Seba & Ulrich Schnauss – Snöflingor EP [Blu Mar Ten Music]

Regular Dojo readers will probably already be aware that we’re big fans of Seba and Blu Mar Ten Music, but probably don’t know that we’re also fans of Ulrich Schnauss. For anyone not already familiar, his sublime downtempo / ambient albums in the early 2000s for City Centre Offices are absolutely essential listening. What we weren’t aware of until now however, is that before those albums were released Schnauss had a pedigree as a D&B artist, operating under a variety of aliases including Ethereal 77 and View To The Future.

All of that leads us to the present, and a new collaborative EP from Seba and Schnauss, which finds an absolutely perfect home on Blu Mar Ten Music. As you’d expect, the three tracks on show feature crisp rolling percussion and the lushest synth lines you can imagine…from the hypnotic arpeggios and soaring melodic leads of M7, to the detailed, jazz infused hits of Interstate and out into the ambient-esque, chiming chords of Snöflingor, this is just unbelievably well constructed music with melody at its very heart.

Asides from the gifted use of melody, the track progressions are what sets this apart from a regular D&B release. While perfectly DJ-friendly, the compositions evolve effortlessly from one bar to the next, ascending beyond mere collections of loops into glorious, effervescent journeys that you’ll lose yourself in again and again. We’re quite happy to say that we think this is the finest melodic D&B you’ll hear this year, and possibly even the finest D&B full stop. Give yourself the gift of pure joy and grab yourself a copy right now from the Blu Mar Ten store.

15 Years of Secret Operations

15 years is a long time in music. 15 years from the time of writing, Nelly’s Hot in Herre was top of the US billboard charts – a position it had occupied for 6 weeks previously, and would surrender the following week.  15 years is an even longer period of time to be pushing music; some flash in the pan artists are lucky to go a five-year stint in the limelight. This makes Seba’s seminal Secret Operations label even more important.

Reaching 15 years of age, Swedish-sprung Secret Operations has decided to look back, not forward, to appreciate all that has gone before it to date. Seba has selected 18 tracks to represent the label’s ever-expanding history, including collabs and features from the likes of the timeless Robert Manos, the genre stalwart Paradox, and an unusual track from the ever imaginative Resound.

Musically, the LP features that signature Seba sound, carefully constructed breaks alongside a musicality so often overlooked by today’s brightest producers. Tracks like Pieces, Wake Up Call, and Forever amongst others capture that vibe expertly. That said, there’s also room for the darker side of drum and bass that has woven its way in and out of this genre’s discourse since the early 90s. Cuts such as External Reality, Fire Like This, and Day By Night are my go-tos as far as darker material goes.

But my wanton pigeonholing of tunes here doesn’t allow for some of the classics present on here. Before I Can Breathe from Seba & Physics was one of the first tunes I heard getting into the genre, and much of the rest of the album will represent similar audible milestones for you, too.

Distilling 15 years into 18 tracks would be hard for any label manager, but I think those selected for this compilation both reflect the outstanding musical ethos of the label, as well standing the test of time. Here’s to 15 more years of Secret Operations.

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Written by James Austin, aka DJ Auzi, label manager at Terabyte Records


Seba & Method One Singles

When you’re presented with two dope new singles from the same production duo within a week of one another, clearly there’s only one legitimate response; review double feature!

Everyone’s favourite Swedish D&B producer Seba has teamed up with stateside experimentalist Method One once again and they’ve crafted some pretty groovy tracks. Dawn Patrol leads their 12″ for Commercial Suicide, featuring customarily floaty Seba pad work and crispy breaks a plenty, while Eidolon takes things in a heavier direction with more crunchy breaks and a funky bass hook. Noice!

Not content with a more than capable outing on Klute’s label, the boys have also signed a pair of moodier tracks to Samurai Music, featuring more polished drum work, deep sub and creepy synth leads; atmospheric business. Silicon Nature edges out as the Dojo fave on this one, but both tracks are top notch as you’d expect from producers with this much experience.

