As Summer is in full swing, Festivals everywhere and your needing new beats for that BBQ round Dave’s, here are some of the best bits sent to me in July. With a couple of LP’s from Krakota and the remixes of London Elektricity’s, plus more badness from Dutty Audio, C4C, Trendkill and lots more. So put the Ben & Jerrys down, get a good nose around July’s installment of Essential DNB…
War – Invisible EP [Methlab]
Methlab once again coming with a varied sound, but one that many will appreciate. War along with the help of a remix by Djrum have a quality release here. Pretty sure I heard a track or two on a recent Noisia radio as well. We all know their admiration for quality beats. The sound is a little less intese but still with the added deepness, has a vibe all of its own. Standout track for me is Snow Blind, pushing that quality harder D&B and staying clear of the bollocks that has been more prominent of late. A real Drum & Bass track with that old school feel to it. Another excellent release for Methlab, quickly becoming a staple for my D&B tastes.
Randall presents Shoto – Atlantic Boss EP [Mac II recordings]
This was a little grower over the last few weeks and the more I listen, the more I like it. To often the tunes I hear are all alike, some that are being different and using other styles can do it badly. So it’s pleasing to hear this EP which has some of those less well produced sounds of late, made very well and with great effect. Good production, variation on the tracks, with a Techy tune, some Jungle influenced bits and just good old fashioned D&B. The title track is a big one, like the 2nd drop as it switches it up. Alice is a big roller, Unruly a deeper D&B tune but my favorite is Kira, real old school vibe on this darker D&B tune. Do check this out, beats that are not your average and real vibes on them.
VA – Trendkill VA EP01 [Trendkill]
Self explanatory title I reckon, so who is involved in this EP from one of the better labels around? A few personals with Proxima, Current Value. Also Malux, Barbarix and Sustance. Heavy hitters and the total opposite of the tracks I have just spoke about. Trendkill is all about the darker, harder and ultimately pushing the sounds further for D&B. Most of these track are outrageous bangers and happily so. Best of the release are Malux, Current Value and standout for me is once again Proxima. Here we go is just a tune, got it on right now and just love it. It has all those future sounds, plenty of variation in production to keep your head nodding and its a bit of tune. Trendkill at it again, with here we go going to be doing the rounds in the dance if not already doing so. Love it.
Kitcha – The return EP [Nemesis recordings]
You may or may not be aware of Kitcha, when certain people in scene pay attention to someone and sing their praises I tend to pay attention. From his excellent mix on the System Shock series and previous releases, we now have his Return EP. Standard 4 tracks. Will focus on the one’s that I love from them. Proof in the pudding, has a quality intro for those DJ’s who love a mix up or scratch. Hip Hop intro and samples throughout, with added bite in disgusting bass and style. The next two are real growers for me and each very different. Spark it, is a high energy typical NSD exciter, excellent for the DJ with some bars on the intro and dropping into a heavy Drum laden funky dark roller. Joint pick is Crazy about you, deeper and more vibey than the others, a lovely little track for the deeper crew, love the use of the Think break as well, don’t hear that much now so extra points haha A well rounded EP and two very good tracks.
Medium – Project Mohawk #6 [Broken Audio]
The Broken Audio crew back once more, delivering more quality D&B and this time its right up my street. This is a great collection of proper D&B. Medium deffo someone to keep tabs on. The project Mohawk series going from strength to strength, this is my favourite of all 6. Has more fire in its belly and just a bit of me. Really love Too late with MC Rolex, dark and intelligent fire this. Offset is a tune for the heads, in fact many of the tunes are and all are worthy a listen and purchase. Check them out and show support for a true pusher in the scene that is both Broken Audio and more recently the Project Mohawk series, have a look through the back catalogue of the series, you may find some treasure.
