Daniel Maunick Chats Jungle, Speed And “Macumba Quebrada”

With connections to labels ranging from Ibiza Records to Talkin Loud, Daniel was heavily involved in the 90s drum and bass scene producing his own music and teaching artists how to use samplers and recording equipment.

Obsessed by jungle in his teens, he turned his attentions to a fresh and emerging sound from West London at the turn of the millennium. Much like the jungle scene this new style was based on dirty bass, broken beats, warm Rhodes and scattered snares.

Fuelled by artists like IG Culture, Afronaught, Phil Asher and a wealth of drum and bass pioneers at the helm, this new culture fused jungle, house, soul, boogie, latin and jazz resulting in some of the most exciting and futuristic music to come out of London.

Daniel’s debut LP has just been released on Far Out Recordings, containing deep house, techno and broken beat.

We caught up with him to discuss the album and his involvement in the early jungle scene.

Buy “Macumba Quebrada”: Bandcamp


Musically, we share similar tastes. From drum and bass to jazz, hip hop and house we appreciate a variety of styles and sounds. Can you tell us a bit about what you listened to growing up? I guess your dad was a massive influence in those early years?

I grew up listening to a lot of jazz, funk and soul as my dad (Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick of the band Incognito) was one of the pioneers of the British Jazz Funk movement, he would also go to America and bring back early hip hop and house in the 80s so I was lucky to be introduced to electronic and sample-based music through him too.

Inner City, Run DMC, Public Enemy were huge for me as a kid… As were Roy Ayers, George Duke, Weather Report and all the jazz-funk legends.

So when did you make the transition from avid listener to musician/producer/DJ?

It wasn’t until the early hardcore/jungle tunes started coming around in ’91 that I found a type of music that really resonated with me to the point where I wanted to be a DJ and maybe make music myself. It was new and invented by people from my background and city, not New York or Detroit, but here on my doorstep in London.

I always loved music, I was raised in studios, but growing up around amazing musicians kind of put me off playing an instrument. I just didn’t have the gift to play at a high level and kinda knew it… but then decks, and later samplers changed everything for me. I felt like these were things that I could use to be creative that suited me, I got my first set of decks in late ’92 when I was 14 then in ’94 moved up to messing around with the first instrument that really allowed me to make music… an Akai Sampler!

I slowly became part of the Incognito production team while at the same time learning and making jungle/DnB stuff. At first doing a little programming, eventually co-producing and co-writing on many of the albums and productions my dad was doing, from the mid-’90s until the mid-2000s, working with some of the very best artists and musicians.

What was it like growing up around this hotbed of creativity?

I’m lucky that I grew up around amazing musicians, as a kid I’d always be in the studio watching and was always drawn to the technology side of studios and producing. I kind of learned without studying and mainly just by subconscious observation. I got to meet so many legends in studios and tours too, from Jocelyn Brown and Jazzy B to Stevie Wonder and Paul Weller. I’ve been really lucky to meet and see some of the best at work.

You hooked up with the Ibiza Records crew, such an influential label. How did this happen and what can you tell us about that time?

At the end of ’93 Paul Ibiza opened up a shop at the end of my road in Dalston, Potential Bad Boy, Chatterbox, Chris Music Power and Paul were all working in the shop, they were like heroes to me at the time. “Work The Box”, “Bad Girl” & “Can You Feel The Rush” were anthems on the streets back then. So after a few weeks of hanging around, hassling them, they probably took pity on this little obsessed 15-year-old jungle fanboy and asked if I wanted a Saturday job at the shop. I worked there from early ’94 until late ’95. They were doing some legendary raves at the same time so I was there as part of the team for the Jungle Splash and Jungle Soundclash events.

I learned a lot from those guys, I’m especially grateful to Chris (Potential Bad Boy) for letting me sit in some of his studio sessions and watching him work, he really is one of the founders and innovators of hardcore/jungle/DnB whatever you call it… Potential, James from Noise Factory, Marc Mac & Dego (Reinforced), they are the godfathers of that art form to me.

As far as jungle, what were you listening to at this time and who were you hanging around with?

Listening to and collecting everything jungle! Obsessively…

Rush FM or Kool FM always on the radio, I was hanging with mates who were also collecting records, heading down to Unity and Black Market in the West End, getting to hang out at Roller Express, Bagleys etc. with the Ibiza/Jungle Splash crew.

In early ’94 I got friendly with some of the SOUR Records guys who had a studio in the same building as my dad. T-Power was there and Shy FX was doing his first tunes to and he became a real friend. I was there when he did “Original Nutter”, he did the “Gangster Remix” in my dad’s studio.

My first ever tune was done while I was on School Work Experience at Trident Studios in mid ’94, while I was working on my first tune, Andre was next door in a big SSL studio room doing “Original Nutter” specials for the DJ’s at Jungle Soundclash. He came in and heard my tune I was working on, liked it and helped me finish it off. He called me up the next week and asked if I wanted to do a live PA with him at Jungle Splash performing the tune before him and UK Apachi did “Original Nutter” live for the first time.

Shout out to Shy FX, he helped me a lot man and even got us to do an Incognito remix of one of his tracks to launch his Digital Soundboy Label years later. The same day we did the PA at Jungle Splash we went down to Music House to cut a dubplate, Brockie was there, heard it and asked if he could cut it too, he played it as his last tune on Kool FM that weekend which really made my life at the time!

