s a pleasant surprise then that closing track Music To Stay In Your House To is potentially the strongest on the EP. Beautiful sound designs, wonky vocal textures and crazy drum rhythms combine on a genre-defying track that blends everything from hip-hop to IDM into a joyously chaotic melting pot.
IMANU’s new title (and doubtless a lot of encouragement from Noisia) seem to be inspiring some of his best work yet this year, and we can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. In the meantime, you can check out the Cheren EP below – hit up your favourite store to grab it right now.
Breakbeat technician SR teams up with Vinyl Junkie on today’s exclusive, rocking some seriously funky drum programming on a cut from his new Squat Rave LP for Locked Up Music. Hypnotic lead melodies, booming sub, crispy breaks and a cheeky Wu-Tang sample; what’s not to love? Hit up the Locked Up bandcamp to grab this one right now on vinyl or digital!
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.