Featured

Top Tunes of May 2018

Fresh.

In random order, these are our top 9 original songs (and for the first time, an entire album) from May 2018.

Objectiv – Dilapidate (Lifestyle Music)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Koherent – UGH! (Dispatch recordings)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Klax – Phased Out (Critical Music)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Levela – Exhale (Get Hype Records)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Stoner & Dottor Poison – Planet War (Nëu)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Murdock – Hypnotize (V Recordings)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Bladerunner – The Crazy Dragon (Hi Resolution)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Agressor Bunx & L33 – Slammer (Eatbrain)

Buy / Stream Here


 

OneMind – Pullup (Metalheadz)

Buy / Stream Here


 

An extra-special Top-Tunes-Of-the-Month first: An entire album.

Since we love homegrown Belgian music so much, we love people that love it as much as we do. The Belgian Connection is the new standard of who’s who in the Belgian Drum and Bass Scene.

Lifestyle Music Presents: The Belgian Connection

Buy / Stream Here

 

 

 

 

Top Tunes Of April 2018

These are the 11 toppest of tunes from April 2018.

In random order, these are our top 11 original songs from April 2018.

Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Dubplate (Technique recordings)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Mefjus – The Sirens (Vision)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Unglued – Chicken in a Space Suit (Hospital)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Synergy – Signals (Eatbrain)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Mister Shifter – Dreada (Flexout)

Buy/Stream Here


 

QZB – Nobunaga (Critical)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Satl – Everything Anything (Integral)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Murdock & Doctrine vs James Marvel & MC Mota – The Riddler (Rampage)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Marcus Intalex † – Roller 170 (Sun & Bass)

Buy/Stream Here


Total Science – Fallen Angel (C.I.A.)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Cedex & Higher Underground – Cancan (Free D/L on Soundcloud)

Get For Free Here

 

 

 

Belgium’s biggest talent in DnB right now, Part 2.

“O Dierbaar België, O heilig land der vaaadren.” Belgium’s heaving with talented producers and DJ’s right now. This time we take a look at Nexus & Tight, Empire, Cedex & Higher Underground, Lavance, and Andromedik.

Belgium‘s heaving with talented producers, DJ’s and MC’s at the moment. You already know Netsky, and Alix Perez, so maybe it’s time to introduce some more of them to you.

We’ve already covered some here, in part 1.

5. Nexus and Tight

Nexus-&-Tight

FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD

Hayling from the town of Paal (Literally translated to Pole) this talented producer mostly dabbles in the Liquid side of Drum and Bass. He has already releases under Murdock’s Radar Records, Liquicity, and more recently on Terra Firma. His sound is mostly akin to Brookes Brothers, Logistics, Apex, and of course Netsky, as he intertwines soothing soundscapes and bittersweet melodies with trance-inducing basslines and crispy-clean drumtracks.

Check out his track “Prism” :


 

4. Empire

Empire

FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD

Let’s take a step into the technical mind of Ostend-born Alexander De Vos. A relatively unknown producer with productions under his belt that begs the question “How is he not yet picked up by Division, Critical, or even belgium’s own Radar records?” His style can mostly be described as tempered agressive, retaining the vibes of the deeper side of Drum and Bass, while exploring touches of the harder spectrum with mean hitting riffs. I urge you to check out his body of work through the links above. In the mean time take a listen to his self-released free EP, and get swayed by this up-and-coming talent’s skills.

3.


 

3. Cedex & Higher Underground

cedexhgher

FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD

This dynamic duo from Ghent already made the stage of Star Warz (probably Belgium’s longest running series of Drum & Bass Parties), Tommorowland, Steam, and their own Republic and Square parties. They bring mostly vibey and deeper stuff, but don’t shy away from ranging their sets in the entire spectrum from Liquid to Neurofunk. It’s also nice to see them upping their production game with a recent signing to James Marvel’s newly birthed Space Pirates Recordings. We expect big things from these two Space Cadets!

