Mako’s Utopia Music follows up on Fields’ solo single ‘On Your Own/Colours’ with a killer cut from DLR, Mako, and Fields, set to drop May 5th. The trio put their heads together for the A-side, ‘Old Soul’, and put forth a warm and emotive roller that will hit the nostalgia button on drum and bass listeners, old and new. The perfect balance between soul and step. DLR takes the reins on his first solo piece for Utopia and turns the B-side into a bellowing crusade of DLR’s signature energy; masterful and meticulous bass programming, dystopian atmospheres, and nothing but the crispiest of drum work. Don’t sleep on this one! Unfortunately I can’t find any clips to show you guys BUT, take my word when I say it’s monstrous. As soon as previews surface, I’ll update the post.
1. Dub Fiend
2. Dynamic Vibrations
3. Home Dub
4. King Crumble
I’m sure most reading this have been familiar with Fable from his past releases with Loft Party Records and Phantom Hertz but, I haven’t seen anything surface from him in some time. Needless to say, it was a very pleasant surprise when I discovered this release in my inbox. Fable has been tasked with representing the inaugural release for Nottingham based label, Deeper Than Roots. It’s great to see a surge of labels resurfacing the love for dub- and reggae-infused bass music, as, well…we wouldn’t be involved in the scene we love so much without it. A bit of homage is always nice, in my mind at least. Deeper Than Roots might appeal to many listeners out there who haven’t been able to own music due to many labels who have pursued this avenue sticking to a strict regiment of limited vinyl releases, and this can be both costly and impractical for some. Now is your time.
Fable sets the tone for the label perfectly. Capturing a nostalgic analog aesthetic, you can almost smell the dust plumes pouring out of the speakers. The EP kicks off with ‘Dub Fiend’ and will surely satisfy the cravings of any dubhead with the prominent horn melodies and potent wall of sub-bass. ‘Dynamic Vibrations’ carries on through a hollow abyss of drone basslines and reverb-soaked snare slams – it’s almost like having a dub party inside the hull of a submarine (?). ‘Home Dub Zion’ is without a doubt the one for me. The percussive variation and crisp swing of the drums get an astounding spliff in the air from me, while I nod my head to the rolling sub notes. Fable ends the EP with ‘King Crumble’, which sends us off in a very suiting fashion as subtle pads and ghostly melody close the book.
The Chestplate family continues to maintain it’s position as integral in the dubstep scene. With Distance’s two-part (Part 1/Part 2) ‘Outer Limits’ EP concluding mid-March, District takes the lead with 031 and puts forth three cerebral productions, each complimenting that signature Chestplate sound. ‘Roy’s Theme’ is an immediate hook with the contemplative synthery (<— made up word) that guides your ears through a tip of the hat to Bladerunner, and what could easily serve as scoring for the 80’s sci-fi film. A calm and gradual mood progression prevails through means of minimalist percussion and hypnotizing sub-bass notes, both resting beneath a sea of brooding pads that dish a pensive grasp on open ears. ‘Aftermath’ follows suit with respect to the deep space vibe – sirens and ray/laser guns drenched with delay and reverb – while adding more percussive energy with the deployment of more pronounced hats and a far more acute and aggressive snare. District’s masterful ability to warp and twist bass sounds from scratch makes subtle but potent appearances throughout the track. ‘Tempest’ is my persy off the release. The most powerful and energetic of the seemingly patterned progression observed in this release, District takes a neuro/techno approach with a clean and fluid bass construction that resembles early acid influences. Again, the desolate and dissonant synth leads carve a soundscape that evoke vivid imagery of fictional battlefronts and despondent victories.
One last thing to mention that I know will brighten some of your days up – as it did mine when I heard the news. Many of you were disheartened to hear that Chestplate was discontinuing the cutting of vinyl for their releases. Rest easy, as I have solid word that this is no longer true and while being more selective, the release of Chestplate sound on our cherished (for some of us) medium will continue. Be on the look for the CHST032 from Los Angeles based producer, Mesck, signaling the first signing of a US artist to Chestplate and Mesck’s first release that will see a vinyl.
1. Promise One feat. Sparkz – See We Roll
2. Promise One & Geode – Chroma
3. DIGI – Promise One – Ghost Note
Ez everyone. After a hefty hiatus, Syte has resurfaced his Open Earz imprint with one of the underground’s most talented rising figures, Promise One. Marking Nick’s third release since his 2011 debut, there is a distinct evolution apparent throughout his sound design – a sense of cohesiveness and clarity that signals the dawn of strong legacy. The triple track release puts forth two to physical and three to digital, pleasing both sides of the dichotomous format landscape. Joining forces with Mancunian vocalist, Sparkz, a member of the Voodoo Black trio who can also be spotted running the mic for The Mouse Outfit, ‘See We Roll’ is a dancefloor gem with its vacillating bass variations and entangled percussion being attentively navigated with cunning dialect. The flip comes with an entirely different flavor as Promise One shares the buttons with Geode, who has been redefining boundaries of his own under the roof of his collective effort imprint, Chord Marauders. ‘Chroma’ taps into a more soulful and melodic archive with pitched down vocal cuts and synthetic key progressions complemented with shuffling hat rides and lush, spacious pads that give the mix an enduring warmth. The digital exclusive, ‘Ghost Note’, comes strong with a dreadnaught dissonance vibe. Phase-drenched synths syncopate across the soundfield with panning and delay as their main mechanisms of movement. The anomalous atmospheres and guttural sub-pressure compliment the cyborg apocalypse quite nicely, might I add.