After that, I started on my journey making music full time. 1994 was such an amazing year musically and I’m just grateful to have been around it all considering I was a just a 15-year-old kid.

Later on, I got to know many guys in the scene, did some uncredited, lowkey engineering on tunes and at times I just made tracks and gave them to certain cheeky people who put them out under their names!

As I became a bit more skilled on the sampler I taught a lot of techniques, like filtering and mapping, to some big artists on the jungle/DnB scene. I’d go round and show them how to do certain tricks that were not common knowledge at the time, no Youtube tutorials back then! Either someone schooled you or you found things out by trial and error.

Must have been mad being on school work experience and hearing Shy FX making dubplate specials! That track you made was called “Assasinz” and remains unreleased. How old were you then and why didn’t it come out? You still got the plate?

I still got the plate, crusty and battered but it still plays!

SOUR & Sub Base wanted to put it out, but I wasn’t happy with it enough to release it. I was 15, had no clue what I was doing really and was just happy to make a tune, have Brockie cut it and perform it at Jungle Splash, that was enough for me. I guess I wanted to just learn, get better and be able to work all the gear myself before putting anything out there properly. So I got an Atari ST, a cracked copy of Cubase, my dad’s old hand me down Akai S1000 sampler and went to school cutting up breaks in my bedroom, stealing time whenever my dad’s studio was free!

I know from your social media posts about your love of Reinforced and Tom & Jerry. What contact did you have with the Dollis Hill community?

Just deep respect and appreciation for those guys, it was probably the “Journey From The Light EP” by 4 Hero that turned a hobby into an obsession for me. I was lucky to go down to the Dollis Hill HQ and meet the guys once in the ’90s, but didn’t want to bother them too much that day and was a little bit starstruck! But yeah, Marc is an online pal these days, him and Dego have remixed quite a few of my productions and tunes, we’ve also produced on the same albums for artists like Terry Callier and have been featured on the same comps and stuff, that’s big for me just to be linked in any way to the guys who inspired me so much as a kid.

Recently Marc put me in touch with Stretch after they heard a few tunes I was messing around with for fun in between projects and we got some jungle releases cooking in the oven, Venom will return!

I’ve also let Marc know that if he ever revives Reinforced or the Enforcers series that I still hold a glimmer of hope to be on one, even if I’m 70 by the time it happens!

You made a mix of Rivets and Shells which contains an unreleased Tek9 dubplate. What’s the story behind that track and can you tell us a bit about how you got it?

Haha! No info to give on that one… just one of many plates and DAT’s that I’ve cut, ripped or borrowed from many secret sources and pals over the years. Since the early 90’s I’ve been collecting rare dubplates, digitising them and have built up a pretty sick collection of rarities that I like to draw for now and then… From Photek and Dillinja to Reprazent and Optical I got a lot of holy grails in the collection…but still a few out there I need!

There was a Dillinja tune that Randall had called “New York Sax” that was one of the first things he did when he signed to FFRR that I would pretty much kill for!

I really enjoy mixing that music, there are few things as fun as throwing down a classic hardcore jungle mix!


That era of jungle featured a lot of rare groove and ragga samples, I’ve been introduced to some great 70s LP’s through people like SelectaBwoy and various websites and groups that catalogue sample sources. What’s your view on sampling and can you recommend any old original tracks that ended up in jungle?

Sampling is the backbone of the genre. A backbone that was integral and has been kinda lost. Even though I grew up with jazz and soul music I have learned far more about those genres, and others, from sampling, digging for new samples and tracking down samples that others used has been a vital education.

My thoughts on sampling? It’s great when done right, like pretty much anything in music.

It’s also these days great seeing the online communities that are into finding sources for breaks etc. I wish we had that back in the day, certain breaks were closely guarded secrets back then and finding a new source for an exclusive, unique sounding Amen or Think break was a big thing!

Gotta be careful not to be too much of a snitch but check out…

Maxi – Lover To Lover
Idris Muhammad – Piece Of Mind
Brainstorm – Journey To The Light
Reese – Just Another Chance
Starvue – Body Fusion
The Jones Girls – Who Can I Run To
Take 6 – I Am On My Way
Jeffree – Mr. Fixit
Roy Ayers Ubiquity – The Third Eye
Azymuth – Brazil

For just a few of my personal favourite samples used in classic jungle tunes…

You had releases on Chronic and Hardleaders in the late ’90s, can you tell us about these, how you made them and what your artistic vision was at the time?

Yeah, to be honest I was never really happy with my tunes and was a bit of a perfectionist that wouldn’t give out or finish my best ones, at that time I was still learning and trying to improve the basics so most of my tracks never came out but every now and then someone talked me into releasing something! DJ Ash passed a couple of my tunes to Karl at Hardleaders for those releases, Andy C played one of those tunes out on plate while I was standing in a DJ booth with him and Ash unaware who I was or that I made it. That was massive as his work throughout the ’90s was a huge influence on me.

