When it comes to true scene originators, Bop stands among a privileged few. As the chief architect of the ‘microfunk’ sound, he’s constantly found new and exciting ways to explore his unique corner of the 170BPM sound. His latest EP for Med School continues that proud tradition, melting down all manner of unusual influences, stirring in a healthy dose of signature sound and serving it up for the world to hear.
The EP opener (Untitled Pattern 52, not that the track names mean much) is as close to a traditional D&B roller as you’re going to get here; Bop’s inimitable percussive style is still present, but set to a 2-step pattern that serves as the backbone for rich synth progressions. Pattern 51 meanwhile combines classic jungle breaks with glitchy drum hits for a bouncy, exuberant clash of the retro and the modern.
Pattern 54 amps up the energy, drawing inspiration from the likes of Rockwell with a garage-infused four to the floor drum line pelting on at full D&B tilt. Maximum rave! Last but by no means least, Pattern 55 dials it back with dubby echoes and a lilting, swung beat for an appropriately serene outro.
Saint Petersburg producer Bop has always trodden his own path; his style of minimal, glitched up drum & bass has spawned it’s own sub-genre title which he’s gleefully adopted for his collaboration with Oak and his new label. With 10 years of productions under his belt, microfunk is here to stay, and enjoying rude success via his platform at the ever impressive Med School.
Hospital’s experimental sister imprint plays host to Bop’s latest creations in the form of the coyly named Not Your Cup Of Tea EP, and said creations sound as fresh and varied as ever. From the angular drive of An Order to the airy melodies yet toothy bass of So Unloved, through the space-funk and techno influences of Untitled Pattern 47, and finishing up with the gleeful bassline riddims and rolling beat structure of Space To Breath, the EP is sheer class from start to finish.
Anile steps up on remix duties for the digital bonus with a more traditional D&B take on An Order, but honestly it struggles to shine a candle to the original’s innovation and flair. Bop remains a man with a plan and a very unique style, and it remains very much our cup of tea here at Dojo HQ. Check out the clips below and hit up the Hospital Store to grab the EP on digital now; vinyl pre-orders are available via the Microfunk Music bandcamp and are expected to ship at the end of April.
Ever since we first came across Frederic Robinson via early releases for London label Diffrent Music we’ve been keeping a keen ear out for more of his eclectic, innovative and utterly unique take on the 170BPM sound. Refusing to be pinned down by genre stereotypes or the trends of club music, Frederic’s material combines hints of jazz, pop and classical with a touch of the D&B sound and the results are truly exceptional.
Following his first LP for Blu Mar Ten Music, Frederic has moved to possibly the only other home within the scene his music was likely to find, and dropped his second album for Med School. Thankfully the experimental wing of Hospital Records appears to be more than happy with his musical direction, because the album picks up exactly where debut Mixed Signals left off.
Frederic’s music continues to be filled with a childlike delight; complex melodies and harmonies flitter in and out of the mix accompanied by deft, rapid yet soft percussion and the tracks live up to the album’s title in many ways. It’s not difficult to imagine an army of tiny fleas beating drums, playing tiny xylophones and waltzing manically to the uplifting symphony. Every track feels effervescent, innocent, almost like an expression of pure joy in musical form, and the overall effect is beautiful and breathtaking in equal measure.
Sadly clips of many of the album’s tracks have yet to surface, but the handful that are online can be heard below and should provide more than enough encouragement to pick up what is undoubtedly one of the album’s of the year. Hit up the Hospital Store to grab a copy on vinyl, CD or digital right now; you won’t be disappointed.
2015 has been another strong year for the D&B LP in what seems to be a growing trend for more established artists to explore their sound across a full length record rather than just churning out singles. As the year draws to a close, here’s our run down of the then best albums we’ve heard this year. In no particular order… Continue reading →
Royalston is one of the many highlights of Med School’s diverse roster, and with good reason; his prolific and unusual take on D&B continues to be a breath of fresh air in a scene with far too many copycats and producers all too willing to stick to the well trodden path.
His second full length for the label in as many years is full of eclectic delights, with a plethora of influences coming together across the fifteen tracks, bound together by meaty 170BPM underpinnings. The willingness to play with the formula only adds to the impression that Royalston has very much found his stride, confident in his own ability to experiment and express.
