I’ve never seen a white owl, but owls are pretty gangster in my opinion- what with their massive and wise eyes and nighttime killer instinct. So a white owl is always going to be that shade more gangster than a regular owl. Hibea clearly agrees with me, his tune White Owl, winds up the tension of the hunt with sinister chords then unleashes into a technical attack of sub pressure and warping sirens and rewinds. The Fade Remix rolls out even further with a big-it-up Reece bassline and tight jungle drum edits.
Not to be confused with the previously mentioned producer, The Fade, the Hibea flipside ‘The Form’ is a nice melodic rising and falling workout. A gently shifting techno landscape soothes along with old skool breaks and a harmonic Icicle-esque bassline. The Phil Tangent Remix is a winner for me upping the anti with his now trademark rhythmic synths and tight drum control- technical but you can still drink your afternoon cup of tea to it. Overall a very impressive and solid release, with all tunes earning their rightful place in any discerning melodic tech set and further solidifying IMLTD’s reputation in the scene for releasing proper intelligent drum & bass tunage.
Some typical Break ruffness here - which is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. The reggae vocal line and organ chords warm up for the intro until he slams in his trademark precision breakbeats, going for a nice 2-steppy feel. They are of course accompanied by his signature analogue-driven bass fuzz and splashes of subsonic rumble. Much like the original the track gets things nice and dubby, gives the sub a nice workout and will almost certainly smoke out the rave.
Eastcolors – ‘Watch Out’ (Enei Remix)
A well selected compliment to Break’s A-side offering, Enei puts his own signature sauce on Eastcolors original. First half sees tension pads and 8 bit breaks roll out into waves of techy junglism, giving an industrial edge to the streetwise Jamaican vocal slice. The second half develops the b-line rather pleasingly into a multi-octave subwoofer test. A nice mid-set plate for manoeuvring those tricky tech/jungle genre transitions.
By Lawrence Arbus
A/ Break & Enei - So True VIP B/ Eastcolors - Watch Out (Enei Remix)
Seba has done it again. He has managed to create an absolutely powerful album that has one great tune after another. His production is fine tuned and persistent. This album has untold variation by crossing between liquid and techy rollers along with the two flawless house tracks. I find the word “consistent” is the best way to describe Seba and this LP only embodies that. Every track feels complete despite Seba’s minimalistic approach with most of them. He finds a way to create a very fulfilling sound while still leaving a lot of space in room in his songs. As many producers know this is a very tough thing to do. Less is more and Seba demonstrates this to perfection with his new forthcoming LP Identity coming out on his own label Secret Operations on March 4th.
The LP starts off with the great tune I Can’t Describe I find it hard myself to completely describe and define this track. It rolls in and out of being part liquid with some heavy tech influence. Great borderline tune that has a lot to offer and would be perfect for the transition from tech to liquid (or vice versa) during a set. Identity the LP’s self titled track is a very interesting one. It is a vocal-ridden techy roller that has some very fitting lyrics about “Sound” specifically Seba’s sound. Balance of Power is a tune that is designed from the ground up to be dark and an absolute heavy hitter on the dance floor. It will not disappoint any person who is a fan of Seba’s capabilities.
Seba’s use of unconventional sound is very apparent in this LP. His production stands out among other producers because he finds a way to bring new and unique sounds to every tune he creates instead of recycling the same samples. With tracks like Madness and What’s Your Fantasy that are both two completely different types of tunes we see Seba flex his production muscles. He is able to make something that sounds familiar and isn’t completely alien while sticking to a basic drum and bass format. Then we have the two tracks that are completely alien. Could This Be Love and Midas are two house tunes produced by Seba. Both very unique in their own ways but add a subtle amount of variety to the albums general scope. Although they are both house tunes, they are still both distinctively Seba. Could This Be Love has a very grand sci-fi sound that feels like it belongs in some sort of soundtrack, whilst Midas is leans more towards the Techno spectrum.
