The strength of D&B in 2016 show’s no sign of abating. Were all happy about this, so without further delay my essential DNB. Including the likes of Soligen & Type 2, Jigsaw, Dreamaul, Sulex, Toronto is Broken, a huge Various Artist LP on Mayan, the ridiculous Thor EP and more…
Soligen & Type 2 [Nurtured Beatz]
The last couple of releases on Nurtured Beatz have been a bit good. Last month we had Genotype and now another set of producers I rate very highly in Soligen & Type 2. Never doubting their quality on the production side, I was pleased to see a big hitter in among the two tracks. It gets lively, is a give away to which one it might be haha Starting with an innocuous intro, dropping into a bass laden heavy Tech track. The rhythm, is another excellent track. This one a more laid back affair, only in its deeper Tech sound. Rhythmic bass and great percussion, again almost hypnotic in its rhythm. More excellence from all involved.
Jigsaw – She wasn’t ready/ Break the mould ft Ziddy Sharma [E-Motion records]
After a hiatus E-Motion are back, this time with Jigsaw. I won’t say too much about either the label or the guy’s involved as this release prompted me to catch up and more 😉 Watch this space. Currently you can find their back catalogue getting a relaunch. She wasn’t ready is a soulful deep roller, great use of the sample coupled with a Techy bassline make’s this a great track. Feeling the deeper output’s at the minute. Break the mould on the other hand is less deep! In fact this is your pure D&B outing, heavy beats and Techy sounds. Both great tracks.
Dreadmaul – Curse of the jujuman EP [Boundless Beatz]
This is something for the heads and lover’s of excellent production. Dreadmaul, as well as having an ace name, has some serious weaponry. It’s a 4 track EP slightly more experimental than I usually go for but excellent nonetheless. It also has one of the more tearing tracks I have heard of late and a sound thats more old school and less clinical, which I prefer. If you only check one track make sure its Destroyer of Worlds, a tearing beast of a track. Also check Chaos Theory and Tusk both great downtempo riddims. Boundless Beatz making a new follower in myself with this effort. As did Dreadmaul.
Sulex – Pulsed EP [Kill Tomorrow]
After that more down tempo bit, need to get back to my Darker side. A lovely EP from Sulex, who I interviewed on the back of this release. So not going to say much more about him. The tracks on the other hand I will. 3 Tracks in total. Some really good tracks too! Starting with Zentra, a take on a deeper roller. With added futuristic sounds and some excellent bass!! Really like this track. Over clocked features Nine yards and has a lovely uplifting intro, which will deceive you right up until it drops. This is another heavy rolling track, which has a really progressive bassline. This is an excellent deeper Neuro track, more progressive and cleverer than the current trend for shock sounds. Finally the title track… yes!!! From the off you can tell this has an upbeat vibe, it’s heavier with the stuttered bass kicks and when it drops into a true Neurofunk style you will be feeling it just as I do. By true Neurofunk I mean it has the actual Funk element. This it does really well, its quite catchy which is not something you associate with Neuro. I really love this track!!!! Check it out.
Toronto is Broken – Voyager II/ Want you [Sub Slayers]
I am a big fan of Toronto is Broken, some of the bits won’t be for everyones tastes as us D&B folk can be a tad fussy. This particular release though showcases the obvious talent. Having some excellent feedback from some big players, this release is well recieved. I was sent 3 tracks and they have elements of Dancefloor vibes but a lot more as well. Voyager II is a more upbeat, uplifting track, that I imagine will go down very well at Festivals world wide. It has some excellent tearing beats, then switches into a Neuro/Tech bass section. This is an Andy C peak time affair. Want you again has that uplifting intro, dropping into a heavier more Dark banger sound until the Want you sample pops back and the sounds get all melodic and it works so well. TIB does the whole Electronic spectrum so well and that comes across with the productions. Breath clear VIP featuring Jodie Carnell, is another deeper track but with that same attention to detail, layering and uplifting elements. This for me is TIB best work. Some previous tracks were a bit EDM for my tastes, in this it showcases the true strength of production ability.
VA – Mayan Audio presents 2016 [Mayan Audio]
This is a big release scheduled from Mayan Audio. 13 Tracks, even more Artist’s involved. One monumental remix by none other than the Remix master Maztek! Sold yet??? Should be. Mayan Audio is one of those relatively new labels that have goals, know where they want to be and clearly as this shows, how to achieve them. It’s a four part affair, with various release dates and Beatport nicking the exclusive dates. At the time of writing and publishing, you can get part 1 & 2. As such, the latter parts may not be on Soundcloud just yet. A lot of good tracks with many styles covered, I want you to check it out. See what you like. But as an equivalent to an LP goes, its very good. I will however mention that Maztek’s remix of Bloodhound by Recs is a bit tasty. Also check these tracks: Impact – Volatile Cycle ft Nuclear MC, Yen – Heavy, Aze – Silhouettes ( I love this track) No mean’s no – Symptom & Parallel Motion, Everything you need – Neovision ft Marilyn and Cybernetics – Traced. Big release this chaps, hats off to all involved.