With Chronic, my best mate John was V’s in house engineer. Bryan heard a few bits and put out a couple lil’ rollers we did, which was awesome. A real honour to be on those labels which at the time were pretty much Dillinja, Roni, Ray Keith and those guys, who were gods to me. There was even a tune we did that Bryan signed up to V that ended up being lost to time and space somehow! I need to track down my DAT box as I’m sure there is tons of unreleased stuff that was supposed to come out on those labels somewhere!

What can you tell us about that unreleased V track? Heavy on the amens?

Nah, it was a jazzy little track that my dad helped me out on with a Weldon Irvine sample, around ’96-’97, will have to dig it out one day, can barely remember it myself, so many tunes get lost in time! I made a whole ‘Venom’ mini-album for Talkin’ Loud that is probably sitting in a vault somewhere that never came out too!

Like a lot of people, I ducked out the drum and bass scene in the late 90s as the science in the music seemed less important or even lost. Around this time jazz labels like Talkin Loud and eclectic labels like Mo Wax were releasing tracks by the likes of 4hero, Photek etc. It seemed a great way of continuing the ride created with the conception of jungle. What was it like rolling with the Talkin Loud crew and hearing those sounds leaving the studios before the public?

Yeah, my history with Talkin Loud and Gilles goes way back, my dad was one of the first artists Gilles Peterson signed. In the early ’90s he was starting to check out the jungle scene that was bubbling, he came to me as he knew I had started DJ’ing and was into it. So I kinda became his little junior jungle advisor for the label as it was considering signing a few artists. He asked me who to sign and I recommended Dillinja, Roni Size and Tom & Jerry, he ended up getting 2 out of those 3, so not too bad!

As I started making tunes, Gilles cut and eventually pressed a remix I did of one of my dad’s tunes “Still A Friend of Mine” as a Talkin’ Loud promo, which is now going for a pretty mental amount on Discogs whenever it comes up for sale.

I later signed a deal with Talkin’ Loud as a solo artist in the late ’90s. It was an amazing label, so diverse, jazz, brazilian, hip hop, house, experimental music, it opened my eyes to a lot of styles and sounds which led me to branch out a bit from jungle into different styles.

Can you give us a handful of titles from that era you still hold important today?

Oh man, so many tunes, so many genres!

Here are a few that were big in the Monday night Bar Rumba days of the ’90s.

Nu Yorican Soul – The Nervous Track
Bel Air Project – Dark Jazzor
Incognito – Fearless
Reprazent – Brown Paper Bag
Carl Craig – Bug In The Bassbin
Theo Parrish – Music
Moodymann – Misled
The Pharcyde – Runnin’
4 Hero – Loveless
Raw Deal – Headless Horseman
Jazzanova – Caravelle
Spacek – Eve
MAW – Moonshine
Vikter Duplaix – Manhood

Too many good tunes back then man…

“Atmospheric Funk” by Wax Doctor too, that was a big crossover track between the jungle and the jazz/dance worlds… I remember Gilles, Earl Zinger and I went to Speed at the Mars Bar club when they first moved there and as we walked in Fabio was playing that on dubplate. I turned to Gilles and said, “whatever the fuck that is, you gotta get it for Talkin’ Loud man”. He smiled, marched up to Fabio and asked what it was, came back and said “Atmospheric Funk” by Wax Doctor…

A few weeks later a bike courier turned up at my house, out of the blue, with a Talkin’ Loud record bag stuffed with all the latest promos from the label and in there was a promo of that tune, with a big Talkin’ Loud Logo on it! Great times man.

“Atmospheric Funk” is one of my all-time favourites, Wax Doctor certainly knew how to ride out a sample. Got any other Speed stories?

No particular stories, but every visit was a huge inspiration and I heard so many future classics there every time I went… Bukem and Fabio were incredible DJ’s & those sessions were unforgettable, a mad mixture of people there as well, celebs, producers everywhere, nodding away! I did a mix recently just made up of tunes from and inspired by those nights at ‘The Mars Bar’.

What was it like being around Gilles when all this was going on?

It was a brilliant education, I’d tag along with him whenever I could to Bar Rumba or Blue note, Kiss FM then later BBC Radio 1 when he started there, he’d play groundbreaking music in every style and genre, every week seemed like a revolution. Gilles schooled me on so much stuff and opened mine and many other artists eyes to a larger musical world than the ones we came from.

Some of the more experimental drum and bass producers walked away from the scene to produce other styles of music, helping to form the Broken Beat movement. This was the perfect outlet for people into the more forward-thinking side of jungle and ignited my love for music again. What were those early days like?

Brilliant days man, there was a vibe in the air and a feeling that I hadn’t felt since ’94, real groundbreaking original rhythms and sounds were being put together in a whole new way. The West London boys, Bugz, IG, 4hero, the European guys too like Jazzanova, Peter Kruder etc. It was just a great time for experimentation and breaking rules and knocking barriers down. Monday nights at Bar Rumba in those late ’90s was life!

With regards to the drum and bass scene after the mid 2000s, I think it became music based far more on technique and formula than ideas and feel, it has lost something that I think people are yearning for and starting to bring back, at it’s best, it should be a balance between tech wizardry and rule-breaking, bring back those breaks and samples sometimes too!

Your Viper Squad release on Far Out was a landmark release for the scene, what did you use to produce these tracks and what was your vision when working on them?

