Toronto producer Stranjah is back in our premiere hot seat alongside fellow Vortex crew-member Captivate as they bring a cracking slice of halftime jungle to Greazus’ Aufect Platinum imprint. Blending classic breaks with influences from trap and footwork, this one packs a heavy sub punch and a healthy dose of breakbeat attitude. Wicked stuff! Look for this alongside four solo Stranjah tracks dropping July 27th at all good digital stores…
Premiere time once again as we present the exclusive first listen on Lakeway’s latest slice of experimental 170BPM bass business. Punishing sub and a driving kick rhythm define Fireblast Riddim, combining influences from halftime D&B, trap and footwork for a heavyweight slab of futuristic electronica. The string breakdown in the mid-section is a beauty too!
Critical’s digital only Binary imprint returns for their 6th instalment and this time it’s Solvakian techstep producer Subtension on the buttons. The EP follows on from Subtension’s last release for Renegade Hardware, further exploring his innovative trap-tech fusion. While the influence of trap and footwork on D&B is already becoming well trodden ground fewer producers are blending it with the harder edged techstep and neurofunk stylings and the result is pretty damn ravey.
There’s still space for a more traditional rollout on chunky low end damager No Worries and closing track What Do You Want provides a pleasant surprise with a hefty dose of disco’n’bass! Vibes all round. Check out the clips below and grab this one from the Critical Store right now.
Following on from a most successful Middle of the Night remix contest, Evol Intent collect the five winning entries along with a trap remix from Knick’s Bro Safari side project. The full spectrum of genres is covered nicely here, with Bl4ck Owlz turning in a hefty dubstep mix and Jamestown Thieves & Dirty Doses bringing the electro house vibes on their mix.
The highlights here at the Dojo proved (unsurprisingly) to be the higher tempo reworks. Jorts’ purple/future bass rework provides a fantastic reimagining of the original with a very different tone, while Teknian & ZeroZero give the track a crisp new D&B mix that borrows heavily from the Break school of production. The star of the show however has to be the madcap breakcore edits of the Fantastic Planet remix, which carries a simply unbelievable level of detail. Badass chops!
Check out the clips below and head to your favourite store to buy the release; it’s also available for free via Topspin.
The release of Alix Perez’s second album for Shogun last year came as a disappointment to me – it felt like he’d been lured into the mainstream by the appeal of fame and fortune, with many of the tracks sounding completely unlike the style he’d been carving for himself in the D&B scene. News of an EP for Exit buoyed my hopes that he still had interesting tunes in him, and the results more than confirm that suspicion.
The influence of other electronica pervades the tracks on the EP, with trap, footwork and LA bass all playing into the sound, but thankfully the tracks make the influences their own rather than just copycatting new styles. U kicks things off with a breakneck take on the trap/footwork drum pattern and a smattering of cut up vocals, while Stray collab Sludge drops the tempo in favour of a gigantic, stalking, EPROM-style bassline; serious head-nod business.
The footwork influence comes full circle on Make It Worth as the original pioneers of the style Rashad & Spinn get in for a collab. The heavy sub and frantic syncopations oft associated with the genre are present, but with a level of polish which only D&B producers seem able to achieve. The vocal hook ices the cake nicely; no doubt this will be huge both in and out of the 170 scene. Last up the appropriately named Gully Halves strips things back for another minimalistic sub-fuelled slice of electronica that simply oozes with the swagger of the LA bass scene.
Watch out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital from April 7th – preorders are available from Surus now.
Critical sister-label Modulations continues it’s fine tradition of putting out the less conventional end of the 170BPM sphere with it’s latest release from Bristol’s Sam Binga. AYO kicks things off with an MC-led halfstepper featuring the vocal talents of Redders over a distinctly trap-influenced beat that brings to mind Fracture’s half-time explorations in terms of drum structure, but moves off into synthier territory for the lead and bassline. The influence of EPROM and the glitchy LA hip-hop sound shines through here to give the tune real character, not to mention a healthy swagger.
Freezy keeps things bouncy and half-time but ups the syncopation, drawing on classic jungle breaks and some ghetto-tech/footwork style vocal cuts for an effortless blend of slow and fast. a hypnotic lead line and some tasty old-skool rave stabs fade in and out of the mix for extra sizzle. Lastly for the digital buyers 8 Barr ups the glitchyness with a tune that’s sure to have crowds raising a gun finger or two for the deadly subs.
Check out the tunes below and watch out for the release from October 7th on vinyl and digital.
Estonian trio Mutated Forms live up to their name with a truly wonky take on the 170 sound. From the frenetic footwork/grime crossover of Tension (featuring Manchester MCs Virus Syndicate) through the mutant rave/trap/drumstep beats of Swamp and out into the hip-hop influence of Blop, these beats should challenge listeners and DJs alike.
Have a listen to the clips and watch out for the release dropping via Pilot Records from September 23rd.
Shogun bring us another eclectic selection of remixes, this time of tracks from Spectrasoul’s recent LP Delay No More. dBridge delivers a respectable leftfield 170 rework of Momento with some nice filtering on the main break and James Zabiela delivers an appropriately catchy house reflex of The Curb, but ultimately the highlights are found in the other remixes on show.
DLR turns in a tidy remix of Sometimes We Lie, fusing the soulful elements of the original with a beat and bassline combo that’s techy enough to move a floor without overpowering the tune. Next up the ever innovative Rockwell gives Echo Park the glitched up trap/juke/hip-hop treatment, creating a fantastic blend of synth euphoria, hip-hop back beat and hench bass stabs. Methinks Mr Rockwell has been listening to a lot of EPROM lately, not that it’s a bad thing!
Lastly CMX (nee Commix) turns in a superbly weird rework of Away With Me, dropping the tempo way down and creating a break from distinctly unconventional samples. In the wake of the ludicrously smooth Calibre remix of this tune that dropped last year, it’s good to see other producers taking a totally different direction. Look out for the EP dropping July 22nd.
So just who is the mysterious Dawn Day Night? Following his initial appearance on Fracture’s Get Busythe mysterious masked (and possibly undead) artist has thrown down at Sun & Bass festival, leaked a rather bizarre rider to Resident Advisor, and is now preparing to release his debut EP on Fracture & Neptune’s Astrophonica label. Given the close ties to Fracture speculation abounds that the two are in fact one and the same man…thusfar we have no confirmation, though the scenario seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to the recent Phillip D. Kick project (though with more facepaint).
The identity of the masked man aside, the EP is an intriguing fusion of ghettotech, jungle, breaks, trap and juke, with super precise syncopated percussion and tight sub lines accompanying some choice samples (my favourite being the cry of “Big Booty Girlllllllls”). Check out the previews, and look out for the EP on vinyl and digital, out tomorrow at all good stores.