Exclusive Premiere: Zodiac Childs – Get Back (Zodiac Wax)

“Future Primitives EP” is the latest release on Zodiac Wax by label founder Zodiac Childs.

Mystery surrounds the artist and label with active social media pages featuring zero content, other than the odd logo or release cover. This adds to the nostalgic feel of the EP, harking back to a time when white labels were the norm and often contained very little or no information.

This release is very much based around the sounds of the early nineties, from the rave breaks and Public Enemy samples on lead track “Future Primitives” to the sunrise hands in the air breakdown of “Tears”.

Immersive and focused “Get Back” rounds off the EP, containing a stripped back groove of looped breaks and a four-four kick drum, its subtle melody filters its way through the track. Hardcore stabs are used but cautiously, softened with FX and gentle keys.

A heads down moment to let the mind wander.

Link: https://www.zodiacchilds.com

Exclusive Premiere: Ghost Warrior – Seven Gates (One.Seventy)

It’s an exciting time for those that are into the more experimental side of drum and bass, if you know where to look the diversity of styles and sounds currently on offer is breathtaking. While a “revival” of the 90s sound continues to dominate the headlines and new release schedule there’s a crew of producers that represent the most important aspect of that golden era while sounding nothing like it… A desire to explore new techniques and create a new style of music.

One.Seventy are at the forefront of this movement. Think what Speed was to the atmospheric sound, Swerve to the rise of liquid and how the Metalheadz Blue Note sessions were a wild and competitive testing ground for new dubs. One.Seventy is the modern-day equivalent of those iconic nights that changed the scene forever.

Their night takes place at Rye Wax, a record and zine shop, restaurant, bar and nightclub in Peckham, London. The ideal location for this hotbed of creativity to grow and a perfect spot for producers, DJ’s and label bosses to meet up to hear forthcoming material, new sonic experiments and prototype dubplates. Alexander and Rob, the names behind One.Seventy, are now preparing to launch a label of their own to further serve this passionate community.

This new era launches with a ten-track compilation titled “Permissions” featuring groundbreaking and diverse sounds from pioneers of the scene Books, DB1, Ghost Warrior, Projekt 22, Dyl, Lcp, Subminimal, Tobe:n, DAAT and Rudio.

“Seven Gates” by Ghost Warrior is futuristic, intricate and deep. The kind of style that most club DJ’s would shy away from but defines the progressive nature of the club and the dancefloor at One.Seventy. An extension of the Photek style featured on the “Modus Operandi” LP, Ghost Warrior further builds on this once cutting edge sound to craft a track that is both haunting and mysterious which manages to be both nostalgic and forward-thinking at the same time.

“Permissions” is essential listening for anyone interested in the ethos of One.Seventy or those that crave to see just how far the definition of drum and bass can be stretched.

There is no doubt in my mind that the producers featured here are the architects of a sound that is both exciting and progressive, proof that contemporary drum and bass can still be original and radical.

The album is released on 20th September 2019 and will be available from most major digital retailers.

Pre-order: Beatport
Soundcloud: One.Seventy


Exclusive Premiere: Black Barrel – Lost Meaning (Metalheadz)

25 years old and Metalheadz continue to release solid records by the scenes finest while also helping less established producers get heard by a wider audience on their Platinum imprint. It’s been a wild few months with releases coming thick and fast on both labels, notable highlights being the massive “Vanta Black” by Benny L, the return of Amit to Headz with his “Naked Fuse EP” and the ominous “Black Lotus” by Gremlinz and Jesta on Metalheadz Platinum.

For this latest release in the Headz discography “The Elevate EP” sees Black Barrel make his label debut delivering four strong cuts of first-rate futurism. Of the four, “Elevate With Me” is the more instant of the tracks, aided by vocals from KSR and pads that sound like they could have been composed by Vangelis. Black Barrel has managed to take the vintage Headz sound and fuse it with his own, a perfect combination that is fresh and retrospective.