No real set vision, just trying new things and starting to combine all the influences into an original style. That music was drum and bass, house, jazz and hip hop all coming together to form something new. It was probably the last music that I made on hardware samplers, specifically the EMU samplers of the time which were absolute beasts, with hardware EFX machines, big desks and early versions of Logic Audio on an Apple Mac, expensive gear at the time! People don’t know how easy they have it these days, with infinite FX plugins and recording time/channels etc. It’s a far cry from the Atari ST & Akai S1000 I started on!

So, let’s move on to your debut solo album “Macumba Quebrada”. What can you tell us about its vision and production?

Again, it’s just distilling all my influences into a form and trying to make a unique almost unclassifiable album, it has a bit of everything from my musical life in it but doesn’t fit in a box… One of the main things on this record is rhythm, I wanted it to have a real heavy, almost primal use of rhythms.

There’s a heavy Brazilian, percussive influence, as well as elements of Detroit techno, Chicago house and of course a lil’ London hardcore/jungle dust in there somewhere too.

The music was done on my laptop in between my bedroom in Dalston, my girlfriend’s house in Brazil & a little studio set up at my uncle’s house in sunny Scotland.


You’ve produced albums for some of the most iconic jazz and latin artists like Azymuth, Marcos Valle, Terry Callier, Incognito, Ivan ‘Mamao’ Conti and Sabrina Malheiros. To be honest, that’s quite a mindblowing list! How did you go about approaching producing your own LP? Is the process similar or completely different?

Every artist and every project is different, there are no rules. I finished my electronic-based album completely on a laptop, with samples, software synths and plugins just after I recorded Marcos Valle’s latest album “Sempre” in a more traditional vintage studio in Rio, with live horns, drums, percussion, a lot of analogue gear and real instruments. I really enjoy doing different things in different ways, I’d get bored doing the same music the same way all the time.

I have a friend who done some work experience for Far Out years ago and he commented on how friendly the team were, especially Joe. Is it a similar community vibe you experienced in the 90s?

Yeah, I mean it’s a different world now, music biz wise. But we are trying to do our thing and spread good music as much as we can! Not many labels are doing what Far Out are doing, electronic music, foreign music, big productions with incredible musicians playing real instruments too, it’s important that there’s still labels trying to push boundaries and put out quality music.

The album covers everything from deep house, broken vibes and even a little uptempo drum and bass track yet is still really cohesive. How have you achieved this and what do you think the reaction will be?

Thanks, cohesiveness is key, especially when there are such varying tempos and sounds. As far as what reaction it will get, I have no idea. I just do music how I feel I should at the time. If people like it great, if not that’s cool too. I’ve had a few emails from some artists whose work I love, who have reached out to me to say they got the promo and how much they like it, that is always inspiring and reassuring, to get the thumbs up from your peers.

Your dual residence between Rio de Janeiro and East London really shines through in your music. How do you think this has influenced your sound?

It’s all in there man, definitely… Like the jungle influence and the hip hop that I grew up on its just part of what I am and what I do now, consciously or subconsciously. Working with Azymuth and people like that you can’t help but learn, expand your horizons and musical arsenal, I hope it comes through in the music.

You’ve been making and producing music for a very long time, now with your debut album under your belt where do you go from here?

Who knows! Gonna keep making all sorts of music hopefully, just finished a heavy jazz-funk album in Brazil for Far Out Recordings and already got about 30 tunes for a follow up solo album… Hope to head back out there and record another LP with Marcos Valle next year.

Actually, in between projects this last couple of months, I’ve been sat in my bedroom in Dalston, carving up old classic breaks and returning to the jungle that I started with. That has been really fun and I think some of it will be making it’s way out too, bringing it all full circle!

Finally, both Talkin’ Loud and Far Out have put out some great drum and bass tracks/remixes. Got any recommendations for people who may not have checked the labels?

Of course, the Reprazent and 4hero albums on Talkin’ Loud are now considered classics of the genre. There were some great remixes on that label, the Nicolette remixes by Dillinja “No Government”’ and Krust “Beautiful Day” are personal favs & 4hero’s remix of Courtney Pine’s “I’ve Known Rivers” was a big one, Andy C, Rider, Optical, Peshay and many others did great remixes for the label as well… Too many to remember!

Far Out put out a “Misturada” compilation back in the day that was all Drum and Bass remixes of Azymuth tracks that were dope too. Both labels have vast catalogues of incredible music that anyone who loves music should investigate.

Link: Bandcamp


Influences “Champion Sound” Defrostatica

To celebrate the release of the “Youth EP” on Defrostatica Records we asked Champion Sound for a small rundown of influential tracks that have helped shape their sound. Dub and reggae sound system culture has been a major influence on the trio, for Distant Roots this began with a chance encounter with Scientist on a Grand Theft Auto soundtrack, the three members of Champion Sound also played together in a live reggae band before turning their passion of jungle into producing electronic music.

The “Youth EP” continues the trio’s adventure into reggae fused drum and bass featuring the vocals of Kingston dancehall legend Hawkeye on lead track “Ghetto Youth” with a turbocharged breakbeat mix by US vaporwave artist Nmesh. Elsewhere on the EP blog favourite Sun People goes full-on dancefloor mode with his take on “Talk”.

