RIP Marcus Intalex

We’re incredibly sad to have to bring you the news that Marcus Kaye, better known to D&B fans as Marcus Intalex, passed away yesterday. Marcus was a true legend of the scene, whether producing D&B under the Intalex moniker, producing techno as Trevino or flying the flag at Soul:r, his much respected imprint and the home of LSB, DRS and Calibre to name only a few. Our thoughts are with his family at this exceptionally difficult time.

It seems only right to remember Marcus through his music, so here are a few of our favourites from over the years. Rest in peace Marcus…you will be missed.

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LSB – Content LP [Soul:R]

If you’ve been keeping your eyes and ears on the liquid D&B scene in the last few years, you could scarcely have missed LSB. Coming from humble beginnings as a promoter and DJ, Luke got his first breaks via solid releases on the likes of Bingo, Demand, Integral and Spearhead before catching the attention of Soul:R chief Marcus Intalex. Since then he’s been responsible for DRS smash The View and a host of other solid tracks for some of the biggest labels in the scene.

So with his place in D&B cemented, clearly the time felt right for a full length outing, bringing us to this month’s release of the long tipped Content LP. From the unusually detailed and personal (and un-hyperbolic for that matter) press release accompanying the album, it’s clear that Luke has striven not just to write a collection of beats and strap them together as an album, but to come up with a coherent body of music that has some shared meaning. That vision really shines through, and fans of the producer’s previous work will definitely find plenty to enjoy here.

Content is packed full of deceptively simple but ultimately really evocative pieces of music, and some surprising choices compared to the stock “deep roller” sound that LSB has made his name on. From the profound and moving downbeat hip-hop of Sense vox’d Pandora through the moody jazz influences of Circle and into the hypnotic progression of Sketches For My Sweetheart there’s a real sense of a producer pushing his own creative envelope, with rich and varied rewards.

Even on the album’s more predictable outings there’s little to fault; The View gets a fantastic follow up as DRS and Tyler Daley return for the equally sublime Missing You, and tracks like The Optimist and Capture My Heart prove that LSB has in no way lost his touch for penning solid vibesy rollers.

Sadly the album comes against the backdrop of Luke suffering from a degenerative eye disease which has already severely impaired his vision and threatens to eventually leave him completely blind. That experience has surely informed the melancholy beauty present on Content, from the understated eye-test influenced artwork to the tracks themselves, and possibly proves some of the old adages about suffering for one’s art; here’s hoping Luke’s talents aren’t robbed from the scene by further issues with his sight. Content is out now on vinyl, CD and digital from the Soul:R store.

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Marcus Intalex – Four:fit 8 [Soul:R]

The four track EP has a fine heritage in drum & bass, and with good reason. While everyone loves a solid two track single, the EP format allows for the exploration of a theme, either by a single artist or a like-minded collective. It doesn’t carry the pressure of an album, but it provides a great platform for creative expression across an easily digestible four-course musical meal.

While the heritage of these EPs very much lies in the distant vinyl heyday of the scene, the format has nonetheless carried through to the digital era and its appeal proves undiminished by the digital format. Enter Soul:R, and their hugely enjoyable Four:fit series, which now delivers its eighth volume courtesy of label chieftain Marcus Intalex.

With a host of strong entries to the series from the likes of Calibre, Seba and Skeptical there was a high bar to meet here, but the ever reliable Intalex has turned in a solid selection more than worthy of the existing legacy. From the deep halftime growlings of Mixed Bag, through the stark, moody Step Forward and into rowdy amen smasher (and Dojo highlight) Jupiter, this is vintage Marcus through and through, and the EP closer sees Lynx hop on board for a fantastic roller on Stingray.

Once again Soul:R are at the top of the game when it comes to deep but still dancefloor worthy D&B. Check out the tracks below and hit up their Bandcamp store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital right now!

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Calibre – Fourfit EP 4 [Soul:R]

The fourth in Soul:R’s excellent Fourfit EP series comes from the mighty Calibre, and he brings a fine selection of dancefloor oriented rollers that lean towards the darker end of his sound. Bogeyman Bullshit leads the charge with a simple but effective combo of rolling breaks and wobbly bass, in that classic stripped-back style that the maestro does so well. Next up, Marcus Intalex & Bricktop get in on the action, serving up a beautiful moody roller in the form of Smother.

Multitasking ups the menace level with a healthy layer of distortion on the bassline and a more angular break. Dream of You serves up the EP’s surprise track, and possibly its best, a playful, dubbed out slice of halftime with hordes of reverb drenched character and sonic detail. Tasty stuff! Check out the clips below and hit up the Soul:R Bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital now.

DRS – The Puppeteer / Emergency [Soul:R]

Soul:R warm up for the impending arrival of DRS’s sophomore LP (following up 2012’s rather excellent I Don’t Usually Like MCs But…) with a new single showcasing the first of the album’s wares. Jubei provides production on dancefloor stomper The Puppeteer on the A-side while Marcus Intalex brings the dubby vibes on Emergency on the flip. Check out the tracks below and grab them exclusively from the Soul:R Bandcamp now; full release following from Jan 19th.

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Top Tracks of 2014

Following our run down of our favourite albums of the year, we felt it was only right to put the spotlight on our top tracks. These are the ten tunes that haven’t left our record box since their release…

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Fourfit EP 02 [Soul:R]

Soul:R present the second in their Fourfit EP series with a diverse selection from some of the best names in the scene. LSB opens up the release with a shimmering deep liquid roller replete with beautiful strings, flourishes of piano and a crisp, rolling break. Silky smooth business.

Next up FD switches thing up with a grimey tech roller that ticks all the right dancefloor boxes. Anile raids the classic breaks and turns up the atmosphere for the appropriately titled Depths, and Kid Drama rounds things off by tapping into that serene Autonomic melancholia for a great slice of leftfield 170BPM action.

Check out the beats below and look for this one on vinyl and digital from June 23rd.

Bungle – Astral Travel / Aura [Soul:R]

Marcus Intalex‘s much esteemed Soul:R imprint had an excellent 2012 and it seems that 2013 is gonna be no different. To open up the release schedule they’ve got a stunning release from Brazilian producer Bungle, and one which Intalex himself has described as ‘the best Soul:R 12″ there has been for a long time’. For once the fine words of Flava Flav are wrong – believe the hype!

Astral Travel on the A side is a beautiful understated roller than brings to mind Calibre’s best work, with simple, warm synth lines and a crisp, clean break combining to almost ethereal effect. Aura on the flip keeps things deep but changes pace slightly with an ever so slightly angular beat pattern, but again combined with superb uplifting synth leads and piano to create something simple and elegant.

Check out the tunes below and watch out for the release on Jan 21st!

Lynx – Balloons / Passing Time [Soul:R]

Not content with mighty releases from Phil Tangent and DRS, Soul:R are back with more, this time from eclectic producer Lynx who delivers a great little 12″. Balloons is a half stepper with tons of character, cheeky bleeps and bloops ambling through the tune, but for me it’s all about the deep roller on the flip Passing Time.

Watch out for this one dropping on Soul:R on Decmber 17th!

Phil Tangent – Restitution [Soul:R]

Soul:R have had a brilliant year and are aiming to round it off in style with their last few singles, one of which comes from the very talented Phil Tangent. Phil delivers deep vibes throughout, from the ethereal synths and rolling breakbeats of Restitution on the A side to the slightly grittier vibes of Squaring The Circle on the flip, featuring a cheeky vocal sample of none other than Bjork!

Look out for this one dropping December 10th on Soul:R.