This one is pretty special…we’re incredibly excited to bring you an exclusive mix today from the one and only Hybris! Packed full of cuts from his own label Pseudoscience alongside classics from the man himself for Subtitles and Metalheadz, plus cuts from imprints like Sofa Sound, Guidance and Invisible, this is an hour long masterclass in the intricate, technical end of D&B. Sick selections!
As individuals, these artists are arguably two of the most talented in the genre – certainly right now, if not ever. Impossible though it might seem, by joining forces, they have reached yet higher altitudes: OneMind’s EP2 is the second comprehensive testament to this. The EP’s opener, Pullup, is a future classic for certain. Only Mako & DLR combined could lace such a simple bassline with such complex eccentricities, and the result is frankly breathtaking sound design.
In every tune, you can hear both of their individual influences shine through. Mako’s old school vibe oozes through Late Addition, albeit with a little help from Total Science (and of course DLR). This collab definitely ticks the dBridge-coined ‘beautifully aggressive’ box, being both relentless and delicate – something many artists will never achieve. Early Daze is yet another example of the vibe OneMind are championing, intricate combinations of old-school vocals and one shots with modern-day sound design that provides such a rich texture to the track. The final track, Quiet Fire, features genre-agnostic Throwing Snow, whose Houndstooth & Moda Black heritage shines through in bags. I look forward to the prospect of more D&B from him.
OneMind have truly distilled all the ingredients that make Metalheadz the greatest label in the genre’s history – combining a pioneering integrity for sound design with a nuanced, yet deep-seated appreciation of the drum & bass past. Long live this sound; let’s end this before I run out of superlatives. Hit up the ‘headz Store to pre-order the EP ahead of the August 25th release date.
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Written by James Austin, aka DJ Auzi, label manager at Terabyte Records
With his second EP for Metalheadz Detboi is widening his sonic arsenal, bringing his first 170 productions to the table alongside more of that chunky 130 breakbeat goodness that he’s caught so many ears with. Ahead of the release of the Secrets EP we grabbed him for a quick chat about tempos, collabing with Goldie and his favourite old school ‘headz records.
SB81 aka Nolige definitely knows his D&B; hardly surprising for a man who’s been a formidable presence in the scene for more than a decade. With a fresh remix of J Majik’s classic track Your Sound about to drop on the mighty Metalheadz, we picked his brain for his top 5 remixes…
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.
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Written by Layla Marino
Watching artists continue to grow after more than a decade in the scene is a rare pleasure; so many solid creative musicians either fall into a comfortable stylistic groove or disappear for real life or other genres of music. Indeed, it must have been tempting for George Levins to leave the Commix project behind with the departure of longtime production partner Guy Brewer and the success of his lower tempo Endian alias. With that in mind it’s even more of an achievement for Commix to still be here, releasing some of his best music yet no less.
The second part of the Generation EP series for ‘headz sees George delving deeper into the rejuvenated project, with Freefall opening things up with an entirely unhuried, atmospheric slice of D&B; the tempo might be high but the energy levels are definitely kept on the down-low here as the track shimmers effortlessly along. One for the 5am crew!
Honey ups the ante, keeping the soft synth action but melding it together with hard, chopped amens for a track that plants one foot on the dancefloor while keeping the other firmly in introspective territory. A classic Commix roller of yesteryear this is definitely not, but this EP is all about progression rather than regression.
The back half of the selection sees the tempo dip and the vibes becoming more experimental, from the dark, tribal riddims of Behold out into the hypnotic, Aphex Twin-style downtempo of Arplong – this one is just about the lushest track we’ve heard this year. Another top EP from a producer we hope will be brightening the scene for another decade or two yet! Check out the clips below and hit up the Metalheadz store to grab a copy right now.
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Where do you go when you’ve been a mainstay of the D&B scene for twenty years, with six albums already under your belt and a back catalogue spanning Moving Shadow, Renegade Hardware, your own immensely successful imprint and plenty more?