The two tracks I know I will be hearing in mix after mix are “Too much too soon” which we previewed last year and “Nothing can replace” which is another melodic vocal liquid tune. Both are accompanied by very strong vocals and help give these tunes their energy. This LP has some amazing works from Seba. The variety and quality is just unreal, the fans will not be disappointed in the slightest and any new listener will find a tune to love in just moments.
By Mersen Howes.
A/ Seba - Can’t Describe B/ Seba - Identity C/ Seba - Madness D/ Seba - Too Much Too Soon E/ Seba - Say You Love Me F/ Seba - Could This Be Love G/ Seba - Nothing Can Replace H/ Seba - Balance Of Power I/ Seba - Midas J/ Seba - What’s Your Fantasy
Already a staple name in the hear of Guildford and the surrounding areas, as well as airwaves maestro of Kane FM, Axon continues upon his path of production. This time teaming up with Ipman on Demand Records, Axon continues to build upon his sound of raw minimal flavours, and with word the young man maybe being signed to Noisia’s Inivisible label, he’s definitely one to keep an eye on!
Bringing with it hard-hitting chest rumbling bass notes, If You Listen takes a dive for the aural depths as Axon & Ipman’s shifted, glitched drums shuffle the bass to some interesting places. A truly weighted shifter, this track will have many a dance floor popping off.
Starting off the New Year like no other, one of Brazil’s finest producers joins Soul:R for it’s 60th release. Stepping in from what seems to be the heart Brazilian D&B (Sao Paulo), Bungle is an original example of the ever growing list of high calibre producers that continue to enter the scene by storm from the South American powerhouse. Having his first tunes released in the mid ’00s around the same time as S.P.Y. was being signed to Metalheadz, Bungle has continued to provide us with the consistently top quality tracks such as Forgotten Souls and Floor 14 and now he returns on Soul:R to bring us something very different!
Bringing with him the same depth and flair that only he knows how, Bungle steps away from his usual fast-paced, upbeat sound and provides us with something truly special. A true liquid shuffler like no other, Astral Travel is a cacophony of warm, augmented pads and a simple yet punchy bassline that glides the tune through each transition effortlessly. Suffice to say, the track brings with it the same free-spirited vibe as Bungle’s Blue (from his Memories LP), or his and Marky’s VIP mix of 25th Floor. It’s this exact same punchy, elegant sound which we find in Astral Travel and it truly does grasp your ear when it’s played.
On the flip is something very different with Aura. A mixture of big room rides, tight yet soothing piano lines and heavily reverbed synths, Bungle switches it up from his usual stance to bring us this minimal marvel. Starting off with a very stripped drumline, Bungle brilliantly encompasses the intensity of his percussion to build the track up into a wall of colourful sounds that wraps a smile one’s face.
In all, Bungle returns from the shadows to bring us something colourful and vibrant just as it continues to be dark and gloomy in these winter months. A clear sign of more spectacular things to come from Soul:R, 2013 is looking to be brilliant year for the Manchester based label.
Straight from Secret Operations we have two new tracks off of Seba’s forthcoming LP Identity, and they’re absolutely massive. First we have Too Much Too soon, a powerful vocal roller featuring Swedish vocalist Josefine Jinder.
The track kicks off with a basic arp, reminiscent of any typical 80s sci/fi tv show, before slowly bringing some warmth in with a nicely distorted guitar strum. The distorted guitar gives the track drive and depth without it being overwhelming or clashing with the vocals. Jinder’s unique voice works really well with the ambient melody and driving guitar. Her vocals give the track it’s movement rather than it being a straight melodic roller. This track may not have a huge build or drop but it works flawlessly without them. It moves seamlessly in and out of a vocal and guitar driven chorus and a soft melodic bridge instead. Seba really nailed this track’s gentle but driven tone. This is a great example of Seba’s production strength and it continues on the flip.
On the B side we have a very unique roller entitled Say You Love Me. Seba was inspired by the early 90’s sound of Larry Heard’s Mr Fingers Chicago house sound, and this track shows this in it’s own unique way. It’s not as linear and forward moving as Too Much Too Soon, but it has more of a house sound and structure. The lead synths are inspired by an early 90’s moog and work flawlessly with the darker ambient piano backing track. This tune comes together as an old school house track brought back to life with a true drum and bass sound. Seba pulled it off effortlessly and we can see this with him being able to keep the old school house sound whilst still giving it the twist of the modern day d&b roller. Together these tracks come together to create an amazing sampler which has only got us more excited for Seba’s forthcoming LP release!
