Once again the scene has lost a great talent far too early. As you’ve probably already heard by now, Duncan “Spirit” Busto passed away on August 26th following a cardiac arrest earlier that month. We’re big fans of Spirit here at Dojo HQ, so in no particular order we’ve compiled a list of our favourite tracks from his back catalogue. Rest in peace mate…your music will live on.
Digital & Spirit’s very intermittent release schedule for their Phantom Audio imprint continues this month with an EP that’s been anticipated for a serious length of time at this point. Anyone who’s seen either of the duo (or indeed any of their numerous friends in the scene) DJ in the last year or more will undoubtedly already be familiar with the two classic reworks on the EP; Deadline / Dial Up mash-up Deaddial and the 2018 update of Phantom Force have both been smashing up the raves for quite a while now.
It’s perhaps testament enough to the skill of Digital & Spirit as producers that both the original versions and these new remixes still sound fresh after years of being hammered in clubs around the world, but if you needed any further evidence then just check out the other two tracks on show on the EP; to turn a slightly trite phrase this release is most certainly all killer, no filler.
Revolution serves up that dubby halftime that Digital in particular is well known for, but the percussive fills and booming claps make this one anything but sluggish. Small World meanwhile brings classic amen choppage and old school rave stabs more than capable of injecting some energy into the dance. Future classics no doubt, and a winning addition to an absolutely must-have EP. Check out the clips below and hit up the Phantom Audio bandcamp to get your hands on digital, vinyl and t-shirts.
Foundation X have always been a reliable outlet for old-school, jungle-tinged D&B and their latest 12″ delivers that in spades as they dish up two cracking remixes of classics from the label’s vault.
Spirit steps up on the A side, switching up the breaks on Morphy’s dubbed out masterpiece Put Down Your Guns. The energy of the original is definitely retained but the chaos in the drums is dialled back a notch in favour of that reliable Spirit groove, letting the track really sizzle.
A similarly subtle relick comes on the flip side, with X Nation switching the drums up from Hornsman’s original full rolling jungle into a dubby halftime head nodder. The iconic horns of the original are present and correct set to a more pulsing, tribal riddim; espect this to turn some heads in the rave.
As always you can grab this on strictly limited vinyl from the Foundation X Bandcamp. Go grab it now!
A fresh release from the legendary Spirit is nearly always a treat and the latest single for his own Inneractive imprint proves to be exactly that. As with many Spirit compositions Think carries more than a little of the old school flavour, with big floaty pads, analogue reverb and crunchy breaks a-plenty; energetic, but dubbed out and spacey at the same time.
Over on the flip Bounty Killer once again invokes the aesthetic of days gone by, but this time swapping the calmer elements of the A-side for a vintage-style jump-up workout based around hard hitting breaks and an infectious bass hook. This one will take you straight back to the late 90s and a sold-out sweatbox rave! Check out the clips below and hit up Bandcamp to grab it on vinyl or digital right now.
In 2015, the legendary DnB label Metalheadz embarked on a project to re-master and re-release all of its classic tunes from the 90s and beyond. This was presumably done for DJs, to give high-quality downloads of early-era songs to those who have updated their equipment but not their tastes.
What it has effectively done on top of that, however, is to expose younger generations of ravers to the wonders of the Metalheadz archives, as well as to producers and sub-genres which, if not forgotten, were buried in the record crates of first-and-second-generation junglists and D&B heads. Now even the grumpiest vinyl-loving old school heads can listen to a crisp, clean WAV of Marcus Intalex’s My Soul on their computers if they so choose.
The most recent release from the “Re-Mastered” project is of 2002’s MDZ.02. Just released on Friday, this 11-track retrospective contains classics from the likes of Klute, Teebee, Loxy & Ink and a special Usual Suspects track called Tribute, an homage to the influential D&B MC Kendo, who’d recently passed at the time the track was released.
2002 was an interesting transitional time for drum and bass. Beats became much faster, samples started to be influenced by hip hop, R&B and rave, and jungle and drum and bass structures started to merge in ways that many felt were unthinkable. Metalheadz was right on the forefront of this change and its surrounding controversy, riding the crest to emerge as the well-established and cutting-edge label it is today.
Written by Layla Marino
The ever-prolific Digital is back with a big new album featuring nothing but collaborative tracks. With Synthesis just out, we caught up with the man himself to find out about where the LP concept came from, working with Spirit and who has the best studio. Check it…
Spirit is a name you should already be more than familiar with. A constant and innovative presence in the scene for nearly 20 years, both as a solo artist and with regular production partner Digital, Spirit’s productions are as varied as they are plentiful and that looks set to continue based on the strength of this release.
Life Goes On drops in with a playful acid bassline that bucks all the current trends for both liquid and tech D&B, bringing a classic sound but taking it in an unusual direction. 107 goes deeper, powered along by shimmering synths, growling bass yawns and a distinctive ratcheting drum break; this is one to get lost in. Both tracks have that crisp engineering that only experience can bring, and should prove rewarding at home or on the dancefloor.
Check out the clips below and hit up the Blu Mar Ten store to pre-order this one now ahead of the April 13th release.
We were so impressed with the last G.H.O.S.T release here at the Dojo that we just had to hit them up for an exclusive mix! The boys have obliged with a fantastic all vinyl/dubplate selection featuring some of their own beats alongside techy cuts new and old including classics from the likes of Dillinja and Kemal & Rob Data. Check it out via Mixcloud below or head to Hearthis.at for streaming and Dropbox for a download.
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.
Horizons Music celebrate 10 years in the game with an excellent new compilation featuring 14 fresh cuts from names that will be familiar to anyone who’s been following the label in recent times. The compilation takes a look back at the label’s very first release, with Jubei and Amoss both turning in remixes of Skitty’s 10 Steps, but for the most part they’re looking forward with new material from some of the best names in the scene.
It’s difficult to pick highlights from such a strong selection, but a few stand out from the pack. Silent Witness brings a perfectly balanced combination of melodic elements and rolling, dancefloor tech on Fields, Amoss explore their deeper side on the subby liquid of Piano Licks and DLR turns in a trademark chunky stepper on Outta Time. The whole LP is well worth a listen, so check out the clips below and head to your favourite outlet to grab this on CD, vinyl or digital now!