Exclusive Premiere: Champion Sound – Ghetto Youth Featuring Hawkeye [Nmesh Remix] (Defrostatica)

Buy: Bandcamp

Scientist – Your Teeth In My Neck

I first heard this track in a computer game called “GTA3”. At that time I didn’t know anything about dub. After a while, I decided to figure out what kind of music it was. I returned to the soundtrack and found out it was by Scientist and listened to his entire discography, then moving on to other artists from the genre. It was already impossible to stop me, so it’s safe to say that this track changed my life. (Distant Roots)

Theory – I Saw You Girl

45seven is the most important label for us as Champion Sound started with blessings from LXC. This track is an example of the scientific approach of the label. 7″ records can sound better than some 12’s and the bass is absolutely murderous, it’s amazing! (Neekeetone)

Amit – Red Flag

We play this track at all our parties. Powerful bass and heavy drums that make you dance even if you are tired. We have two copies of this record in our collection, even if one of them goes bad, we’ll be able to continue playing this tune anyway! Absolute killer! (Distant Roots)

The Prodigy – We Eat Rhythm (Jungle Mix)

This is one of those things that changed my life. I was a little boy when I saw the “Electronic Punks” video, this track played at the beginning and the end. I was a real fan of The Prodigy and always try to find some bootlegs or different versions, this track was really hard to find but I still think that it’s brilliant. (Neekeetone)

Moresounds – We Are Tribe

It is about how modern music is stepping forward from the roots. For me, this track has magic vibes from the old times, but at the same time, it’s so futuristic. (Neekeetone)

Link: Soundcloud


Influences “Askel” none60

To celebrate the release of “Glass Hands/Saboteur” by Askel on none60 we asked the Finland artist for a rundown of five tracks that have helped shape his sound.

While the scientific approach of Photek seems to have had a big influence on this release, with its clinical drums and fascinating interplay of electronic and double bass its also refreshing to see Ydinperhe being hailed as a contributing factor to the producers style with their raw, political and energetic edge.


Photek – The Seven Samurai (Photek Remix)

Photek’s early work is just mind blowingly good – especially the drum work that’s still incredibly impressive. There are too many amazing tracks to choose from, but I landed on this one because I… uh, borrowed the ride pattern from it on my tune “Glass Hands”.

Little Dragon – After The Rain

Little Dragon’s debut album is easily one of my most listened to records of all time. I don’t understand much about jazz (or about music theory in general, even) but this cheeky mix of jazz/soul/electronic music hits me somewhere any other music can’t.

Alix Perez Featuring Adeus – Over You

I wanted to mostly pick my longest standing influences but my current favourite, Alix Perez, has been killing it so hard lately I couldn’t not include him. I try not to take direct influences from within the genre, but Alix’s work rate and level of technical prowess are really admirable. Some of the tightest drum programming out there right now, and how does he make those basses so wide and still make them work?

Ydinperhe – Älä tee mitä pitää

I think all art is inherently political, and artists’ opinions shouldn’t be separated from the art. I don’t get to show that much in dnb, but I used to play drums in some punk bands and I still listen to a lot of punk. This song is off one of my favourite Finnish albums from last year. The title translates to “don’t do what you’re supposed to”.

Marcus Intalex – Steady

I reference Marcus’s tunes a lot when producing. He nailed everything from sound design to grooves and especially arrangements; he always knew exactly how long each part should be (usually much longer than I’d dare to make them). Masterful. RIP.

Glass Hands/Saboteur” by Askel is now available to buy direct from the none60 Bandcamp as well as all good digital outlets.


Influences “Jem One” Metalheadz

To celebrate the release of the “Transpose EP” on Metalheadz, as part of the XX series, we asked Jem One to provide a list of influential tunes that have helped form his own twisted take on DnB.

A heavy hitting and dark sound runs through the “Transpose EP”, going for the jugular from the start with its no-nonsense approach, from the mechanical drone bassline on “Lotus” to the jagged 90’s stabs on “The Hardcore” the release is tough and twisted.

The “Transpose EP” is available now via the Metalheadz Bandcamp store.


Public Enemy – Rebel Without A Pause

Raw! This track brings back memories from my graff days. I remember being with Goldie and others in a post graff jam at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall around 1988 brockin’ out to this. He’d just come back from the States and was like a graff God to us all.

Kariya – Let Me Love You For Tonight

My whole foundation is built upon the early rave scene. That b-line, the lazy snare, the keys and that vocal. This was more than just music, it was a pure spiritual experience.

Goldie – Inner City Life / Timeless

Absolutely timeless in form and function. There are no words for this album. I remember visiting a mate in London for a few days when this came out. As he was at work during the day I spent days walking around Shepard’s Bush with this on my headphones. I can honestly say it changed my life.

Dillinja – Threshold

That bass man! The step, the vibe… absolutely lethal. This has had a massive influence on my headspace when writing music.

Grieg – In the Hall of the Mountain King

Bit of an obscure choice this one. However, the power and textures of the horns, the taiko drums and the strings, towards the end of the piece just kill me. When I listen to this piece of music something stirs deep within me. The feeling on an emotional level that is created, comes somewhere close to the feeling that I have within when writing my heavier tracks.

The “Transpose EP” by Jem One is available to buy on both vinyl and digital formats direct from the Metalheadz store and their Bandcamp.