Take a listen to their first (and free) outing on said Space Pirates:


 

2. Lavance

Lavance

FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD

This very talented producer from Zelzate has already gained support from the likes of Noisia and Andy C. Combining rattled up old-school breaks with free-flowing subs and factory-sampled percussion elements, he captivates us with his attention to detail and with his way of hitting us like a truck in his (relatively) harder work like Favela, or his latest colaboration with Skarpa “Dead Weight”. Eventhough it’s been somewhat quiet on his side, we’re anxiously awaiting what he’s going to shake out of his sleeve next.
In the mean time we’re going to take yet another listen to Favela:

 


 

1. Andromedik

Andromedik

FACEBOOK | SOUNDCLOUD

Let’s end this round-up on a liquid note, with Antwerp’s rising star Andromedik. Having releases on Murdok’s Radar-Records and Rampage records, NCS, and High Tea only confirms the quality of his production skills. This is Liquid pur-sang. melting hearts instead of faces, and closing your eyes while wiggling back and forth in anticipation of that sweet sweet drop. He’s played at shows like Rampage and Liquicity, among others, and has been picked up by artists like Metrik and Friction. We’re seeing a future as bright as his music for this talented producer.

Check out his latest release on NCS:

 


 

Know any more? Let us know, so they may end up in the next list(s)!

Top Tunes Of March 2018

Featuring tracks by Bredren, Rockwell, and more

In random order, these are our favourite original tracks from the past month:

Dimension – Raver (Dimension)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Rockwell – User (Shogun Audio)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Jungle All The Way (Technique Recordings)

Buy/Stream Here


 

Bredren – Backlash (Demand Records)

Buy Here


 

Hyroglifics & Arkaik – Phone Drone (Critical Music)

Buy Here


 

State Of Mind – Foul Play (Blackout Music NL)

Buy Here


 

 

 

 

 

Top Tunes of February 2018

These are our favourite tracks from February 2018, featering gems from T>I, Bredren, Specialist Sound, Benny L, Phase, and more!

In random order, these are our favourite original tracks that’ve come out in the past 28 days.

 

Benny L & Shimon – Sharks (Audioporn)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Specialist Sound – Back in 96 (Beta Recordings)

Buy Here


 

Wresker & Kilobite – Capslock (Abducted Records)

Buy Here


 

Was a Be & Synth Ethics – Resolute (Critical)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Phase & Zero T – The Inbetween (Metalheadz)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Modified Motion & Faction – Run It (Prototype Recordings)

Buy Here


 

T>I – Rotations (Critical)

Buy Here


 

Bredren -Solid Surface (Dispatch)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Mohican Sun – Don’t Wait (Integral Records)

Buy Here

 

 

 

Top Tunes of January 2018

These are our favourite tracks of January 2018, featuring Phace, Signal, Bredren, Doctrine, and more!

In random order, these are our favourite original tracks that’ve come out  in the past 31 days.

Phace & Signal – Consonance (Nëu)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Blaine Stranger – Bad Hook (Viper Recordings)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Enei & Kasra – Transmitter (ft. Jakes) (Critical music)

Buy Here


 

Unglued – Bootstrap Bill (Hospital Records)

Buy / Stream Here


 

Bredren – Mental Gen (Dispatch Recordings)

Buy Here


 

Mampi Swift & Arnone – History (Charge Recordings)

Buy Here


 

Doctrine – So Did I (Invisible recordings)

Buy / Stream Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racism In Jungle & Drum and Bass.

Racism has no place in Drum and Bass, or the world. Let’s find out why.

This article is meant as a reaction to the recent events surrounding producer Mistabishi, but I’ve tried (and failed) to make this as general as possible. Because even if I hope the contrary, I’m afraid it’ll come up again eventually. These kind of posts are not what we are about, yet we also don’t want to turn a blind eye to racism, inequality, and prejudice.

