After an initially slow cycle of releases Melbourne’s Plasma Audio have kicked things into gear this year, knocking out some really forward thinking music. Their latest release sees them close out 2015 in style with two new remixes from none other than Alix Perez.
It’s always a pleasure when a label picks one of your favourite artists to remix one of your favourite tunes from their catalogue, so when I saw the promo land in the inbox I knew I was in for a treat. Fresh from his storming collab work with EPROM, Perez has taken the chunky hip-hop spirit of Yoga and put his own distinctive touch to it, healthy with that low-slung, crunked-out vibe that he’s so good at dishing up.
In addition to the more obvious club mix, we’re also treated to a less convention bound (and less DJ friendly) rearrangement on the warped mix. My only complaint here is that it could be more warped; asides from the intro the deviations from the club mix aren’t that pronounced, which is a shame given the possibilities for experimental wonkyness. Still, this is a minor quibble in the face of a really enjoyable rework.
This one will be dropping on vinyl in January; hit up the Plasma Store to pre-order the wax, and look out for the digital at all the usual outlets from December 14th.
Noisia’s Invisible imprint close out the year with another cracking EP featuring another four tracks from producers across the D&B spectrum. Silent Witness turns in an absolutely tearing tech smasher on Being Human while Volatile Cycle and Subtension explore slightly less aggressive but nonetheless upfront territory. Last but by no means least, Sabre & Safire team up for the superb Genie Method; deep, moody liquid with the atmosphere turned up all the way to 11. Check out the clips below and grab this from your favourite store on vinyl or digital now.
Melbourne’s Plasma Collaborative imprint return after a fairly lengthy hiatus with their second release, keeping the quality high and the beats innovative. A-side Yoga sees Sabre exploring the hip-hopy halftime sound with creepy bleeped up melodies and dark, grimey bass. Plenty of swagger on this one!
The flip comes from Cruel Culture & Keosz, who serve up a weird slice of atmospheric D&B characterised by a hectic and unconventional beat pattern and a fairly busy mix of musical elements. The title of Threat certainly captures the frantic, dangerous vibe of the tune. Check out the clips below and look for this one right now at all good digital stores.
The eleventh installment in our exclusive mix series comes from Avantgarde alumni Hanzo & Randie. The duo celebrate their forthcoming track for the label’s Theory of the Avantgarde LP with a tasty mix focussing on the techier end of the D&B spectrum but still with place for melody and soul. Check it out via Mixcloud below or head to Hearthis.at for streaming and Dropbox for a download.
Inward – Monochrome (Avantgarde dub)
Cern – Tiamat (Dispatch)
Ulterior Motive – Longshot (Metalheadz)
Dabs – Objection (Dispatch)
Break & DLR – New Design (Symmetry)
Concept Vision & Segment – Deserted (Blackout)
Alix Perez, Phace, Misanthrop – Burn Out (Shogun Audio)
Enei – Hot Plate (Critical)
Dabs, ArpXP & Grotesque – Keep Shut (Avantgarde dub)
Spinline and Hydro – Perimeter (Demand)
EBK – Strength (Dispatch)
Break – Love So True (Symmetry)
Enei and Emperor – Liberation (Critical)
Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Tetra (Redlight)
Concept Vision & Segment – Mindshaker (Blackout)
Signs – Desert Storm (Cause 4 Concern)
Maztek – Limber (Renegade Hardware)
Noisia – Running Blind (Vision)
Stealth ft. Codebreaker – Nightfall (RAM)
DLR and Script ft. Martyna Baker – Blue room (Metalheadz)
Hybris, Quadrant, D-Struct & Iris – Graphene (Dispatch)
Animal Defection – Arcadia (Avantgarde dub)
Kasra & Enei – Breath (Critical)
Blu Mar Ten – In Your Eyes (Ulterior Motive Remix) (Blu Mar Ten)
DLR, Nymfo, Need for Mirrors and HLZ – Totem (Dispatch)
Heavy1 & P-Fine – Melee (Avantgarde dub)
Hanzo, Randie & Bayou – Totentanz (Avantgarde dub)
Foreign Concept – Ask yourself (Critical)
Sabre and Riya – Injustice (Critical)
Critical Music are back with a vengeance with the Underground Sonics LP, a various artists compilation straddling all the styles of Drum & Bass via 18 tracks of cutting edge 170 BPM production from the label’s extended family. The compilation sees many artists exploring new territory away from their usual styles, to interesting effect.