A/ Seba - Too Much Too Soon ft. Jinder B/ Seba - Say You Love Me
(SECOPS019) Out December 17th on Secret Operations.
Lynx drops us some fresh sounds on Soul:R once again, and you will not be disappointed. As we’ve come to expect from Lynx, his new release Balloons brings something fresh to the table to say the least. The innovative intro wouldn’t be out of place as an old nintendo 64 soundtrack. With Lynx making sure to throw 8-bit ear candy in all the places you’d least expect he leaves you fully unprepared for a drop that we can guarantee you will not see coming! Deep techie vibes on this one, with silkie fills that’ll leave you smiling from ear to ear.
Moving swiftly on to the flip, this has got to be the talking point of the release. Passing Time gets the blend between natural acoustic piano chords and the more ambient electronic side spot on. With beautiful vocals fading in and out that help glue the mix together, Lynx proves again and again that he will not be limited to any particular sub-genre and Passing Time is evidence of this for sure. A solid release overall with a eclectic flavour that is becoming more and more synonymous with Lynx’s music, we eagerly await what musical direction he takes in 2013.
Phil Tangent - Restitution / Squaring The Circle (SOULR058)
Soul:R again live up to their name, providing two impassioned slices of liquid courtesy of the ever thoughtful Phil Tangent. Resititution begins with all the sparkle of any good liquid number, a la Random Movement or Calibre, continuing to develop into a full piece of shimmering, pad saturated emotions. Squaring The Circle rings clear with a sharp 2-step warm up, descending into a deep rolling bass track, textured with what I can only assume is a Bjork vocal sample. Phil once again proving why his ‘plates are some of the smoothest around.
A/ Phil Tangent - Restitution B/ Phil Tangent - Squaring The Circle
So we finally hooked it all together! After months of deliberating, and sorting out bits and bobs, we’ve setup our studio up in Manchester. Already we’ve been spinning puure fire, and watch out for a fresh set of mixes from out InstaSound Sessions!
Gerwin & Nuage - Lying Portraits ft. 2 Shy / Gerwin - Soul Truth (IMLTD1209)
Hello hello again! Sorry for the lack of bumping basslines over the last couple of weeks… we’ve been sorting out our set up in Manchester, and now it’s finally ready for the mixing sesh! Anyway, enough of me babbling as Lawrence has a couple fresh pieces forthcoming on IM:Ltd and Soul:R for you.
- Louis InstaSound
Today we’ve got 2 tunes from the lovely techy, and liquidy up-and-comers: Gerwin and Nuage. Lying Portraits presents subdued and intelligent vocals from Shy which smartly lead into some 2-steppin pressure. Tight warping bass growls and a solid sub sit in thoughtful contrast against smooth piano arpeggios and an echoing backdrop soul vocal. Sure to gently warm-up any chilly winter dancefloor.
Soul Truth, a solo effort from Gerwin sees the same sub warp bass of the flipside upped a notch with more tight 2-step clippage and live drum breaks. A peppering of mellow r’n’b vocals and gentle pads create a deep, colourful atmosphere.
Both of these tracks are sure to sit well in any Christmas stocking and will no doubt be complemented by a glass or three of mulled wine!
A/ Gerwin & Nuage - Lying Portraits ft. 2 Shy B/ Gerwin - Soul Truth
Chemical Ali & Fade - Imagination Of Yourself (Spirit Remix) / Insider [ROOTED001]
Rooted Recordings establishes itself this month with their first release which oversees 2 tracks coming out vinyl and treat to a further third on digital. This opening release is set for November 14th, and unlike other recent labels Rooted is aimed at delivering a raw 90s tech style of drum & bass.
To kick off this momentous occasion the guys at Rooted pave way for an impressive remix from Spirit. His version of Chemical Ally & Lady Flava’s track Imagination of Yourself sees its way onto the A side of the wax alongside another tune from Fade called Insider.
