Utopia Music have been quiet for some time now as Mako concentrates on his work with DLR as OneMind and his forthcoming LP for Samurai Music, so it’s great to see the label making a return on this brand new 12″ from longtime label collaborator Mikal.
Under The Earth sees Mikal and Mako teaming up on a trademark Utopia cut; exquisitely crafted breaks, bassline scuzz and tons of detail. The fusion of jungle sensibilities with a hint of ‘headz and a taste of techstep darkness has long defined the Utopia sound and this one fits that bill perfectly.
On the B-side Mikal gets militant with an angular kick-drum rhythm and a selection of aggy bass hits. This one should produce more than a few screwfaces; proper stomper! Check out the previews below and hit up the Utopia Bandcamp to grab the release right now…
Unbelievably excited for today’s exclusive as we can share brand new music from Hydro’s forthcoming LP for Utopia Music! Featuring the engineering talents of War, Tribal Times lives up to it’s name with an intricate array of unusual percussion powering the tune along. Far from being just another bongo-powered roller, the depth in the composition here is breathtaking, with eerie synth bleeps, soft strings and a stunning breakdown all contributing to a tune that really rewards repeated listens. Look out for the whole album coming Apr 12th; preorders are up right now on the Utopia Bandcamp.
Methlab are back with the third release on their BNKR imprint with Utopia Music regular Hydro at the controls! The Ethos EP showcases the deeper, more minimal sound that BNKR have been making their mark on and this is exemplified in the stripped back aethetic of Hydro & War’s Faux Amis (or ‘False Friends’ in English).
Intricate drums, myserious vocal samples and growling bassline grit characterise a typically introspective track from a production duo that always bring an exciting take on the D&B sound. Check it out below and watch out for the EP dropping from Nov 29th.
Mako’s Utopia Music imprint has been relatively quiet lately, probably due in no small part to Mako’s increasingly busy release schedule and his work on an LP for Metalheadz with DLR (which we can’t wait to hear). Busy schedule notwithstanding, it seems the label is still getting some love as evidenced by their first new 12″ since Inner Revolutiondropped at the start of the year.
Both tracks on the latest release come from super-collab style lineups, with Hydro at the centre of each. He’s recruited Habstrakt, War and Mateba for a chunky halftime outing on The New Age, which is all heaving sub bass and perfectly placed percussion, plus a few ominous pads for good measure. The track carries a really deep, tribal vibe and the overall effect is absolutely hypnotic.
Over on the flip Hydro is joined by Samurai Music/Auxiliary mainstay Sam KDC and unknown quantity Modabke for the achingly beautiful Voyage Nocturne. This one goes well outside of what can really be called D&B, hitting more of a downtempo/ambient vibe but still with those super crisp drums and an element of dark bass gargling away in the background behind the wash of jazzy licks, spacey synths and other instrumentation. If the first track was hypnotic this one is full on trance-inducing, and defies a worthy description.
Utopia Music continue to be one of the most exciting and innovative labels in the game, and we hope their strong tradition continues around Mako’s journey to the upper echelons of the scene! Check out the clips below hit up your favourite store to grab this on vinyl or digital right now.
Utopia Music have had something of a hiatus recently (probably due in no small part to Mako’s extensive work with other labels) but the label is back with a new EP and for the first time they’re going digital only. According to the press release the previous strict vinyl-only release policy is now being relaxed to try and get more of the label’s signings out into the world, so expect to see more digital releases over the coming months.
As usual from the Utopia Camp the tunes are all top quality, but the vibes are even deeper than usual, with the imprint making it’s first forays into halftime D&B. Hydro, War & Mateba go in on 87 with some pretty spooky synths over a chunky back beat, while Coerce serves up floaty, almost ambient business on Merkava.
Israeli producer PLK switches things up with a chunky slice of angular D&B with a techy edge, leaving it to label boss Mako to close things out with a blissful “ReDub” of Sunchase’s previous release for Utopia, Nathennia. The track lives up to it’s name, being entirely dubby and almost entirely unrecognisable from the original.
You can grab these right now from the Utopia store, and if you want more Utopian vibes be sure to check out Hydro & War’s brand new mix for our exclusive mix series!
For the latest in our exclusive mix series we’re extremely excited to welcome Utopia Music’s Hydro & War to the DNB Dojo decks. The boys have crafted a fantastic mix spanning rolling techstep, deep halftime, downtempo, hip-hop ambient and even a little jazz. We hope you’ll all enjoy the varied selections as much as we do!
No tracklist on this one but be sure to listen out for Hydro, War & Mateba’s latest cut for Utopia, 87, and forthcoming Hydro, Habstrakt, War & Matebacut The New Age (again out on Utopia very soon).
Utopia bossman Mako looks set for an amazing 2015; fresh from a great collab with Villem & McLeod and with a great new EP for Warm Comms on the horizon, we thought it was high time to find out what else he’s been cooking up.
The Utopia family return with a silky smooth liquid roller from bossman Mako alongside familiar partner in crime Villem and his erstwhile sidekick McLeod. Inner Revolution is pure bliss! Over on the flip Villem & McLeod go in deeper, swapping the uptempo breaks for a downtempo half-time beat but retaining the lush synth work and soulful vocals of the A side. Musicality and feeling all the way on this one. Hit up Redeye to grab this on vinyl right now, with digital release to follow very soon.
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…
The Utopia dream-team combine forces once again for a predictable but nonetheless satisfying slice of rolling tech-funk. Fans of the crew’s output will know what to expect – crisp breaks, grimey bass and the kind of production values that 40 odd years combined experience brings to the table!
Over on the flip Mako has signed up something distinctly mellower in tone from rising liquid producers Chromatic, who turn in a blissful slice of melodic D&B which is smooth as silk as it washes over the eardrums. Once again, maybe not the world’s most original stylings but the execution more than makes up for it, and the warmth and groove are up there with the best of the scene. Check out the clips below and look out for this on vinyl (which you can pre-order now at Redeye) and digital from 27th October.