Until recently I’ve always thought racism was virtualy inexistent in Jungle and Drum and Bass. It was one of the few places that showed that just enjoying something together, almost paying homage to the Woodstock era, without making a point of it. We don’t need to wave flags, wear bands on our arms or rally for more equality. We just are. And by just being, we show the world how everything could be. There are few places I feel so readily accepted as when I go to parties or festivals anywhere in Europe (I haven’t had the privilege to party outside the ol’ EU). We have one thing that binds us, our love for the music. Even if in that love we look down on- or up to- other subgenres, it’s a testament to the one thing that binds us. Music.

Bad apples are everywhere. Recent elections of certain leaders and the rise of racist movements across the globe gave some people the idea it was okay to spread hate. It isn’t. It never is. Let’s list some reasons why.

1. Know your roots.

I started this blog-thing of with a series on ” The Godfathers of Drum and Bass“. And if you look at that list you’ll see that even though almost all of the artists are from the UK, yet more than half of those artists have roots in other cultures. The genre started out from Reggae, Dub, and mostly dominant “black” music. It evolved, and other races weren’t shunned back then from producing and DJ-ing, let’s not start now.
As Sigma stated in “The Jungle“: “Jungle, It’s a worldwide sometin’, and a worldwide sometin’ big-big-big-big-big”.

2. The statement “X is of Y descent, and thus has no right to speak about Z”

This one is directly from Mistabishi’s FaceBook rant but is something heard over and over again, on a “Mr. Happy”-scale (or on a Supersharp-shooter-scale, for the older generation).
Let’s set 2 things straight:
1) Until we have some form of thought-police, everybody is entitled to an opinion, based on factual statement.
2) Racism (and any other form of derogatory or belittling speech, targeting an entire population without any form of factual basis) is the exception on that first statement. (Like saying Muslims are terrorists.)

When you deny someone’s right of existing, you don’t have the right to express that. With your actions you devalue whatever the other group has to say, diminishing every attempt at reasonable retort and portraying them as being less human than you.

When saying (in Mistabishi’s case) that Sadiq Khan shouldn’t be mayor of London, purely based off of heritage (even though the laws in your country allowed him to legally enter the race, and your democratic system allowed him to win), then you’re trying to nullify his opinions by reasons that are not only baseless, but also not supported by your country as a whole. Also in that same line, being the Trump-aficionado Mistabishi is, he must know that by his same logic the current POTUS (as every other POTUS in US history) is illegitimate as he and every president before him are not of American descent.

Even in Drum & bass, the title-statement holds up. Remember that time Teddy Killers didn’t know who Guv was? Remember when Guv Fans Demanded respect for their overlord? “Teddy Killers (X), who are Neurofunk producers (Y), should’ve kept their mouth shut about an artist from another subgenre they allegedly know nothing about. (Z)” Or remember when the same Teddy Killers said they’d make better Jump Up then most producers. (Decide for yourself.)

I’m having kindergarten flashbacks here.

3. Polarisation

When talking about polarisation I’m mostly referring to the practice of setting up the conversation as it’s us against them, with them being the most general description of a group as possible (ie. Muslims are terrorists). It’s a self-fullfilling prophecy of an easy way out. When you say your neighborhood is going to shambles because of all the muslims that live there, maybe it’s partially caused by constantly stigmatizing them. Push someone enough into a corner, until they believe that’s where they belong.
Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. That’s the hard way. The easy way is just being suspicious about everybody and everything all the time, locking yourself away behind a huge biggly wall (really, the best wall you’ve ever seen, everybody says so) and not sifting, but just blocking everything out. The hard way is taking chances, and learning from them. You can’t be part of something that’s  inclusive and at the same time not wanting to mix with everybody included based solely on prejudice.

 
Ending note: I’m actually more nihilistic in my personal views, but I can’t stand racism. It’s a view on life that can only end in pain and suffering. You are entitled to enjoy your life for as long as you live it, but not at the cost of someone else’s happiness. Nobody is special, don’t act that you are because of you being born and brought up the way you are.