Handra – Forget EP [Addictive Behaviour]
I love Addictive Behaviour!!! Not creatures running about sniffing their lives away addictive behaviour haha The now premier D&B label. Having been there from the off and supporting them from the High Rollers EP, seeing them getting the credit they deserves makes me very happy. It’s all to easy to get cynical if you work within the scene, but credit where credit is due, these guy’s have maintained their plan and secured some excellent releases some of which I was lucky to have been privy to and that kind of thing is why I love them. This EP is so accomplished, Handra really pushing it with these beats and Ed:it adding his own brand of class. Friction airing their beats like Eastenders airing their dirty laundry!! Addictive Behaviours time has come with this release, I am of course hugely biased as I love what they do, still it doesnt mean I am not right!! Forget is one of the best tunes I have heard this year and is expertly made with the excellent vocals of Tiuu, its lovely. Arcane is a dirty little roll out with Mystic State and Ed:it does his thing with a proper remix of away. Ten out of Ten. What more can I say, feels good having been following from the start and not like some of these come along latelys like Friction haha.
London Elektricity – Are we there yet the Med School scans [Med School]
The original album was decent, this remix album is great!! Moved from Hospital to Med School for their batch of artists to have a bash on the rework front for Tony Colemans latest LP. Too many tracks here, so with the likes of Anile, Etherwood, S.P.Y, Villem, Royalston and more it’s got some serious weight behind it, much like big Daddy making love. Picking a few personals as there are just too many decent tracks in this one. Keeno’s VIP of Artificial Skin is a haunting if Electro vibe track, quite unique, check it out. Bop’s Drop ship, is a tune you need to hear, plenty of thoughtful production in this. Villems take on Tape Loops is a blissed out soulful track, really classy. My pick though is the ever progressive remix of Swivel by Electrosoul System, you have to hear this track. It just builds and builds until its a funky Tech step tune, brilliant!! More Med School class.
VA – Reworks part 3 [Dutty Audio]
This time round the Dutty Audio imprint has Current Value, Klute, Gydra, Hanzo & Randie doing the remixes. So you can expect some big hitters, each of the 4 tracks are really good and plenty dark. Current Values rework of Not your Idol is a typically well crafted tune. Gydra’s rework of Inception is a big room banger, probably the best I have heard from Gydra. The next two are my picks of the release, Hanzo & Randie bringing pure hell fire with their take on Infection. However Klute’s remix of Be yourself is a sensational return to the pure Tech step sounds of days gone by. It works so well with the sample as well, when it drops get your bass face ready. None of this gimmick bollocks that’s ruining the darker tracks, pure fire like tracks release on earlier Virus and Quarantine.
Dub Elements & Cooh – Restore the Funk [ Cause 4 Concern]
C4C has a new release and again it’s hard hitting energetic stuff. This time Dub Elements partner up with Cooh. I like a lot of what Cooh does and with Restore the Funk we have a blisteringly fast paced tune!! It has a lot of C4C era sounds and styling to the track, I like this tune. This next track is Dub Elements alone, it’s the better of the two. High energy, Neuro styled with Tech Step influence which is clear. I really like the original Tech and glad to see it being made well with producers adding their own takes. Two very good tracks, for the Tech connoisseurs.
Krakota – Strange system [ Hospital]
Last but not least is Krakota’s debut album Strange system. Krakota is a well known and rated producer so you either know or you don’t. This album is a great mix of tunes and sounds, which is why I do rate the Hospital label in it’s current guise. Always value you for money. Including some of the previous releases such as Xylo and in the Area, a tune with Lifford which I really liked. Krakota add’s to these and with excellent tracks like Samphire which I think is my favorite, well is right now with the Sun out and it being a Friday haha Turn of fate is a early Hospital records sound brought right up to date so a modern Drumfunk sound. Elastic is another mish mash of a tune, various influences included on this making a funky little roller. Carmine is another of these hard to pin down tracks, clearly got old school vibes but not easily recognisable. This LP captures the sounds and genre’s, takes what Krakota likes and reproduces it with his own flair and unique flavour and that’s why it stands out for me. All Krakota’s tunes stand out, they are all bit different and he doesn’t have a particular sound and this LP is all the better for it. Great stuff and should appeal to many.