Response And Pliskin “Disturbed Talk”

This year has already seen a great deal of excellent LP’s released. Highlights include “Full Circle” by J Majik on Infrared, “Bobby” by Lenzman and Agzilla’s “Cats Can Hear Ultrasound”, both on Metalheadz. When you look at this list you realise just how diverse the current scene is, “We’re All Disturbed” by Response and Pliskin further confirms this.

The LP sounds like nothing I’ve heard before. Seven tracks in total with the shortest at around 8 minutes and the longest clocking in just shy of 13 minutes, four-fours are front and centre and it tackles subjects like social injustice and knife crime.

We caught up with the Mancunian brothers, Response & Pliskin to find out more.


Before we get into individual tracks and themes, what’s the concept behind the album and how did you approach making it?

Pliskin – Initially, there wasn’t a concept in mind however over a period of 2-3 months when the tracks were being produced one developed, that concept being social injustice and unfair treatment of the common man! We had just made “Tangled Web/Plastic Face” so the tracks on the album followed on from these two and given that they are very long tracks it just seemed like the right progression to create more with a similar feel. Deadman’s Chest was totally into them and could also see a similar concept developing so it was a fluid process.

Fair play to Alex he has shown some balls in putting out this album as other labels would of just shit their pants and run for the hills saying “it’s weird”, “it’s too long” and “it doesn’t tick the generic boxes”. Well, fuck that, dance music to us is about having an open mind and not going round in circles which unfortunately most knob heads in dance music do…

It’s certainly doesn’t tick the generic boxes, which why it stands out from a lot of other stuff around at the moment! It avoids the typical drum and bass cliches, no big amen tracks or hands in the air moments for example. It fits right in with the Western Lore sound without being a carbon copy of previous releases. There is a certain grit the label has that I love… How would you describe your sound and how did this develop?

Response – Let’s have it right we ain’t reinventing the wheel, its all been done before and probably to a better standard… I guess the arrangements stand out, maybe it is a skill to make a 12-minute tune interesting but that’s decided by the ears that are listening to it. I ain’t gonna describe my sound as you end up sounding like an arsehole. Honestly, I sit in a room for a bit and stuff comes out. I have done this for many years and will continue to do so as its fun and passes time positively before I die. The less thought that is involved in making music is better for me. The arty term is surrealist automatism, creation without a thought. But, I do understand in relation to making music that doing that in its true essence is impossible.

The techno and ambient influences really stand out to me that was integral to the creation of the rave scene but are often overlooked for the more amen-fueled days of the golden-era. A lot of labels would shy away from putting anything out with a four-four whereas in a lot of your productions it’s the driving force. I’ve mentioned 1992 in the past when describing the LP sampler, with classics like the remix of Nasty Habits “Mayday Mayday” springing to mind for comparison. What influenced the sound of the LP? Any stand out tracks from the past?

Pliskin – There are many musical influences that we could draw from including heavy metal, rock, house, jungle, techno, rap, dub, ambient stuff, film scores etc. We basically like every type of music which is again about having a diverse ear, I mean I don’t know much about folk music but if I was to listen to shed loads of it I know there would be stuff in that particular genre I would like. People who only listen to one type of music to me are absolute morons and all they are doing is narrowing their minds where surely minds need to be expanded, you can’t do that by just listening to one type of music. Many people into drum and bass claim to be open-minded but when you dig a bit deeper and scratch the surface you realise that if it hasn’t got the garbage generic rave stabs or overused reggae vocals and crap rewind samples then they tend to shy away and continue to go round in circles, which I guess comforts people. Using the 4×4 drum just added different energy and it suited the tracks for this album however it will be something different in the future I’m sure! We wouldn’t want to get pigeon-holed like a pair of dicks.


Alex has really created something unique with Western Lore, similar to Next Phase out of Holland the effort put into the presentation and sound quality is something else. How did you guys hook up and can you expand on this “fluid process” of how the project came together?

Pliskin – Western Lore is definitely the correct label for this album Alex has done a fantastic job in building the label. He provides what we want as fans, proper artwork, heavyweight vinyl, tapes, stickers etc and decent forward-thinking music. I do not understand labels who put out records in just a plain sleeve on flimsy vinyl.

It’s not the fucking 90s anymore where labels were pressing 10,000 records, so, if you are going to put out records today do it properly and give the record buyers a solid product.

We initially met Alex at an Ingredients Records club night in Manchester, Response and Eveson were playing at the event as Clive the label owner was putting out tracks by both music makers at the time. Alex was supposed to stay at a hotel after the gig and then make a tune with Response the next day, that didn’t happen. What did happen was we all piled back to my flat and got plastered on booze and drugs for a couple of days listening to music and having a laugh, it was an enjoyable session.

Alex came across as a very genuine person who was amusing and knowledgeable regarding music and life and he didn’t shy away from getting his hand in his pocket. We sent him a few tunes and he got back to us about a year later saying he liked them, he had just started Western Lore and was keen for us to do something for his label so that’s when he took “Tangled Web” and, in my opinion, the not so amazing “Plastic Face”, although it’s a decent track it’s not as good as “Tangled Web”. The process for the album was a fluid one due to Alex sharing the same desire as we had for the tracks that were being created and the fact that he is a Space Lion who doesn’t take himself ultra seriously, simple as that really.