The well seasoned Spirit delivers yet again with a slamming remix, a prime example of a style of d’n’b once thought lost, bringing together a fusion of real drums and hard hitting basslines making the elements of this track perfect for those familiar to flavours of Renegade Hardware or Grid recordings.
An old saying goes something like ‘All Good Things Come in Pairs’ and the team at Rooted seem to agree as they introduce an emerging Russian producer ‘Fade’ to the party with a hair raising roller titled Insider. A stunning array of production sees this release gaining quick support from the likes of Loxy, Digital & Skeptical.
With all good things in mind Rooted Records share a taster of whats in store with an exclusively digital sampler by another emerging producer 2Sides who lends a helping hand with a truly upfront track True Skull. We can safely say that Rooted Records is definitely a label to watch out for, a rare connection between musical direction and quality of sound will see these guys come back with something bigger and better. Watch out.
A/ Chemical Ally & Lady Flave - Imagination Of Yourself B/ Fade - Insider C/ 2Sides - True Skull
(ROOTED001) Out November 14th on Rooted Recordings.
dRamatic & dbAudio - Far Away ft. Grimm (Total Science Remix) / Days Running Out [MARS006]
From strength to strength goes Mars Recordings. This time bringing with them a wicked Total Science refix of long time faithfuls dRamatic & dbAudio’s Far Away, featuring outstanding vocals from the one and only soul brother Grimm.
This rework takes it down a notch from the original amen roller, a smooth shift in pace brings out the vocals in a whole new style reinforced with a completely new chord pattern for the track, perfect to cool down that heated dance floor or for kickin’ back in the shack.
As well as this exclusive remix the boys dRamatic & dbAudio give Mars and us another treat to a totally original track titled Days Running Out. Here we get a very good reminder of why these guys have been the favourites of such massive names in the scene for so many years, including the likes of Fabio, Grooverider, LTJ Bukem, Hype and Marky to list a few.
Finally, at long last these guys are becoming an ‘everyday junglist’s’ household name, for north south east and west these guys are working hard and laying it down. Keep an eye open at Good Looking, Black Reflections, V for these guys sounds as they settle in for the long-haul.
A/ dRamatic & dbAudio - Far Away ft. Grimm (Total Science Remix) B/ dRamatic & dbAudio - Days Running Out
Beta 2 ft. Pete Josef - Love Finds Me / Zero T - Red Hands (CIAUKDK005)
Winter is coming. I can feel it in my bones. So thank goodness for this soulful slice of proper liquid Drum & Bass that Beta 2 and his buddy Pete Josef have concocted. Love Finds Me sees well-rehearsed piano chords alongside ethereal strings and synths twinkle around a genuinely heartfelt vocal track. This is the perfect aural antidote to the advancing frost and the increasingly overbearing amount of poorly configured vocal D&B.
On the flip we’re presented a deep little roller in the shape of Red Hand. Now a go-to fixture of the London amen enthusiast scene, Zero T again proves why his drum machine is better than yours. Some classic and borderline hilarious hardcore chops intersperse with some warped vocal quirkiness provide the melodic interest over some classic Zero T rollout jungle drums. Sirens and growling bass top-off the package nicely giving us a track that is sure to see the dancefloor shacking out like it was 1996.
A/ Beta 2 ft. Pete Josef - Love Finds Me B/ Zero T - Red Hand
(CIAUKDK005) Out October 29th on CIA Deep Kut Records.
Fresh from Audio’s forthcoming LP is another serious collab between himself and InsideInfo, putting together their tight skills to create another beastly upfront roller.
Beginning with a minimal break pattern and slow, rising background synths, Vein Drain is quick to get your adrenaline pumping! The walls come crashing down right after the break to a heavy beat and insanely aggressive lead that would put a smile on any neurofunk fans’ face.
Audio & Insideinfo have do it again, and bring with them an interesting new piece that is dark to its core. With the upfront scene being swamped with producers, InsideInfo & Audio have come together to bring us something that does not disappoint.
A true show of Audio’s ever-growing neurofunk skills.