Personally we’re hoping to hear more from Seba & Method One in the not too distant future! Hit up the Commercial Suicide and Samurai stores respectively to grab these on vinyl or digital right now.

Classic Album: Seba – Return To Forever

Regular readers have probably noticed that we’re big fans of Seba here at the Dojo. The man’s ability to bend classic breaks to his will and layer them over fantastic synth backgrounds, combined with a versatility that sees him producing everything from dark amen smashers to beautiful rolling liquid has cemented his position as one of the finest names in the scene.

On to today’s #TBT feature then, and the fantastic news that Seba’s 2008 debut LP Return to Forever is being given the digital remaster and reissue treatment via his own Secret Operations imprint following the demise of its original home, Combination Records.

From the uplifting euphoria of Blaze & Fade Out through the driving darkness of Special Ops and out into the hypnotic syncopations of Crocket, Seba’s debut sounds as fresh now as it did seven years ago and punchier than ever thanks to the new mastering treatment.

The high energy tracks are broken up nicely by jazzy downtempo number Silicone and a Jesper Dahlbäck techno remix, and for an added bonus we get the slightly different 12″ mix of Blaze & Fade Out included too. Can’t say fairer than that! The LP is out right now via all good download stores so go grab a copy at your leisure.


October Roundup

October has seen an unbelievably large amount of music land in the Dojo inbox, so we picked out our favourite of the pack of recent and shortly forthcoming releases. Read on for new beats from Seba, Stoner & Dotter Poison, Moresounds and more! Continue reading

Seba – Jungle Music / Cloudless [Secret Operations]

Seba returns to his own Secret Operations label with another top notch 12″ release. Jungle Music lives up to it’s name with crunchy old-school breakwork and hefty sub leading the charge, giving way to some lovely atmospheric pads towards the bridge.

Over on the flip Cloudless delivers that trademark Seba liquid that fans of the Swedish producer know and love so well. Lush business! Check out the clips below and keep your eyes peeled for the release coming at the end of October.

Classic Track: Blu Mar Ten – Overwhelm (Seba Remix)

Seba’s remix of Overwhelm remains one of my all time favourite Blu Mar Ten releases. Taking the lush pads and beautiful melodies of the original but switching up the drums for a faster and more dancefloor friendly rework, this is a beautiful, elegant remix which pulls me in time and time again. Deep, lush, wonderful!

Seba – Nothing Can Replace / Too Much Too Soon (Remixes) [Secret Operations]

Secret Operations returns and this time Seba has recruited John B and Blu Mar Ten for remix duties on tracks from 2013’s Identity LP. The former turns in a big bouncy dancefloor relick of Nothing Can Replace. Gone are the slightly 80s sounding synths of the original in favour of warm bass stabs and a pretty infectious hook.

Blu Mar Ten opt for a less drastic shift of tone for Too Much Too Soon, turning in a trademark deep liquid roller that captures the essence of the original (mainly thanks to the unusual vocals) while switching up the melodies enough to make it their own. Check out the clips below and look out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital very soon!

Seba – Inside Yourself / Berberian Sound [Secret Operations]


Seba’s latest single sees him blending the sounds of deep house and techno with the tempo and rhythms of Drum & Bass. For once the description in the press release is actually pretty illuminating: “This is the type of sound that I listen to when I go out clubbing. The only difference is that the tempo is usually 125-130 BPM”. The stabs, pads and general atmosphere of Inside Yourself will certainly be familiar to anyone with an ear for techno production.

Berberian Sound moves things into spookier territory, with the synth lead and booming bass both lending the track a tense, ominous edge. As usual Seba’s ability to craft detailed, clever beats with one foot on the dancefloor and the other in some strange dimension remains unassailable. Check out the clips below and watch out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital from Feb 16th (though judging by the delays on the last Secret Operations release, this may slip).