HLZ drops a new EP on Dispatch this month and it features some of the best sharp-edged rollers we’ve heard so far this year. The tracks here are all about bringing the funk back into D&B while retaining some darkness, and it definitely draws on some classic inspirations while retaining a modern tone.
Title track Vectors channels the golden era of early 2000s neurofunk with a fast moving bassline – think early Full Force releases from the likes of Chook with the production standards of 2018. Abracatabla meanwhile immediately recalls classic Special Forces tunes like Sidewinder with it’s driving use of staccato hits that form both melody and rhythm. Clusters meanwhile sounds like a love letter to classic V Recordings sub-rollers, and digital bonus Black Lodge brings to mind the classic Virus Recordings sound with it’s clattering drums and bass modulations.
Don’t let the influences dissuade you though; this is definitely homage rather than pastiche, and it’s all filtered skilfully through HLZ’s inimitable style to make something individual, with one eye on the past and the other on the future. The Vectors EP is out now – hit up the Dispatch Bandcamp to grab it now on vinyl or digital direct from the source.
Turin’s finest are closing out their year in style with a fantastic new EP from HLZ, and we’re extremely excited to have the exclusive on Nightcrawler! Bringing together bright but understated melodic hits, a classic rolling break and warm bass with just enough edge, this one shows HLZ on vintage form. Watch out for this dropping alongside 3 other new beats on the From The Past EP from Dec 19th; pre-orders are up now on the label’s Bandcamp.
Another month has slipped by and another quality selection has crossed the Dojo inbox, so it’s time for the best of the rest, or as Deficit put it last time “Its like Top Of The Pops but better”. Read on for the latest from Inception Audio, Eatbrain, Syncopix, HLZ and more…
Soul Trader are upping their game in a big way with their latest project, presenting their first solo artist LP after a fine run of single and EP releases, and they’re going back to the artist behind their first two releases: AudioSketch.
AudioSketch has really outdone himself on this project, serving up twelve wicked originals and three cracking remixes for an album of crisply produced rollers with an ear for both melody and a solid dancefloor bassline. Introspective deep liquid this is not, but neither is it a soulless collection of “bangers”, as the tracks tread that line between soul and heft with aplomb.
In terms of guests the Soul Trader team have brought quite the crew to the table; label owner Surplus is on hand, as are Oktiv, HLZ and Salaryman, while guest vocals come from Hannah Eve and Identified. Remix-wise the invitations are equally top-drawer, with Villem & McLeod, BCee and Random Movement turning in wicked takes on some of the album tracks.
Overall while this might not be pushing any envelopes in terms of genre innovation, the match of musicality, bassweight and production sheen is just impossible to argue with, and the tracks are more than memorable enough to stand the test of time. Check out the clips below and hit up Beatport to grab the whole LP right now.
Soul Trader Record’s latest EP sees a number of the scene’s biggest names teaming up for a Various Artists EP with heaps of liquid soul. BCee kicks things off with the beautifully emotive strains of Thought I Knew, bringing his signature rolling style and slightly muted euphoria to the table for an outing that provides plenty of evidence as to why he’s still a mainstay of the scene after all these years.
Elsewhere HLZ turns in a silky smooth roller on Broken Lights and McLeod (seen without Villem in a rare turn here) gets playful on the sultry and understated Stolen Kisses. For those with a taste for the more upfront stylings there’s also a fresh cut from Salaryman and an interesting drumstep remix of Random Movement from Simplification and Translate. Can’t argue with that! Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital from Nov 27th and Nov 30th respectively.
Warm Comms continue their impressive run of recent releases with two firing new beats from ex-Need For Mirrors member and general badman HLZ. The release shows a real knack for combining straight up D&B heft with more experimental influences as evidenced by the soaring guitar riffs of Dying Memories, bringing an element of prog rock to the tune against the backdrop of sub and breaks.
Duel meanwhile lives up to it’s name, conjuring up the image of some strange ethereal battle with the opposing forces swooping in and out of the stereo field, swiping at one another before disappearing back behind enemy lines. If anyone needed proof of the innovation present in D&B, this single should be ample evidence. Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital from April 20th.
Need For Mirrors & HLZ reunite once again in the studio to bring us something a little “out there” for Fokuz Recordings. One foot remains firmly planted on the dancefloor throughout the Opium Dream EP but the pair seem nonetheless unafraid to explore more unusual musical influences.
Slash proves the most straight forward track on the release, with crisp breaks and warm bass combining for subby dancefloor roller. Opium Dream meanwhile explores some pretty psychedelic territory with mad saxaphone samples echoing in and out of the mix over a backbone of sturdy beats and bass.
Out into the second half of the EP Nostalgia continues the eclectic sampling with creepy chiming melodies, while Pinch provides a relatively stripped back composition with a few more unusual atmospherics layered over the top. Overall this is a nice little EP that proves you can play around with a massive range of musical styles within the basic D&B template. Check out the clips below and look for this on vinyl and digital right now!
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)
Dabs and Grotesque’s have brought together a fierce selection of tracks for their Avantgarde Recordings imprint’s first LP, and fans of the deep but techy end of the D&B spectrum will definitely not be disappointed with the result!
Highlights include M-zine, Skepticz and Matt Pulsa’s tight, techy workout on Fumes, Fade’s big, bad reese bass driven business on Swarm and the grimy minimalist stylings of Kush T, who teams up with Serge on Hyperspace. Sadly only a few of the clips are only so far, but keep an eye on the Avantgarde soundcloud for more, and watch out for the LP dropping from October 20th. We’ve also lined up an exclusive mix from some of the Avantgarde crew so hold tight for that one soon!
Dabs brings another pair of innovative beats to the ever busy Horizons Music roster. Stentah sees MC Kwality step up on vocal duties, providing a ragga style toast to a distinctly dub and dancehall influenced riddim. Hints of jungle peak through the unusual drum arrangements, keeping the energy D&B while refusing to drop into an obvious rolling break.
Half Truth brings HLZ and Need for Mirrors into the mix for a deep, melancholic roller. Crisp, insistent high hats and hefty sub provides the backbone of the tune, with a liberal sprinkling of piano and strings giving the beat character and soul.
Head over to the Horizons store to grab this on vinyl or digital now.