Apparently top quality Drum & Bass albums are likes buses…you wait a while for one, then four come along all at once! November has seen the release of some absolutely essential artist LPs, so we though it only right to give you a quick roundup…read on for our thoughts on the new records from Philth, Misanthrop, Kimyan Law and Klute.
In 2015, the legendary DnB label Metalheadz embarked on a project to re-master and re-release all of its classic tunes from the 90s and beyond. This was presumably done for DJs, to give high-quality downloads of early-era songs to those who have updated their equipment but not their tastes.
What it has effectively done on top of that, however, is to expose younger generations of ravers to the wonders of the Metalheadz archives, as well as to producers and sub-genres which, if not forgotten, were buried in the record crates of first-and-second-generation junglists and D&B heads. Now even the grumpiest vinyl-loving old school heads can listen to a crisp, clean WAV of Marcus Intalex’s My Soul on their computers if they so choose.
The most recent release from the “Re-Mastered” project is of 2002’s MDZ.02. Just released on Friday, this 11-track retrospective contains classics from the likes of Klute, Teebee, Loxy & Ink and a special Usual Suspects track called Tribute, an homage to the influential D&B MC Kendo, who’d recently passed at the time the track was released.
2002 was an interesting transitional time for drum and bass. Beats became much faster, samples started to be influenced by hip hop, R&B and rave, and jungle and drum and bass structures started to merge in ways that many felt were unthinkable. Metalheadz was right on the forefront of this change and its surrounding controversy, riding the crest to emerge as the well-established and cutting-edge label it is today.
Written by Layla Marino
The ever-prolific Digital is back with a big new album featuring nothing but collaborative tracks. With Synthesis just out, we caught up with the man himself to find out about where the LP concept came from, working with Spirit and who has the best studio. Check it…
Commercial Suicide boss and production badman Tom Klute celebrates 20 years in the game this year and with a new EP out on Metalheadz we thought it was high time for a chat! Read on for his thoughts on analogue synths, track titles and the best of the ‘headz back catalogue.
It’s always a good day when fresh beats from Klute land in the Dojo inbox, and it seems we’ll be hearing plenty from the Commercial Suicide boss this year as he celebrates 20 years in the game with a slew of singles and EPs leading up to an album at the end of the year.
The first of those single releases sees Tom exploring his more musical side, with all the tracks bringing melody to the fore rather than focussing on bassline danger. The coyly titled You Won’t Like It (a finger flip to the haters?) fashions a groove from all sorts of unusual FX and synth sounds, producing D&B with more than a hint of IDM and experimental electronica to it.
Rays brings the lush synth work and beautiful melody that Klute does so well and layers it over a backbone of tough breaks, providing the single’s most dancefloor friendly track, leaving Be Good To The Ones (You Love) to close out the release with a bouncy rhythm and beautiful chiming melody that gives the track an almost chidlike innocence and enthusiasm.
It’s great to hear that Klute hasn’t lost his ability to innovate even over two decades of production! Check out the clips below and watch out for this dropping on digital and vinyl from Jan 23rd – preorders are available now via the Commercial Suicide store.
If you’re itching for a bit more Klute then look no further than his recent mix for the Bassic Agency – an hour of impecable selections spanning all the styles of D&B.
The relaunch of Doc Scott’s 31 Recordings imprint has been the cause for much celebration across the scene, and the label’s output has been absolutely stellar. Rounding off 2014 in style, they’ve unveiled a massive 24 track compilation featuring artists from across the D&B spectrum, and frankly pretty much all of it is excellent.
The huge selection takes in half-time beats from Sinistarr and Ital Tek, future jungle from Moresounds, liquid rollers from Bungle and Calibre, rowdy techstep from SCAR and plenty more besides. Special mentions have to go out to the broody, militant syncopations of House of Lanterns’ Take Control, the ethereal atmospherics of Hidden Turn’s Dream of Tron and the bleepy, atmospheric vibes of Gremlinz Forlorn, but honestly the whole LP is of such a high standard that picking favourites is pretty tough. Check out clips of all the tracks below and head over to the 31 Recordings store to preorder the compilation on vinyl or digital now – the release drops on December 15th.
Commercial Suicide’s release schedule shows no signs of letting up with another essential 12″ following hot on the heels of the recent Dose LP Sampler. The legendary Calibre gets behind the controls for a rolling liquid refix of My Black & White in the mould of his previous remixes for Spectrasoul and TEED; this one hits the spot in the same way his productions always do.
Over on the flip CS boss man Klute dishes up the fresh (and oddly titled) Speak No Fish. Soaring melodic bleeps lead the tune over a backbone of techno-esque rhythmic sub bass and a sturdy, rolling break. This is definitely a tune with enough bounce for a dancefloor but enough beauty for the living room. Check out both tunes below and watch out for the release dropping on vinyl and digital from March 31st.
Cardiff based record store Catapult Records have truly put together a stunning lineup for their Sounds of the Baskerville event in June. The lineup features DJ Marky, Break, Rockwell and Audio headlining a packed event featuring sets from Klute, Dom & Roland, Ulterior Motive, Xtrah and many, many more. Truly a D&B heads paradise! Early Bird tickets are already sold out but you can still grab £75 tickets here. Don’t sleep!
Sun & Bass continue their tradition from last year and release another stellar compilation featuring cuts from the festival’s regular DJs, with a host of big names on board. The first half of the compilation leans heavily in the deep liquid direction, with a collection of rollers and steppers from Triad, Fracture & Mark System, Seba, Alite & Arp XP and more. Tokyo Prose steal the show for me with the sublime, twinkling piano and crisp breaks of Goodbye Hands…truly a tune you could lose yourself in.
The second half of the selection sees the heat turned up with harder beats from Klute, Chris SU and Nymfo, Dom & Roland and more. Ulterior Motive turn in a strong, squelchy stepper with Fragola Invisible and Audio Habitat collaborates with Mad Vibes for a good old fashioned dirty roller. The LP closes up with a few more soulful numbers from dBridge, Code 3 and Zero T for good measure.
Check out all the beats below and watch out for the release dropping on digital from December 16th. Don’t forget you can also pick up the sublime Calibre/Paradox remix 12″ from Surus now!