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!
For whatever reason D&B supergroups seem to be making a bit of a comeback at the moment; whether through coincidence or design in recent times we’ve seen the emergence or re-emergence of The Levels, Bad Company, The Binary Collective and now Module Eight. It’s probably not a coincidence that dBridge is at the centre of so many of these collectives new and old either; being one of the scene’s primary innovators for a couple of decades gives you ideas that are worth sharing, one assumes.
Module Eight sees dBridge teaming up with fellow Exit contributors Loxy, Resound, Kid Drama and Skeptical for thirteen tracks collaborated on entirely online (presumably due to busy schedules and Resound’s location in Finland rather than London), and the results are impressive. If the old adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” has any relevance to D&B, apparently five cooks still isn’t too many!
Legacy feels surprisingly consistent for an album with so many producers behind the console; while there are certainly little hints here and there of each producer’s individual style, you’d struggle to put your finger on any one personality dominating any of the compositions. Guessing where one musical mind ends and another begins might prove amusing for the heads, though we’d challenge anyone to come up with any particularly solid conclusions.
Thematically the album is dark and complex, but in the refined way we’ve come to expect from Exit rather than the ADHD hyper-complexity of some of the more dancefloor oriented D&B business. Flickers of the autonomic sound shine through in places, though in general more in rhythm than tone; the lush futuristic synths of tracks like Seems Like are largely absent in favour of creepier, colder soundscapes which evoke urban grit more than future soul. There’s also more than a passing nod to the classic techstep sounds that both Loxy and dBridge helped to develop, particularly on Ghost and Legacy.
With a solid mix of dancefloor appeal and deeper sound design and texture, it’s difficult to fault Legacy, and the more discerning crowd will definitely lap this up. Check out the clips below and hit up the Exit Bandcamp to pre-order a copy ahead of the release this Friday.
It’s not often we cover dubstep here on the Dojo but we’re making a rare exception here for three reasons; Skeptical, Exit Records, and sheer quality respectively. Skeppy’s new 10″ harnesses the spirit of early releases (before the tearout crew crucified the genre with endless wobble and horrible midrange noises) and blends it with the man’s talent for huge booming sub and punchy drums. Think early Tempa or DMZ but with the benefit of another ten years of engineering – formidable stuff.
Something in the Sound carries more energy with plenty of low end muscle and tasty percussion fills to shuffle the track along at as much of a pace as you’d expect for dubstep, while Talk The Talk thins out the drums to let the bass breath through a plodding kick/snare riddim. Check out the clips below and keep your eyes peeled if you want a copy – the release is vinyl only and already appears to be sold out at the Exit Store.
Having contributed releases for both Mosaic LPs, collaborated with dBridge and of course played a part in the seminal Marka single, it seemed only a matter of time til Skeptical dropped a solo release for Exit. Fans of all things dark and minimal in the 170BPM sphere will be glad to hear that that time is now, with young Skeppy dropping four new beats for dBridge’s esteemed imprint in the form of the Imperial EP.
The titular Imperial opens things up with a tight, percussive groover with a tribal vibe; with the exception of some fairly sparse strings this track pretty much entirely ignores melody in favour of a wall of sub bass and a hypnotic drum line, rattling away in a trance inducing fashion. Don’t bother listening to this on a pair of iPod headphones; you’ll need some fairly serious speakers to give it a fair hearing.
Playground Chat Back keeps the minimal aesthetic but strips the beat back and plays with some pretty robotic bass hums; once again the low end heft is definitely gonna induce a few screwfaces in the dance. Instant Reflex ups the energy a bit with tons of movement in the bass samples and massive kicks and snares driving the track along nicely, while Delusions of Grandeur closes things out with a growling, angular half-stepper. Watch out for these dropping January 19th on vinyl and digital, and arm yourself with some low end weaponry!
