We’ve got a Damager special this week, taking a break from our usual single track selection to take a look at Current Value’s new LP for Critical Music, Biocellulose.
As you’d expect from one of the brightest talents in the scene and an alumni of the likes of Blackout Music, the engineering and technicality on show here is of a ridiculously high standard, but that’s not what makes the album stand out from the mass of high sheen but ultimately cookie-cutter neurofunk available in 2016.
The atmospherics and sound design detail are what really make this album shine; from the majestic synth intro of Phace collab Thump, through the eerie bleep-led buildup of Footwork and into the technoid strains of Vigilant Minds, there are so many fantastic sonic elements in Biocellulose to contrast and complement the stomping beats and basslines. Heft, sure, but with a side helping of beauty and intrigue.
Asides from recruiting Phace and Mefjus for a collab each, Critical have also grabbed some tasty remixes; Enei delivers a tough, rolling take on the savage Jump while Anode takes the angular danger of Pneumatics and flips it round into a Raiden-esque techo-D&B roller of impressive relentlessness. Overall it’s a wicked album and ample proof that dancefloor neurofunk can still hold hidden depths. Check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab a copy now!
Enei returns to Critical with his sophomore LP following up 2012’s excellent debut Machines. Rituals feels very much like a continuation of the themes found on Machines, with perhaps a slightly broader array of tones reflecting the evolution of Enei’s production in the intervening years.
The moody tech which formed so much of his debut LP (and indeed his discography) is still present here on tracks like Bad Proof and Iron Curtain, but there are also a selection of brighter cuts featuring some excellent vocalists. Frank Carter III (who you should recognise from Ivy Lab’s seminal tracks Oblique and Afterthought) turns in a typically deft and soulful performance on the playful, jazzy Moment of Now, while Charlie Brix steps up to the mic for up front roller Homeworld and the darker and more introspective Just One Look.
It wouldn’t be a Critical LP without a few label roster collaborations and these don’t disappoint either. Kasra & DRS get on board for a pessimistic ode to the music industry on Lessons, providing one of the album’s punchiest tracks. Elsewhere Foreign Concept gets involved on the more melodic and contemplative Forgotten Planet,fellow Russian producer Eastcolors joins Enei for the raved up flavours of Jungle Business and neuro badman Mefjus climbs aboard for the typically relentless Dead Space.
Polished and punchy but with more than enough variation to keep things interesting, this is a solid album from a producer at the top of his game. Check out a minimix of the album’s tracks below and hit up the Critical Store to pre-order on your pick of physical and digital formats; the LP drops Friday 4th December.
Austrian neuro wizard Mefjus returns to our weekly Dojo Damager feature with the title track from his forthcoming EP for Neosignal, Blitz. Three years on from his debut for the Neodigital arm of Phace & Misanthrop’s high class imprint it seems entirely fitting that Mefjus is now back on the main label with a solo EP and trust us, it’s all fire!
Blitz takes a leaf out of Phace’s playbook with a driving, throbbing bass groove set to a heavy drum line. The punchy arrangement makes for an utterly relentless vibe while still feeling more nuanced than the tearout stylings employed by some producers in the neurofunk scene. As the vocal sample so aptly puts it, more impact! Check out the track below and look for the EP dropping next month on vinyl and digital.
This week’s Dojo Damager comes from neurofunk production stalwarts InsideInfo & Mefjus who lay down the absolutely stomping riddims of Pulsation for Viper Recordings. Eschewing the hyper complexity of some of their previous output, this one is all stripped-back punch and groove, tailored with that impossibly crisp production the pair have made such a name for themselves with.
The simple staccato melody on the intro builds tension beautifully before the gut wrenching drop starts landing alternating body blows from the sub and snares. Sheer heft! Check out the clip below and look for this on vinyl or digital right now.
Regular readers will know we’re big fans of Noisia here at the Dojo, and doubly so when we can get our grubby mits on new vinyl! The Incessant EP sees the two exclusive tracks from the Ten Years of Vision compilation getting a wax pressing alongside two brand new tracks from the ever busy dutch trio.
As ever the tracks display that bass-line finesse and attention to detail which only Noisia can provide, with Banshee opting for a deeper vibe while Mefjus & Hybris collab Clusterfunk hits down with an absolutely mental rhythm! Check out the clips below and head to the Noisia Store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital from April 20th.
Critical return with two fresh new remixes which you’ll likely have heard if you’ve been at a Critical Sound event recently. Mefjus takes the gold here with a thundering mix of Ivy Lab’s Sunday Crunk; all the swagger of the original with plenty of extra bass growl and some tasty little drum rolls for extra energy.
Ivy Lab return the favour with a remix of Blame You, blending the soulful vocal elements with chunky rolling tech and a hint of funk in the breaks for good measure.
As usual you can pick this up on vinyl or digital via the Critical Store where you can also find a deluxe bundle featuring stickers and slipmats! Move fast if you’re after this on wax; we can’t see copies hanging around on the shelves for long.
Following on from last month’s sampler release, Phace’s brand new LP Shape The Random is upon us! Featuring 14 new tracks from the German neurofunk mastermind, the album stays true to the signature Phace sound but still manages to throw in a few surprises.
Empty Talk yields the first of those, achieving the same kind of high energy that his tracks are known for via a relentless staccato rhythm. Emphasis here lies in the sub and highs, mostly eschewing the aggressive midrange that has become somewhat predictable across the neurofunk style. The album’s single collab provides another surprise; with Mefjus in the studio one might have expected a tearout banger, but The Mothership proves to be a creepy, suspense laden exercise in relative minimalism, packing a punch but exploring unusual percussion and FX over sheer aggression.
There’s still plenty of space for the precision, high impact neurofunk Phace has become well known for, as evidenced by the likes of Fraktal Total, Bite The Edge and the titular Shape The Random to name but a few. Exit Plan rounds the album off nicely with a another punchy, groove-laden and faintly robotic track. Phace remains at the top of his game and the cutting edge of the scene! Check out the clips below and pick up the album from the Neosignal bandcamp now!
Those with their fingers on the pulse will already be aware of this, but for anyone who missed it the first lineup announcement for Outlook 2015 is out! D&B fans certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection; Noisia, Goldie, dBridge, Om Unit, The Upbeats, Enei. Skeptical, Rockwell, Mefjus, Kasta, Ivy Lab & Emperor are already on the bill alongside some of the best names in Dubstep, Grime and Hip-hop with plenty more yet to be announced.
As usual tickets are flying off the shelves so check out the official lineup announcement video below and head over here to pick up tickets while you still can!
If you feel like doing something charitable this festive season (and you think that Bob Geldof should do one) then Critical Music have the answer! Kasra’s label have collected together a full album of tracks from the label’s usual suspects and all you have to do to get your mits on it is head over here and donate some money to Oxfam.
The LP features a selection of stomping new tracks from Enei, Mefjus, Foreign Concept, Halogenix, Emperor, Kasra, Hyroglifics and Klax, and the quality is every bit as high as you’d expect from the Critical stable. Check out the clips below and give generously!
Long anticipated and much overdue, the Dom & Roland Productions Remix LP finally dropped a couple of weeks ago. Featuring big new reworks from prominent artists across the harder end of the D&B scene, fans of Dom & Roland’s output will definitely not be disappointed with the selection. You can find a few of the Dojo favourites below – check them out and head over to Redeye to snag the LP on vinyl now, with digital available at all the usual stores.