On to “We’re All Disturbed”, the opening track “Stabland” confronts two of the biggest issues the UK is currently facing, knife crime and gang culture. Elsewhere on the LP vocal samples are used to great effect to question the role of news media and the control they have over our thoughts and opinions. What made you decide to address these topics and where did you dig out the samples from?

Pliskin – Addressing and highlighting such topics should be a responsibility of everyone, unfortunately, the majority of people choose to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. We have always gravitated towards music that questions society and all the horror that the human race creates. Many of the samples were taken from Heavy Metal and Rock musicians who rightly speak out and question dickhead politicians, twisted businessmen, pathetic royal family fox hunters and the bullshit media machine which is designed to sway opinion through spin…


It’s refreshing to hear drum and bass, which was once the music of youth, dealing with these issues. It gives the LP additional meaning and purpose plus helps with the narrative of a nine-minute plus track. You said you didn’t want to describe your sound but can you give us an idea of what you want the LP to stand for or achieve?

Pliskin – It doesn’t take a genius to realise that very few people have the opportunity or motivation to change society, but everyone has the chance to change their own mind and if enough people set out to do this society will change.

This is what the album stands for… so stop starring at screens, wake up fucking robot human being pissing about on social media taking pictures of yourself, fucking embarrassing state of affairs…

You have very clear views on the dance music world, what’s your take on the current drum and bass scene?

Pliskin – What do I think of the current drum and bass scene? Erm, well I’m not a scene man so I wouldn’t know but I am aware of the structure of a scene and it basically involves a load of people just licking each others arse to get ahead and then slagging each other off behind closed doors. A scene is a scene I guess.

Musically, in my opinion, today’s dance music cannot on any level compete with the past, simply because it’s not new anymore, it’s lost the true edge. And the fact that it has been bent over, rinsed out and shafted by commercially minded twats…

Just go back to the 90s, do your fucking research and don’t get too submerged in current dance music as it ain’t that good mate…

Finally, are there any particular tracks from your back catalogue that you would recommend for listeners who are only just discovering your music?

Pliskin – I would recommend “Spinster” on Skeleton Records, “Tangled Web” on Western Lore, “Light Years” on Function, “Hard Times” on Ingredients, “Stolen Keys” on Rupture, “The Chisel” on Fresh 86… And “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood…

Thank you guys for the insight to the LP and cheers for the chat…

“We’re All Disturbed” is available now on digital and 3 x heavyweight (180g) black vinyl, shrink-wrapped & housed in a full art gatefold sleeve.

Direct purchases from Bandcamp come bundled with a two hour digital mixtape containing tracks from the album and forthcoming music on Fresh 86 and Northern Front by Response and Pliskin.

Buy: Western Lore


Exclusive Premiere: Justice And Metro – The Hump [Coco Bryce Edit] (MJAZZ)

Coco Bryce gives “The Hump” by Justice And Metro the edit treatment, taken from the “Special Projects EP” available on MJAZZ Records.

The EP also features the original version of the track, a new composition by the duo and two remixes of earlier tracks by Justice And Metro chopped and reimagined by champions of old-school sounds Sicknote and Tim Reaper.

Sicknote takes “The Navigator” deeper into mysterious space territory injecting the distinctive bass line of the original with Venom-like attitude and adding twisted beats and sci-fi FX.

Tim Reaper adds his trademark amen style to “Moscow Calling”, heavy and chaotic yet retaining the character of the original this is drum and bass cranked up to eleven.

“The Hump” is an ode to early rave culture built around the famous drum break “Humpty Dump (Part 1) by The Vibrettes. Layered with MC and whistle samples the track is held together with a sub bassline that will instantly take you back to the 90s.

This four-track 12” is limited to only 100 copies, hand labelled by the artists and housed in a reversed cardboard grey sleeve.

Buy: https://modernurbanjazz.bandcamp.com

Influences “Soundbwoy Killah” Sneaker Social Club

We’ve been lucky enough to have heard the LP “Halcyon Daze” by Soundbwoy Killah, forthcoming this Summer on Sneaker Social Club, and to celebrate this fantastic collection of multi-genre electronics we asked the artist for a rundown of inspirational tracks.


It’s been quite the year for Soundbwoy Killah and Sneaker Social Club with multiple releases receiving critical acclaim from press and DJ’s alike, this latest collaboration has already gained support from Lone, Om Unit and Benji B.

“Halcyon Daze” continues the theme of eclectic bass music featured on the “Come My Selector EP” (Sneaker Social Club, 2018), although this time it’s early rave culture and the dawn of the drum and bass era that runs through its core. From the acid bass line in the intro track “Escape Velocity” to the chopped amens of “Heartbeats”, the smooth jungle vibes of “Under The Influence” and the Roni Size style jazz tones of “Under The Influence”, the album references multiple moments from the mid-nineties golden era while contrasting them with tracks like the house and UKG hybrid “Wanna Hold U” and the atmospheric soundscape title cut, “Halcyon Daze”.

Just like the album, this list of inspirational music features blissed out ambience, soulful future garage and jazz-fuelled drum and bass.

Donate Dozzy – Vapourware 07

“A slab of pure euphoria that I could listen to on loop for the rest of my life. I still think about the first time I heard it get played.”

DJ Rashad – Let It Go

“Hard to pick a better example that demonstrates the beauty of simplicity. RIP!”