 

 

If you, as me, are against racism, check out “Love music, Hate Racism“, a cause every junglist should stand behind. Shout out to them, Hospital records for doing the right thing, and junglists worldwide, who commented fiercely denouncing the words Mistabishi spewed. Also check out this interview on UKF with the people behind “Drum & Bass against racism”, and join their cause here.

Next time I’ll be tackling global warming, and stretch it out to be about Jungle, and the lack thereof. /s

Top Tunes Of December 2017

Featuring tracks by, Serum, Voltage, Ekto1, Jam Thieves, Toronto is Broken, and many more…

These are the 9 best original tracks of December 2017, according to us, in random order.

Serum & Bladerunner – The Ride (Rampage Records)

BUY HERE


 

Jam Thieves – Brooklyn (Playaz)

BUY HERE


 

Gydra – Noise of the Machine VIP (C4C Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Alix Perez & Fracture – Archetype (1985 Music)

BUY HERE


 

EKTO1 – Harness The Energy (Full Cycle)

BUY HERE


 

Toronto Is Broken – Spite, Lessons, Regrets & Promises (Viper Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Mohican Sun – Defiance (Integral Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Hillsdom – Second Nature (ft. Sally Watts) (UKF)

BUY HERE


 

James Marvel – Red Alert (ft. Cedax & Higher Underground) (Space Pirates Records)

BUY HERE

Top Tunes Of November 2017

Featuring tracks by Current Value, The Upbeats, Gydra, FarFlow, and more!

These are the 11 best tracks of November 2017, according to us, in random order.

Wilkinson and Dimension – Rush (Ram Records)

BUY HERE


 

Document One – Pulse (Technique Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Pythius – Akkoord (ft. June Miller) (Blackout Music)

BUY HERE


 

Culture Shock – Bunker (Ram Records)

BUY HERE


 

Dawn Wall – Problems (Integral Records)

BUY HERE


 

Icicle – Split Fibers (Entropy Music)

BUY HERE


 

Gydra – Primitive Instinct (Eatbrain)

BUY HERE

 

Current Value – Deadly Toys (Invisible Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

The Upbeats – Punks (Critical Music)

BUY HERE


 

FarFlow – Blindside (Influenza Media)

BUY HERE


 

Copppa – Skanka (ft. Benny L) (Audioporn)

BUY HERE


 

SCAR – Twisted (Dispatch)

BUY HERE


 

Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Wardance (Technique Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Calyx & Teebee – Shiver (Ram Records)

BUY HERE


 

Playlists:

Spotify crew: check here!

Youtube crew: check here!

The Godfathers of DnB, Part 5.

In the final part of the series we discuss 4Hero, Nicky Blackmarket, Dillinja, and The Winstons.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the fifth 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem; Part 2 here where we covered Doc Scott, Shy FX, DJ SS, and Stevie Hyper D; Part 3 here where we covered Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity, and Marcus Intalex; and Part 4 here where we covered Rob Playford, Ed Rush & Optical, DJ Hype, and  Kemistry & Storm.

 

17. 4Hero (Tom & Jerry)

4Hero

Marc Mac (born Mark Clair) and Dego (born Denis McFarlane) are not only known for their work as 4hero or Tom & Jerry, but are also the creators of the much influential Reinforced label (along with Gus Lawrence, and Ian Bardouille).

The musical careers of 4Hero started with them having and operating a soundsystem (called “Solar Zone”, later “Midnight Lovers”) with which they fiddled around 1985. Later, through their knowledge in electronics attained in College, they started their own pirate radio station (Strong Island Radio). This radio station (as apparently every radio station) needed jingles, so the group decided to create a tune the groups first venture in producing. The early years of their musical carreer saw them playing mostly the sounds they naturaly came in contact with like Soul, Groove, Reggae and Hip-Hop. By the late eighties they also started to gain interest in the Acid House scene, that was on a rise at the moment. “Strong Island Radio” was a finger on the pulse of what was going on in the underground music scene at the moment.