The titular People On The Ground proves to be one of the highlights, building up through a piano led, trip-hopy first verse before tearing out into an unexpectedly massive second drop. Elsewhere we’re treated to the eminently bright and chunky BlightMamba, the creepy synths and insistent tribal rhythms of I Saw The Face Of A Person and the madcap, helter skelter breaks of XOR to name but a few.
While phrases like “tore up the rule book” and other similar hyperbole are vastly overused in reviews and press releases alike, it’s certainly true that Royalston’s work walks an interesting line; the tracks here feel fairly DJ friendly in structure but certainly aren’t bound by traditional D&B tropes to any great extent. Indeed that he manages to walk this line is quite a feat in itself, let alone that the results are so pleasing.
DJs looking to throw the crowd a few curveballs and listeners looking for a break from predictable 2-step rollers should definitely check this out; even in a year of strong D&B albums, this one stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of them. Check out the album minimix below for a flavour of the tracks and hit up the Hospital Store to grab it on vinyl, CD or digital now.
The latest release from Med School comes from Ukrainian producer Sunchase, who dishes up a fantastic 6-track EP blending deep D&B with chilled out, melodic electronica. Standout moments come on the rolling, minimal and at times glitchy Electrosoul System collaboration Thing, the serene yet techy Kolo with Blu Mar Ten and the spacey, autonomic-esque vibes of Slowly.
The release is up for pre-order at the Hospital Shop and will be dropping on marbled vinyl and digital formats from Feb 23rd, so check out the clips and get your order in!
Following on from the release of Rawtekk’s Sprouted and Formed LP on Med School recently comes a remix package featuring some heavy hitting reworks.
Phace delivers a typically robotic and monstrous rework of Photone Recruits and Mefjus turns in a nicely textured new mix of No More Vaccine, but for me it’s all about Billain’s epic take on Amber’s Love Was Like a Marble. The suspense on the intro is masterfully crafted on a creepy intro which gives way to a high octane build-up and then a drop that only Billain could have crafted. Evil business!
Rawtekk himself also gets in on the act, delivering both a rolling dancefloor edit and a lush, ambient rework of Snowflakes. Check out the previews below and watch out for the release dropping from March 10th.
Dominic Petrie delivers the third in our exclusive mix series with a tidy half hour mix of deep, forward thinking D&B. With releases on Fuzion, Lifestyle, Nerve and Sound Artillery and a residency at Edinburgh’s Xplicit clubnight, Dominic (previously known as Y2D) has been building quite a rep as both a producer and a DJ, as evidenced by this mix.
For the mix Dom has compiled a tasty 30 minute selection of deeper beats from the likes of Calibre, Mutt, Alix Perez and Burial. He’s even opened it up with a cheeky dub of his very own. Check it out below and grab a free download from MediaFire, or check it out on Mixcloud.
Dominic Petrie – Silver linings (Dub)
Anile – Another year (Med School)
Mutt – I used to (Fokuz)
Calibre – Key flix (Signature)
Alix Perez – Playing games (Shogun)
Calibre – Think on (Signature)
Blocks and Escher – Embers (Narratives)
Double O – Soul Warrior (Rupture)
Calibre – Sick of it all (Signature)
Penny Giles – Love come running free (Alignment)
Eveson – Found a groove (Liquid V)
Double O – Blackula (Rupture)
Burial – Near dark (Hyperdub)
21 year old Cardiff-based producer Lung has been making quite a name for himself over the past year or so and his latest release for Med School sees him moving from strength to strength. The title track sees him collaborate with Rachel K. Collier to produce a gorgeous uplifiting slice of liquid drum & bass, while elsewhere on the EP he explores lower tempos and half step beats. Crisp snares and warm synths are the order of the day.
Preview the whole EP below and watch out for the release on April 16th!
To celebrate the recent release of the Blood Pressure compilation, Med School have got together with Blu Mar Ten and given us a fantastic free slice of drum & bass! Full of fantastic forward thinking tracks from the likes of Lung, Joe Syntax and Royalston and beautifully mixed by Blu Mar Ten, this is a must listen.