The relaunch of Doc Scott’s 31 Recordings imprint has been the cause for much celebration across the scene, and the label’s output has been absolutely stellar. Rounding off 2014 in style, they’ve unveiled a massive 24 track compilation featuring artists from across the D&B spectrum, and frankly pretty much all of it is excellent.
The huge selection takes in half-time beats from Sinistarr and Ital Tek, future jungle from Moresounds, liquid rollers from Bungle and Calibre, rowdy techstep from SCAR and plenty more besides. Special mentions have to go out to the broody, militant syncopations of House of Lanterns’ Take Control, the ethereal atmospherics of Hidden Turn’s Dream of Tron and the bleepy, atmospheric vibes of Gremlinz Forlorn, but honestly the whole LP is of such a high standard that picking favourites is pretty tough. Check out clips of all the tracks below and head over to the 31 Recordings store to preorder the compilation on vinyl or digital now – the release drops on December 15th.
Sun & Bass continue their tradition from last year and release another stellar compilation featuring cuts from the festival’s regular DJs, with a host of big names on board. The first half of the compilation leans heavily in the deep liquid direction, with a collection of rollers and steppers from Triad, Fracture & Mark System, Seba, Alite & Arp XP and more. Tokyo Prose steal the show for me with the sublime, twinkling piano and crisp breaks of Goodbye Hands…truly a tune you could lose yourself in.
The second half of the selection sees the heat turned up with harder beats from Klute, Chris SU and Nymfo, Dom & Roland and more. Ulterior Motive turn in a strong, squelchy stepper with Fragola Invisible and Audio Habitat collaborates with Mad Vibes for a good old fashioned dirty roller. The LP closes up with a few more soulful numbers from dBridge, Code 3 and Zero T for good measure.
Check out all the beats below and watch out for the release dropping on digital from December 16th. Don’t forget you can also pick up the sublime Calibre/Paradox remix 12″ from Surus now!
The Soul:R camp bring us tunes on a decidedly darker tip than usual from Manchester’s favourite MC/producer Chimpo. The titular Frontline sees Chimpo pass the mic to Fox for vocal duties while he gets on with the beats, delivering a moody half-time number imbued with bass and static in equal measure. Calibre steps in to deliver a remix and surprisingly avoids his usual smooth liquid territory in favour of a clattering amen refix of the tune, keeping things on a dark tip while significantly upping the tempo.
Elsewhere on the release Chimpo gets on the mic while Manchester buddies Dub Phizix & Skeptical provide a typically sparse, kick heavy beat for the man to air his unusual vocal style over. Finally All Over turns in a super-chopped up beat and ethereal, floaty pads to produce a style that sounds like the bastard child of drumfunk and dark garage. Truly innovative work on this one.
Watch out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital on July 15th.
Following hot on the heels of his excellent release for Blu Mar Ten Music, Thing has put together an hour long mix featuring some great cuts from the deep, dark end of the D&B spectrum. Including tracks from his own catalogue alongside selections from Stray, Clarity, Mtwn, Skeptical and Ruffhouse, it doesn’t get much grittier than this. Brooding halfstep lovers should definitely give this a listen.
The latest release from slightly left-field label Ingredients is really something special. The follow up to last year’s Mise En Place Pt. 1sees a strong selection from artists both new and old.
First up is Dub Phizix with a beautifully melancholy number in the form of Rainy City Music. The Manchester drum-punch don has gone soft on us for this one, layering together soft pads, warm bass and natural percussion to make a lush tune that is all atmosphere and no bite, and fantastic for it.
Switching things up for track 2, the legendary Break turns in a cracking slice of uptempo yet reserved breakbeat led D&B with his remix of Villem‘s Splinter In Your Mind. All the usual hallmarks are there (that drum break, seriously) and the compositional strength and bassline tone are sure to put a smile on your face.
Skeptical delivers a punchy stepper with a VIP of Blue Eyes, and finally dRamatic & dbAudio round the EP off with the menacing snares and sub growl of the aptly titled No Return. Check out the previews below and watch out for the release very soon!