Similar to Blame and the 720 Degrees sound of the late 90s these are dense electronic soundscapes, so intricate and rich they could be taken apart and studied to uncover several layers of drum and bass history. Beats are scientific and calculated yet incredibly soulful. Chord progressions craft intergalactic mysteries that are ambiguous yet uplifting. A sedate and rewarding otherworldly experience akin to drifting among stars, most notable on the three instrumental tracks where thick cosmic dust glows with abundance.

Second to none sci-fi from Metalheadz, a jewel in their crown and another sign that while some labels from yesteryear focus on reissues and back catalogue, Headz still have their eyes firmly set on the future.

“The Elevate EP” is out now via both the Metalheadz website and Bandcamp. It can also be pre-ordered from major online retailers at the below link.

Pre-order: Link

Buy Now: Metalheadz Bandcamp

Exclusive Premiere: Soundbwoy Killah – Heartbeats (Sneaker Social Club)

On an album highly influenced by UK club and rave culture “Heartbeats” pays tribute to the atmospheric style of drum and bass championed by LTJ Bukem and his Good Looking label.

Pushing for a more cosmic sound, at its peak, the music was both mysterious and innovative. Tracks contained breakdowns soaked with emotion and intricate beats arranged with scientific precision.

Amen rollers were often the highlight of a Bukem set and tracks like “Atlantis (I Need You)” plus countless releases by Rupert Parkes still evoke an emotional reaction today and work in the club twenty five plus years later.

Soundbwoy Killah drew influence from this golden era when creating “Heartbeats”. Poignant strings open the track offering rest bite on a crowded dancefloor swiftly followed by tightly chopped amens. The track then progresses to a mystical breakdown for a chance to reflect on the mysteries of the world.

“Halcyon Daze” features elements of UK Garage, US House, Acid and Jazzy Jungle. It’s released on 23rd August by Sneaker Social Club and will be available on double vinyl as well as digital download.

Buy: Bandcamp

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

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

Exclusive Premiere: Response And Pliskin – Persecution (Western Lore)

“Persecution” by Response & Pliskin is taken from the forthcoming “We’re All Disturbed” LP, scheduled for release on Western Lore in early July. It also features on the vinyl and digital album sampler (backed with the exclusive and equally mighty “Ostrich”) available late May.

Both tracks are epic in scale with “Persecution” clocking in over twelve minutes and “Ostrich” just under ten. Brimming with anarchic energy they blur the line between techno, hardcore and drum and bass, continuing the Western Lore tradition of challenging club music for raucous dancefloors.

The combination of in your face breaks and loud and proud four fours are reminiscent of 1992, with classics like the remix of Nasty Habits “Mayday Mayday” springing to mind for comparison.

The feeling of the early 90s is also captured in the subject matter of the songs. A desire to wake up and break free from the trappings of everyday society is addressed through the use of vocal samples questioning the role of news media and the control they have over our thoughts and opinions. It’s refreshing to hear artists addressing important topics through their music, encouraging social change and highlighting modern issues.

Response & Pliskin are proving to be a driving force in the current scene with their distinct style and openness to experimentation and sounding different.

We can’t wait to hear what the whole album sounds like.

Buy: Bandcamp


Exclusive Premiere: Artilect – Echos (DROOGS)

“Echos” by Artilect is taken from the fourth release on UVB-76 offshoot, DROOGS. Backed by the devastating “Carrier Wave” by Holsten the 12″ and download are set for release on the 17th May.

“Echos” sounds like it was designed to summon a malevolent spirit. A vicious ode to the murky sound of the late 90s built around a tenacious combination of a tribal kick and piercing snare, reinforced with scattered Photek style drum rolls. Bleak atmospherics swirl around this fierce rhythm as an aggressive drone contorts full of hostility and malice.

It’s an uncompromising affair that while paying tribute to the late 90s takes full advantage of modern production techniques with its sonic clarity.

It seems DROOGS can do no wrong as the label continues to get stronger, darker and increasingly anarchic.

Another essential release fortifying its position as a label that is carving its own path seeking inspiration from the past while looking to overthrow the old guard.

Buy: droogsmusic.bandcamp.com