Black Sun Empire’s early output holds a very special place for a lot of D&B heads of a certain age, an exciting time when the relatively nascent neurofunk style was developing in interesting new directions, and the Dutch trio’s trance-infused take on the sound captured imaginations and dancefloors alike. Nearly twenty years on from the release of their debut Driving Insane LP they announced a remix contest, allowing producers the chance to provide fresh takes on these yesteryear classics with the stems to no less than five tracks from the album. But would these new remixes do the originals justice?
Thankfully the competition inspired some superb work and the resulting remix EP provides varied and entirely worthy adaptations of the source material. Myselor’s contest-winning take on Breach opens the EP, retaining the recognisable twin-leads of the original but imbuing them with additional melodic elements that utterly change the vibe of the track. Brooding and atmospheric is replaced by uplifting and heroic, elevating the feeling to truly epic levels.
Russian scene stalwart EastColors delivers a respectful take on title track Driving Insane, keeping the flavour intact while providing a modern switch on the drums and bassline elements with a touch of foghorn for good measure. Australian duo V O E serve up the heaviest dancefloor number with a mashup of Don’t You and Stasis, landing the punches with their aggressive modern neuro sound.
Rounding out the EP, Waeys dives deep into hypnotic territory with unusual rhythms and driving drums on his experimental remix of Stasis. Finally Rillium gives us a short and sweet 3-minute take on Arrakis which crescendos into intricate drumwork and pulsing synths, fading as quickly as they rise.
Varied and exciting reworks from all concerned; the Driving Insane Remixes EP is out now at Beatport and available to stream on the usual platforms.
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…
Shogun Audio present a very special release this month as four of their label family go in on remixes for the legendary Moby! Tackling such iconic and recognisable material is both an honour and a daunting challenge, but thankfully each of the artists has risen to that challenge and turned in some really memorable new versions within the D&B template.
Pola & Bryson and Technimatic turn in perhaps the most obvious remixes of the collection, sticking to their strengths and bringing some delicious liquid reworks to the table. The P&B remix of Porcelain in particular is just so lush; all the instantly familiar parts of the original are there, within a crispy framework of rolling breaks, warm bass and bubbling arpeggios.
Fourward also do a commendable job on their remix of Go, with the classic string segment matched by swelling reese basslines before a rough techy drop. Possibly the best of the bunch comes from Icicle though, harnessing the piano and vocals of Natural Blues into one of the wonkiest halftime compositions we’ve heard in a while. The beats and bass are positively lurching on this one, giving a really seasick lilt to the lyrics. Sick!
As with all the best remixes these are instantly recognisable yet entirely distinct from the originals; the Shogun camp have smashed this one. Check out the clips below and hit up your favourite digital outlet to grab the EP now.
Spanish label Anticlockwise return with their seventh release, with Moa and Mooncat coming in on remix duties for each other’s tracks from the label’s first release. Both releases blend elements of neurofunk with dubwize and ragga D&B to create an interesting hybrid “neurodub” sound; not as savage as pure neuro, and not as happy as the sunshine drenched sounds of dubwize, the tunes tread a happy middle ground between the two. Moa’s mix of Dubscipline is the better of the two for me; check out the clips below and look out for these dropping at all good digital stores from Feb 8th.
Commercial Suicide have brought together the great and the good of the neurofunk scene to remix tracks from Mindscape’s Martin Chronicles LP. To celebrate the release of part 1 (and the impending release of part 2), we asked Mindscape to pick out his 5 favourite D&B remixes. Read on for his choices!
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.
Blu Mar Ten unveil the third and final instalment of their Famous Lost Words remix EP series with new mixes from Ulterior Motive, Nuage and their latest signing Kimyan Law. Ulterior Motive make In Your Eyes very much their own, swapping out the frantic amens of the original for a slower paced half-time beat. The twinkling atmosphere of the original is largely gone too, replaced with ominous bass growls and a spooky, pitched down version of the original vocal.
Nuage turns his hand to Famous Lost Words, channelling the autonomic spirit for a glitchy, slouching remix with tons of the lush pad work I’ve come to love on his productions. The real star of the show here though is Kimyan Law’s absolutely beautiful re-imagining of Half The Sky. An insistent beat combines with a soft chiming melody that has either been crafted fresh or has been re-sampled from the original beyond recognition, and the atmosphere of the track is dialled right up to 11. The result is effortlessly emotive and hauntingly beautiful, and I can’t wait to hear his debut album when it drops later this year.
Check out the clips below and head over to the Blu Mar Ten Music store to pick up the release on vinyl or digital now.
Terabyte Records have been moving from strength to strength since their inception two years ago, with support coming from some big names in the scene and some excellent tunes gracing their catalogue. The latest release is no different, and sees the label revisiting their previous tunes for some new remixes from a host of artists old and new. We caught up with Terabyte co-founder Auzi for his thoughts on the release and the label’s ethos.
Translation Recordings rounds off a successful year with a very special project from Morphy’s Dubmonger alias. Re-Translation to Another Galaxy! sees Glasgow’s finest dub soldier going to town on five tunes from the Translation vaults with live bass, guitar, tape echo and warm analogue reverb all employed to great effect. Just to add to the authenticity of the whole thing, Translation are releasing the EP on cassette tape (with digital download of course) for extra analogue joy.
Highlights of the EP include the upbeat, dubbed out skanking of Rascal, the classic echo-drenched vibes of Babylon Dem (I challenge you not to nod your head to this one) and the epic, spacey psychedelia of Lion of Judah in all it’s eleven and a half minute epic glory. Check out the beats below and pre-order yourself a copy from the Translation Bandcamp. Cassette’s ship from December 9th!