Schmeichel – Alteration EP [Defrostatica Records]

Schmeichel - Alteration EP [Defrostatica Records]

Ambitious Leipzig-based label Defrostatica continues to fly the flag for its hometown with the debut EP from Schmeichel, the Alteration EP – a forward-thinking journey through the outer reaches of footwork.

Drawing influences from all corners of bass music, former rock drummer Schmeichel strings together five cuts of explorative electronica with its roots in footwork but its heights almost limitless. Driven by hi-hats and rimshots, the record shuffles and grooves its way through a story, ushering in one of the new generation of Leipzig producers.

Click here to buy or listen below.

www.soundcloud.com/defrostatica
www.defrostatica.com

Lewis James – ‘Searchtower’/’Templar III’ [none60 Records]

Lewis James - 'Searchtower'/'Templar III' [none60 Records]

Lewis James joins the none60 crew for two tracks of deep, atmospheric drum & bass.

Silent Dust’s label snapped the producer up after hearing A-side ‘Searchtower’ played out by Jon1st – the combination of sci-fi pads and sonic artefacts giving way to a hypnotic bassline sucked them in, and that’s no surprise.

On the flip, ‘Templar III’ shows off Lewis James’ background in film and video game sound design with a real Assassin’s Creed dimension to the majestic half-time march.

Click here to buy, and listen below – and for good measure check out Lewis James’ none60 podcast while you’re at it.

www.soundcloud.com/silentdust

 

Bassment Beats Vol 3 [Translation Recordings]

Bassment Beats Vol 3 [Translation Recordings]

Things get dark on the third instalment of Translation Recordings’ pioneering Bassment Beats series, where new artists jump on the label to drop moody cuts of experimental drum & bass.

All abrasive synths and ominous atmospherics, the record starts at full throttle with fierce tracks from Akinsa and Fuj before Mark Kloud lightens the weight but keeps the drums hectic on ‘Coplanar’.

Broken Promise’s tense, urgent ‘Blade’ rips with a snarling mid-bass given life by clattering breakbeats before the record is seen out by Translation Recordings founder RogueState’s staggered slow burner ‘Origins’.

The record is out now, listen below or head here to buy.

www.translation-recordings.com
www.soundcloud.com/translationrecordings

Dirty-D – Feelin’ Moody EP [NexGen Music]

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NexGen Music let chaos reign on latest release Feelin’ Moody by Dirty-D who pushes breaks close to their breaking point – but then again it’s his label so he can do what he wants.

Thankfully label founder D.A – operating here under one of his many production monikers Dirty-D – has impeccable taste and avoids headachy jump-up in favour of four tracks of hectic drum & bass toughness with a real touch of class even in the midst of the speaker-rending bassines of closing track ‘Choppin’ It’.

Veering from a marriage of mental drums and classic rave synths on the title track to the shredded breaks of the jagged ‘Radial Exposure’, the record pivots on the high-energy stepper ‘Do You Love Me?’, which conjures visions of Ed Rush and Optical.

It’s no surprise that the record has a genuine old-school taste to it – it’s put together using unfinished bits from as far back as the late 90’s, buffed up to today’s standards.

Listen below, or click here to buy.

https://www.nexgenmusicgroup.com/
www.soundcloud.com/nexgenrecs

Boomdoc – Lowda EP [Affectionate Grooves]

 

Boomdoc - Lowda EP [Affectionate Grooves]

Keeping things strictly bass-bound, Affectionate Grooves play host to the steppin’ house debut from Boomdoc, the infectious four-track Lowda EP.

Bouncing from the off, it’s hard to imagine a better celebration of hitting double figures in releases for the NexGen Music Group sub-label. Boomdoc shakes four walls, the ceiling and the floor with catchy opener ‘Roc Dem Floors’ and keeps things popping off with stinking bass throughout.

Closer ‘Steppin on the Town’ is a glorious nod to ‘golden era’ house and the EP wears its classic influences proudly on its sleeve while packing a hefty low-end kick custom built for dancefloor destruction.