Dub Phizix turns in an unusually mellow and unusually rolling beat in the form of The Clock Ticks, while Ivy Lab up the ante compared to their previous releases with a tougher and more energetic beat paired with the musicality we’ve come to know and love from the trio. Foreign Concept teams up with DRS to turn in the dark, skanking, hip-hop influenced halfstep of Falling Stars while Sam Binga and Redders blend trap, footwork and ragga to great effect on Lef Dem.
Elsewhere we’re treated to two surprising collaborations from tech heavyweights, with InsideInfo and Mefjus turning in a surprisingly minimal slice of tribal tech with Repentance while Noisia & The Upbeats put aside their usual aggression for a hypnotic deep liquid roller on Little Fling. Fans of brutal tech need not worry though – Stealth and Phace are both on hand to provide the dancefloor darkness, as are Emperor & Centra with the huge digital exclusive The Saboteur.
Enei and Kasra turn in a selection of characteristically heavy hitting beats, while Stray and Halogenix look to the experimental/hyperactive end of the spectrum with their individual takes on frantic drum syncopation with a footwork bent. Finally Blocks and Escher give Enei’s Thinline the old school tech workover with a huge beat and some serious menace on the low end.
Overall it’s hard to argue with this as the first essential release of 2014. Check out the tracks below and grab yourself a copy now from the Critical Surus store.
Early last year Kasra’s Critical imprint put out a tasty little 12″ from Sabre, Stray and Halogenix featuring the beautiful tune that is Oblique. The material was released to much critical acclaim and was generally lauded as one of the best tunes of the year (amongst some impressive competition too). Since then the trio have been quiet, mainly focusing on their individual solo activities. But just recently they announced the formation of a new alias for their collective work; Ivy Lab. Naturally this announcement also came with news of a new release, which is due out on Critical Music Feb 4th.
Afterthought on the A-side brings back the vocal talents of Frank Carter III to great effect, and is a beautiful (if somewhat predictable) soulful, understated roller. Very much Oblique-the-second. Over on the flip, Ivy Lab prove themselves far from one trick ponies with the dirty, weird, robotic half step sounds of Brat. To round the package off, those that pick up the digital release get a rather tasty House rework of Brat from South London Ordnance, taking the excellent sound pallet of the original and bringing it down to a slower, more methodical beat.
Check out the tunes below and watch out for the full release from your favourite vinyl or digital outlet!
To celebrate the recent release of the beautiful Follow You Around / Contract single on Blu Mar Ten Music, Stray has compiled a top notch mix spanning all the styles of drum & bass. Starting out with some smooth liquid rollers, then venturing off into darker territory, and featuring some absolutely outstanding tracks such as Amit‘s Killer Driller before finishing up with the A side of the single, this is thoughtful d&b at it’s best.
So much quality Drum & Bass has been hitting the speakers lately that we felt a little round up of highlights was in order!
First up, Techstep godfather and Metro Recordings head-honcho Matrix has teamed up with up and comer InsideInfo to produce Quattro and they’ve come up with something quite special. A sparkly, twinkling melody builds the song up during the intro leading up to a firm drop and some brilliant moving bass synths, with the flashes of high end keeping things sounding bright. Ice Beam on the flip on the other hand is a solid dancefloor roller with a healthy growl to it. Watch out for the release on Mar 12th.
Shogun sister label SGN:LTD have got a brand new 12″ from Technicolour & Komatic who have delivered a rough amen roller in the form of We Were Always One, also out Mar 12th.
The official video for Sabre, Stray & Halogenics feat. Frank Carter III – Oblique has dropped this week. The song has been receiving props left, right and centre and is probably the best piece of deep liquid dnb that’s been released in the last 5 years. We don’t throw around words like “essential” lightly but this tune is just that. Look out for the release on Critical coming Feb 27th, backed with a tasty garage remix from Synkro.
Last but certainly not least, Glasgow D&B stalwarts Symbiosis have just released Episode 4 of their show on Radio Magnetic, featuring 2 hours of top quality beats including a guest mix from Edinburgh DJ and Special Records chief, Special Ed. Check it out over here.