If your name is Dominic Angas aka Dom & Roland, you head into the studio and write possibly your best album yet for none other than the mighty Metalheadz. As one of few labels with both the pedigree and the reputation to match Dom himself, we can’t think of a more perfect home for Dom’s work, and anyone who’s heard Goldie hyping the album over the last year will know they feel exactly the same way.
There’s always the risk with any album from a producer this established that the results will prove either too far from their style or too close to it, but thankfully the line trodden on the enigmatically titled Last Refuge of a Scoundrel sits perfectly within these boundaries; recognisably Dom, but pushing his style in new and intriguing directions. Those new directions are found most prominently on vocal tracks Sacrifice and Sirens Song, featuring Natalie Duncan and Robert Manos respectively. Both tracks blend Dom’s talent for heavy hitting, detailed percussion with a softer and more melodic side lent from the immensely talented singers he’s recruited, and they make a welcome change from the instrumentals of the rest of the LP.
That’s not to say in the slightest that said instrumentals become tedious; from classic Dom smashers like Tone Poem, Steam and Hive collab DMT through the hip-hop infused vibe of King of the Hustlers and out into more playful tracks like A New Renegade, there’s plenty of variety and every track is presented with that match of precision and scuzz that makes the Metalheadz output some of the best in the scene. The layers of drum distortion and bassline growl on even the lighter tracks give this a punky edge that ultra-clean modern mixdowns so often lack, and that’s just the icing on a very, very delicious cake. Check out the clips below and hit up the ‘headz store to grab the LP on vinyl, CD or digital now.
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Cuts from Jubei’s memorable To Have And Have Not LP get the remix treatment on the latest EP from the ‘headz camp. Skeptical turns in a characteristically stark refit of Incognito while Ulterior Motive turn in a big banging rework of Tip The Scales, but for us it’s all about the two new versions of Goldie collab The Prayer.
Blocks and Escher are the first to get their mits onto the tune, and they’ve turned it into quite the religious experience. Building some epic tension on the intro as creepy monastic vocals give way to a throbbing bassline, the eventual drop at nearly 2 minutes in is a bombastic assault of growling low end and rip-roaring percussion; old school vibes with new school production and so much danger. Those drums!
Om Unit meanwhile completely flips the tune around, thinning out the drums for one of his signature sparse but skittering halftime riddims. As with so much of his work the essence of classic jungle is present but it’s been twisted and morphed into something uniquely new; one foot in the past while the other meanders into the future. Ethereal and fantastic.
As usual you can grab this from the Metalheadz store on digital or 12″; check out the clips below and go grab it!
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It’s been quite a journey over the last couple of years for SCAR; from their first releases for Dispatch and Metalheadz the collaborative project of Survival and Script instantly gained plaudits across the D&B scene, with a slew of releases following including appearances on the legendary Razor’s Edge series.
Today sees their debut album The Orkyd Project land on Metalheadz, so we tracked down the duo to find out a bit more about the album writing process, what the deal is with Orkyd and their love of daal and roti. Check it out…
Before we proceed, if by some anomaly you haven’t heard Special Request’s sublime 2013 jungle revival LP Soul Music then you need to stop reading right now and go and listen to it. No really. Off you go.
Joking aside, the 2013 arrival of Paul Woolford’s Special Request alias saw new life being inserted into the jungle sound, as the classic vibe and spirit of 90s rave culture were combined with the power of the modern mixdown to create something that transcended mere nostalgia. These tracks are unmistakeably informed by jungle, but melded into something slightly different, and not just because of the obviously lower tempo of most of the productions.
Enter Detboi, much championed by Woolford and clearly tapping into the same vein with his releases for the likes of Keysound. His latest work for Metalheadz could be his best yet, featuring simple but rich analogue bass, chunky breakbeats, classic samples and tons of atmosphere. There isn’t much more that needs to be said honestly; the music more than speaks for itself so check out the clips below and channel your inner 90s raver.
The Joyride EP is out now at the Metalheadz store.
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