Chris Mack – Baby Gonna Rock Dis (2 Step Dub)

“At a festival aged 16/17. Walked into a tent where Deadboy was playing a super minimal, skeletal 2 step thing (probs El-B?). Was hooked ever since. 2-step > 4×4 garage.”

Photek – Rings Around Saturn

“Like an onion, this track has just kept revealing more and more layers to me over the years. I love the way the downbeat feels as though it’s changing throughout the entire track.”

EVA808 – Bladed

“Rolling reese bass and soulful vocals done perfectly. EVA808’s productions are mad but this one takes the hat for me.”

D Base – Dreaming

“Another one for the long list of tracks I wish I’d written…”

You can stream “Pang” from the album below. “Halcyon Daze” is due for release on Sneaker Social Club at the end of August.

Stream: Soundbwoy Killah – Pang


Exclusive Premiere: Wagz – Hyena (none60)

“Hyena” by Wagz is taken from the compilation LP “none of the above” released on none60 July 19th 2019.

In the past, the art of the compilation LP was a great way to expose people to a wide variety of artists and, perhaps more importantly, help demonstrate a labels style and direction. Mastered by the likes of Metalheadz, Moving Shadow and Reinforced these collections often captured pinnacle points in the scene and rounded up big or important tracks from their respective catalogues. The really interesting ones featured a handful of exclusive tracks or “dubplate only” mixes, this is the approach favoured by none60 today. It would have been easy to fill the track list with back cat highlights but instead, they present twelve new tracks from key members of the crew responsible for forging the labels sound. A bonus thirteenth track, the Dominic Ridgway remix of Sinistarr’s “I Am Not Invincible” is exclusive to Bandcamp.

From the slow-paced cosmic soundscapes of Lewis James to the menacing crawl of Hathor, the two-step techno sonics of Altitude to the classic Photek tinged melodies of Wagz the LP delivers a constant stream of tracks that further define none60’s commitment to forward-thinking drum and bass which they describe as “emotive, daring, intricate and sometimes challenging”.

The digital compilation is now available to pre-order from their Bandcamp which also features a super exclusive bundle containing the full thirteen track download and a highly limited lathe cut twelve-inch containing “Response” by Lewis James and “U No” by Oliver Yorke.

The two-track vinyl is limited to 50 copies worldwide and has been cut by Sicknote & Dexta from 1-800-Dubplate with artwork designed by Oliver Yorke. This twelve is available separately while stocks last but we would highly recommend spending the extra five pound to purchase the full LP.

“none of the above” stands by the core principles of the label and is all the better for it, if you’re after retro amens for the dance floor then this isn’t the album for you but if you’d like a collection of highly detailed tracks by some of the scenes most exciting experimental producers we’d highly suggest you give this LP a go.

Buy: Bandcamp

Exclusive Premiere: Champion Sound – Vershun Excurshun (Through These Eyes)

Forthcoming on Through These Eyes, a Berlin-based record label, “Vershun Excurshun” by Champion Sound sees the Russian trio fuse electronic dub with drum and bass.

Vinyl only and limited to 300 copies this hand stamped white label features two dancefloor-ready cuts of modern jungle.

Vintage soundclash samples blended with synthetic strings and dub melodies form the main ingredients of “Vershun Excurshun” and on the flip “Through The Roots” contains a clever use of the 1994 RAM classic “Sound Control” by Randall and Andy C.

Authentic modern dub from a trio well versed performing together in a reggae band.

“Vershun Excurshun/Through The Roots” is released on the 28th of June 2019 and is available to pre-order now direct from Through These Eyes.

Buy: throughtheseeyesrecords.bandcamp.com

Exclusive Premiere: Outer Heaven – Still Waters (UVB-76)

Outer Heaven returns to the Bristol-based UVB-76 label for an EP of clinical beats, sour atmospheres and gruelling bass. The follow up to his “Pathos EP”, released back in 2017, contains four tracks, three of them are drum and bass and a fourth is a downtempo piece.

“The Last Men EP” uses a palette of noise, kicks, sub-bass and percussion to craft sinister techno rhythms that capture a sense of building pressure and foreboding with each track generating a unique aura. Like techno, these soundscapes begin full yet minimal creating an environment where the slightest change in rhythm or introduction of a new sound adds momentum or tension. A great example of this is the devasting bass line switch in “Trapline”, avoiding an all guns blazing approach often seen in dancefloor jungle Outer Heaven instead builds energy in his productions before unleashing subtle elements that manage to take the journey in a whole new direction or intensify the current one.

“Still Waters” begins relatively calm before the introduction of fierce bass tones that signal a more turbulent journey ahead. The amen break makes a brief appearance but disappears before it becomes unwelcome, almost like the past coming back to haunt. The beauty in these tracks is how much of an impact Outer Heaven achieves without obvious drum and bass linchpins.

The EP is dark for sure but not in a 90s cliche way. This is sinister without being overbearing. Subtle yet highly charged. Every element has a purpose and space. Beautifully crafted and perfectly executed.

“The Last Men EP” by Outer Heaven is released June 28th 2019 and can be pre-ordered now on digital via Bandcamp. The release will also be available on 12” vinyl.

Buy: uvb-76music.bandcamp.com