Early productions where more Hip-Hop oriented, but already had that Jungle-feel to them, like in their track “Mr Kirk’s Nightmare“, or the break in “Rising Son” (from Johnny Pate’s “Shaft In Africa“), two very different tracks. “Rising Son” was also their first release on their own imprint: “Reinforced Records”. The labels early output was mostly their own music, as 4hero, but also their solo projects like Manix and Tek 9.

4Hero also played gigs at the legendary London Astoria. One faithful night one of the ravers there pulled Marc to the side, and gave him his number, saying “Look, I do a lot of artwork and stuff, I wanna work with you.”. That raver was Goldie, and that rave was Goldie’s first contact with breakbeat. Shortly after that, Goldie went to 4hero’s studio in Dollis Hill, and redesigned Reinforced records’ logo. Goldie later released on Reinforced records before (and after) creating his own imprint Metalheadz.

In the meantime 4hero wasn’t sitting still, releasing many anthems under their “Tom and Jerry” moniker, released on a label bearing the same name. Most notable tracks released under Tom & Jerry are “Maximum Style” and “AirFreshner“. These releases are on the most wanted list of any serious Jungle and Drum and Bass collector, but because of their limited pressings, and high nostalgia factor, the prices for on of these Tom & Jerry imprints can run quite steep. (expect to drop around €80 for a 12”, easily) Luckily for us, those releases can now also be found on various jungle samplers and compilations.

In 1993, when Jungle was blowing up, you couldn’t miss reinforced records. Marc Mac is quoted saying: “I was driving through London in my car and I went through about 10 different pirate radio stations and every single one was playing a Reinforced record.“. They had a must buy status. They had releases from big names of that era: Goldie’s Rufige Kru, Doc Scott, Dj Randall, DJ Peshay, and later on even Aphrodite, and Aquasky.

4Hero’s second full album “Parallel Universe” was voted “Best Album of the year” by NME when it was released, and their third full album called “Two Pages” gained instant critical acclaim, getting on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize, as well as receiving a MOBO award.

Even though 4hero went almost all-jazz in their later days, it’s hard to understate the importance they had on the early Jungle scene.

 


 

18. Dillinja

Dillinja

With over 500 releases produced since 1991, Dillinja (born Karl Francis) can undoubtedly be called one of the hardest working persons in Drum and Bass.

Starting of listening to 80s electro, moving on to oldschool Hip-Hop, and eventually House, Dillinja formed his musical tastes early. Those tastes where more then fed with him going to local parties in South London, where big sound systems like King Tubby’s Hi Fi and Jah Shaka were all the rage. He later got into building his own sound system, at the early age of fifteen, but called it a day when some time later the infamous “Criminal Justice Bill” was introduced, clamping down on sound systems and the events they were used at. He sold of his equipment, and started producing.

His early work as a producer where mostly all white labels (like “Tear of your Chest“) but later on he created a myriad of labels like Deadly vinyl, on which he released classics like “Sovereign Melody” and “Deadly Deep Subs“. As well as these homegrown labels, Dillinja went on to record for many other drum’n’bass labels, including V Recordings, Hardleaders, Prototype, and Metalheadz. Dillinja used these labels to show his unique musical versatility; while labels such as Philly Blunt and Lionheart Records showcased some of Dillinja’s more raw jungle based sounds, his critically acclaimed release “The Angels Fell” was the frontrunner of the new wave of drum’n’bass encapsulated in the cutting edge Metalheadz sound.

Mid 1990s Dillinja was introduced to Lemon D (born Kevin King) through a mutual friend. The duo started Valve recordings in 1997, with Dillinja’s “Violent Killa” as its first release. It took them till 2002 to release the labels first album called “Big Bad Bass”, an album including dancefloor smasher’s like “Thugged Out Bitch” and the seminal “It Ain’t Too Loud“. It was also with Lemon D that he created Drum and Bass’ first big sound system called “Valve Sound System“.