The Lowda EP is out now on Affectionate Grooves – head here to buy or listen below.

www.soundcloud.com/nexgenrecs
www.nexgenmusicgroup.com

Basic Biology – ‘Twilight’/’Sensational’ [Free Love Digi]

Basic Biology - 'Twilight'/'Sensational' [Free Love Digi]

Free Love Digi takes a left turn near Venus for the new release from Basic Biology.

The thoughtful EP is one of the mellowest the label has put out to date, and is the first FLD record to bear the Basic Biology name although one of the two men behind the duo is a veteran of Quentin Hiatus’ imprint – as a solo artist Thomas B has put out numerous EPs and tracks.

The two have fairly different musical backgrounds – Thomas Brinson (Thomas B) took up production in his 20s, whereas Matthey Cassidy is a multi-instrumentalist who started playing music aged 10. The pair came together through mutual friend and Free Love Digi bigshot Ghast, and on their label debut they look to the dreamlike rather than the dancefloor with two soft tracks of leftfield bass – ‘Twilight’ and ‘Sensational’ – which are raised even higher by the vocal work of Megan McKay.

Verging on trip-hop and bearing comparison to artists like Phaeleh, the EP is a breath of fresh air but one which can blow hard at times with some rock-solid beats.

Listen below or head to www.freelovedigi.com to buy.

www.soundcloud.com/free-love-digi

Digital, 6Blocc, Calculon, Shamanga, Fanu, Agzilla – Rogue Style 2 EP [Defrostatica Records]

Defrostatica Records doubles down on its Rogue Style series, which returns to pay tribute to the b-boy scene and its many strains of influence for a second time.

The first entry in the Rogue Style series saw Sinistarr, Kiat, Kabuki and HomeSick providing tracks inspired by b-boying and the lineup for this EP is just as international. Digital (UK), 6Blocc, Calculon, Shamanga (all USA), Fanu (Finland) and Agzilla (Iceland) are those responsible for the tracks, which kick hard and deep in all different directions, fanning out from the common ground of a respect for b-boy culture.

Digital provides a straight-up stomp through drum & bass for ‘Uprock’, a no-nonsense introduction to the four-track EP. He said: “Myself and my older brother have been into hip hop and b-boy culture from an early age. It showed me music wasn’t just something you danced to, it demonstrated togetherness, passion and the amazing life you can have through music.” 

At the other end of the record, Agzilla tortures breakbeats for fun, ramping up the bassweight on ‘Tesselation’ before a blunt-force bassline closes the track out. The Icelandic producer said: “The disciplines of hip hop, graffiti, turntablism, and breakdancing have been subtle undercurrents throughout my design and music. The era of discovering groundbreaking sounds, dancing, and style in the 80’s left a deep imprint on me. And out of that wellspring grew my journey into the liberating universe of electronic music. The aura of b-boy culture has been with me ever since and remains both fascinating and deeply inspirational.”

Sandwiched between these tracks is Fanu’s atmospheric tribute to the mechanics of the old-skool scene, ‘Machinedrummachine’, and the USA trio of 6Blocc, Calculon and Shamanga’s footwork-referencing breakbeat monster ‘Call Out’. Both tracks throw in vocal sample snippets for good measure.

Speaking about his track, Fanu said: “No-one can deny that drum machines did play a big part in creation of hip hop. In my song for Defrostatica, I wanted to employ my Machinedrum for the job. Those who know hip hop may spot a familiar sample or two there as well.”

And speaking about the scene as a whole and its influences on their musical upbringing, the American trio had a lot to say. Calculon, who has fond childhood memories of watching the Breakin’ movie, said: “As a teenager in San Diego I was later exposed to underground hip hop Kool Keith/Dr Octagon and DJ Shadow, and it was scratching that inspired me to save up and get my first set of turntables. I remember buying an Invisibl Skratch Piklz VHS tape from the local record shop and watch it at home, impressed to this day by their skill and dedication to the craft.”

6Blocc added: “The b-boy movement inspired me to push myself with my DJ skills and music production and mentally I’m still the same kid I was when I first started! I can’t imagine doing anything else in life than making music and adding to my huge vinyl collection. In the late 90’s I produced hard jungle vinyl releases under the name B-Boy 3000 because to me jungle music was hip hop fast forwarded 1000 years ahead in a time when lyrics no longer exist and all is just sample sounds modified by computers.”

And for Shamanga, B-boying has been a huge part of life since he was nine years old. He explained: “My older cousin was a DJ… I remember vividly when he played me this new sound. “This is scratching” he said to me. The tune was ’Looking for the Perfect Beat’ by Afrikka Bambatta and the Soulsonic Force. I was instantly hooked on hip hop. This was 1981. I went on to collect any rap record I could find.

“Throughout the 80’s, I would obsess on the beats, trying to get the hot tracks before the other kids in my neighborhood. Growing up in Southern California, I would go to the swap meet and get Rodeo Mix Tapes by DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, etc. I learned about Rodney O and Joe Cooley, KRS One, Mixmaster Spade, King Tee, Eazy-E, Toddy T, and more. I began DJ’ing in 1988.”

“One particular crew, 7A3 (produced by a mostly unknown DJ Muggs) inspired me to take my abilities to a new level. I purchased an HR-16 drum machine and bought a bass guitar. A few years later, a couple of the gangsters in my neighborhood wanted to become rappers, so they bought an Ensoniq EPS16+. Once they realized they didn’t want to learn how to program the machine, they gave it to me, with one stipulation… I was to produce beats for them to rap over. This was 1991. I have not stopped since.”

Rogue Style EP 2 is out now – click here to buy.

www.soundcloud.com/defrostatica
www.defrostatica.bandcamp.com/

Kachina – Ayahuasca EP and FREE DOWNLOAD [Affectionate Grooves]

It’s business as normal for Kachina on their new EP, ‘Ayahuasca’, and that can only be a good thing. The Leicester trio have lift-off with five powerhouse tracks destined for festival glory, and have thrown out a free download too, just for good measure.

The title track swoops through the outer reaches of UKG, ‘What Kind’ throws a smattering of dub wise rudeness into the mix and the thunderous ‘Maasai Mara’ builds from tribal drums into a certified window-shaker.

And considerable support from across the scene – airplay from the likes of Marcus Nasty and Toddla T and features in Mixmag, Crash magazine and more – is only fuelling the Kachina fire. Grab the free download here – https://soundcloud.com/nexgenrecs/agrooves009-bonus-kachina-sun-is-shining – and head over to https://www.nexgenmusicgroup.com/ to buy the EP. Listen below.

Seba – ‘Nobody Knows’ / ‘Implosion’ [Secret Operations]

Seba strikes again with the first release of the year for his own Secret Operations label, and it’s one with some serious club pedigree – one track made it into every one of his sets in 2017, and the other is a drum & bass tribute to minimal dub techno.

Swirling pads top off frantic breaks on A-side ‘Nobody Knows’, a regular weapon in the Swedish DJ’s sets which picks up serious momentum with a frothing bassline that swoops down to the brink of something darker.

Second track ‘Implosion’ hits like the first breath of cold air on an icy December day, a sharp kick of reverberating, swirling vocal pads and stabs which form a dense atmosphere driven by urgent, precise drums.

Listen below or click here to buy.

www.soundcloud.com/secret-operations
www.secretoperations.bandcamp.com

Quentin Hiatus – ‘Clever Girl’ / ‘Orange Dreams’ [none60]

No stranger to taking drum & bass to the very edges of its definition, Quentin Hiatus takes an outing on none60 for a mesmerising new release.

The record leads on the stratospheric ‘Clever Girl’ which flies on a joyous synth line while bass frequencies ebb and flow beneath it. If ‘Clever Girl’ sails close to the sun, second track ‘Orange Dreams’ burrows underground, packing weight and taught drums into a small space for a heavyweight exercise in neuro-tinged production skills

Released on February 16th, ‘Clever Girl’/‘Orange Dreams’ has been hailed by DJs and producers across the scene. Listen below or head here to buy.

www.none60records.bandcamp.com
www.soundcloud.com/silentdust
www.soundcloud.com/quentinhiatus