VA – Thor EP [Avantgarde]
May be a little behind the curve on this release. I only got it recently, but it’s a belter. With Dabs, Disprove, Distant Future, Hanzo and Randie all contributing to 3 tracks. This little EP is a real find for the heads. It’s edging towards the harder element of D&B as you would think given those contributing. It’s a real grower too!! Each track is well worth a mention. Thor, the title track is a moody beast of a track. Dark, bit pissed off and lively when annoyed. I like this minimal belter. Disposal is a deeper full Techy roller. Plenty of excellent sounds and use of varying bass. Push is a personal for me, a very lively little bugger. Having the good influence of Electronic sounds, no cheese! It’s ticking my boxes. Building into a Techno flavoured Tech track, with a dash of Neuro menace. I think this is my preferred track of all 3. Lively, heavy and well produced. All 3 are good, great EP. Avantgarde, I salute you!! More please.
Psyek – Hunger EP [Deafmuted Records]
I mentioned this guy after his release on Dutty a while back, if you follow my reviews and rants over social media. I keep mentioning Raw at the minute, its what I want from 2016 a return to the basic elements of D&B, no gimmicks. Raw, gritty, Tearing, plenty use of Breaks. With this EP, Psyek followed up what I thought was a great release on Dutty and improved upon it. This is a heavy EP. If you like your D&B, with that Headz, Utopia flavour. This is for you. It’s got some quality Tech, some Deep intelligent sounds, some pure fire heavy shit for the proper bangers and plenty of RAAAAWWWW!! Great use of actual beats, breaks and percussion. Towards the end of 2015 the lack of actual drums in the tunes was getting fucking stupid!! Really pleased with this EP, after I begged Psyek to include me on his mail outs. I knew he was going to keep progressing. He has. Picks of the EP are The Constant, that big fuck of Headz style track, so many breaks and soundscapes. Time…Don’t ft Local Heroes, again. Some serious quality in this track. It’s high class D&B. I hope you haven’t heard it, I hope that I manage to inform you of someone who is well worth the follow. Can’t sing his praises enough right now. That said, creepy artwork mate haha.
AudioSketch – Sound Design LP [Soul Trader records]
At some point I got sent a promo for a Soul Trader release last year, prior to that I do not recall seeing/hearing them. Since that promo however, it’s safe to say they are firing out some fucking Music! Each release after that point has been in contention with my last few Essential DNB’s. The Skynet remix of Chewy Jetpack was one of my best tunes of 2015. Please do not be a Sheep!! Social Media can overwhelm you with Music. There are so many better label’s and Artists than we are force fed. This is a huge LP, both in quality terms and actual tracks. 15 in total, Featuring Surplus, Salaryman, Bcee, Hannah Eve, HLZ, Random Movement, Villem & Mcloed and the lovely Identified!! This must have peaked your interest!?!. Some excellent remixes. & many styles. Tracks to highlight: Leave it all Behind ft Surplus so catchy!!!! Chemistry ft Duoscience & Surplus) rolling track. Let you know ft HLZ, love this track you know its gonna have quality with HLZ on board. Forever Autumn ft Hannah Eve, she is on top form on this. One of the better tracks with her vocals on it for me and really vibey for a deeper track. Reality ft Identified, I have like this track. It’s super chilled!!! This is a quality D&B LP, from AudioSketch. Now I am certain I have met this guy while at Kmag. After doing a little quick research I believe I did with Mutation one time. So massive shout to you mate, because this is so good!!!
Allied – Obscurity EP [MethLab Recordings]
I like Allied and I like MethLab, so this was a no brainer. As I have mentioned, I wanted to hear a little more thought into the beats from my Darker people. MethLab are doing good things with good people and this EP is an extension of that. Allied, one of the more underrated producers in my opinion. Allied rarely fails to evolve in some way, has plenty of skills in the production value dept but also like’s to drop a banger every once in a while. This EP showcases all of what I have just said. 4 tracks all very good, some low key tracks and I mean that in the best possible way. They are quality and grow on you, the more you listen the more you hear. Layers, sounds, variations and utter quality. With all that wonderful rationale of Allied’s skills, its the banger I love the most haha Centaurus A, a beastly little track. Minimal intro, cue the Heavy kick and some hint of whats to drop. Another well produced high energy track, with that excellent use of Electronic Music elements. Hypnotic and Rhythmic, minimal yet fierce. Love this track, the whole EP is quality and MethLab, off to a flyer!