 


 

19. Nicky Blackmarket

nikki-blackmarket

As part-owner of the world famous (and sadly closed) BM Soho, Nicky Blackmarket’s (born Nicholas Andersson-Gylden) influence in Jungle and Drum and Bass is not to be downplayed.

In the early eighties, at the mere age of fourteen, Nicky found himself playing Electro at the many youthclubs in London. Together with his long-time partner-in-crime Clarky, he started mixing a wider variety of electronic music at Star FM, which he left later for Friends FM, run by Mad B. During that period he met Dave Piccioni (who later started Azuli records, one of the most successful independent labels of all time), with who he bought Blackmarklet Records in Soho, from Steve Jervier and Derek B in 1990. Around 1992, amidst the rise of Breakbeat and Jungle, Nicky decided to dedicate a seperate department in the record store catered for the sounds that would eventually evolve into Drum and Bass.

Nicky was found pushing the sounds he loved with a regular show on Pulse FM, and Eruption FM, and many performances at the Roller Express. During those times he also produced the excellent D’Bounce vol. 1 and 2, at the Reinforced studios (of 4hero fame).

His partnership during that time with the now gone Stevie Hyper D has set a new bar for what a Jungle/Drum and Bass set should be, and are considered by many peers and ravers alike as legendary.

By 1997, Nicky set up his own independent label by the name of Kartoons, releasing material from the likes of Ray Keith, Dragon Fist, and Twisted Minds.

On February 27th 2015, a note adorned the almost empty shop-window of BM Soho, just stating: “Due to circumstances, BM Soho has to close.”. That statement was later that day explained more elabaratly on their facebook page with the following message:

Unfortunately due to contractual dispute over the building that has been home of BM Soho for the past 25 years we have been forced to temporarily close. Our landlord has been certain that our address, will join the massive gentrification of Soho and regrettably we could no longer afford to fight the legal battle to stop that happening anymore. Unlike many businesses that have closed recently, BM Soho BeatControl was performing well, so it is a massive shame to end this way. Fear not though we plan to be back bigger and stronger than ever very soon in central London. Until then we remain open for equipment in Edgware North London and online at bm-soho.com.Thanks to all our loyal customers and friends, cheers for all the support over the years. We will keep you updated here as soon as we have news!

This sounded in the end of an era, yet Nicky Blackmarket can still be found sharing his knowledge of the history of Drum and Bass, touring the world, and promoting his

 


 

20. The Winstons

The_Winstons

An american funk and soul band based in Washington D.C. that has released 2 full albums and 16 singles in their career between 1968 and 1976.

Early 1968 they’ve signed on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom records, but lasted there for only one release: the rousing “Need a Replacement“. The Curtom imprint wasn’t as big as it would be on later days, when it released Curtis Mayfield’s own album “This is my Country“, with his band “The Impressions”. A year after leaving Curtom, they signed to the Metromedia label and released their hit single “Color Him Father“, reaching the Billboard Hot 100, at number 7, and winning a Grammy.

Fast Forward to 1986, when a Downstairs Records employee known as Breakbeat Lou compiled his first edition of the bootleg series “Ultimate Breaks and Beats”, featuring the lesser known B-side of The Winston’s hitsingle, called “Amen, Brother“.

That small and clean easy-sampleable 4 bar loop in the middle of the song shaped Drum and Bass as we know it today, and is probably the most used sample in the world today, seeing used by N.W.A., The Prodigy, and even the late David Bowie.

Never asking for any royalties, stating the sample to be “plagiarism and flattering at the same time, drummer G.C. Coleman finaly received payment after Brittish DJ’s Martyn Webster and Steve Theobald set up a GoFundMe campaign in his honour, they raised around €24.000.

 


 

Check out our Spotify playlist, containing every song mentioned in the series, and more: