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

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

The godfathers of DnB, Part 4.

This is the fourth part in our “Godfathers in DnB” series. This time we discuss Moving Shadow’s Rob Playford, Ed Rush & Optical, DJ Hype and Kemistry & Storm. Stay tuned for the last part and the epilogue next week!

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 fourth 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, and Part 3 here where we covered Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity, and Marcus Intalex.

 

13. Rob Playford

Rob_Playford

This Thump article starts off with the words “For those who don’t know, it’s hard to explain how important Rob Playford is.” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to understate the importance to the scene of someone whose name is unknown to probably more than 50% of the people in it. yet we all know his labor of love and passion: his label “Moving Shadow”, probably most widely known for the MSX FM radio station in the game GTA III.

Starting out as an Acid House DJ (like most people on this list) during the late 1980’s, he found himself amidst the turbulence of the UK rave scene in the early 1990’s with the police crackdown on illegal raves in full effect. He decided to stop DJ’ing and acquired an S950 sampler, a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, and an Atari Computer and started to record his own tracks while waiting for the ruckus to cool down. He pressed his first track “Orbital Madness” under the moniker “The Orbital Project” selling 1500 copies. His subsequent releases gotten more and more known with DJ’s and producers alike, who asked him to help with their projects. Busy with his day-job as a software engineer and his family, he decided his talent could be more used in the releasing part of the tracks, so he released those songs on his own “Moving Shadow” imprint, from which the money he made was directly put into his own studio.

In 1992 the aforementioned studio was used to produce the now classic and essential  “Timeless” by Goldie. being credited by artists like David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails, as the inspiration for the tracks linked. Producers around the world tried to imitate the song’s sonic effects and sparse ambience.

Playford continued to work with legendary producers, signing Dom & Roland, Aquasky and EZ Rollers on Moving Shadow as well as releasing material under his own project “2 Bad Mice“.

2007 saw the official end of Moving Shadow, but Playford wasn’t done yet, he continued to work his engineering magic on albums by The Cut Up Boys, Joris Voorn, Paul Oakenfold and soundtracks for Hot Fuzz and Casino Royale to name but few.

 


 

14. Ed Rush & Optical

Ed_Rush_Optical

The kings of Neurofunk partnered up around 1995, when Ed Rush (born Ben Settle) and Optical (born Matt Quin) met at “The Music House” in Islington London where they used to cut their dubplates to use in their sets, naturally a place where lots of DJ’s hung out sharing the music they’ve come to eternalise on wax.

The first couple of years consisted mostly of them playing gigs, with Ed Rush Producing on himself, releasing tracks like “Gangsta Hardstep” and “What’s Up“, both on No U-Turn records. Moving Shadow’s Rob Playford (see entry 13, above) gave the duo some space in his office building in Soho, London, to allow them to build a studio for producing. This led to their debut single “Funktion” (V Recordings) in 1997, followed by the critically acclaimed “Wormhole” (Virus Recordings) in 1998, weirdly enough both not on Playford’s Moving Shadow imprint.

“Wormhole” not also defined a new genre (it’s regarded as the first Neurofunk album ever), it was also the first big release on their newly created label “Virus Recordings” (after releasing 3 of their own singles prior that year).

The pair continues to release high hitting tracks and albums together, like “Chubrub“, “Pacman“, and “Sick Note“, as well as collaborations with other producers and vocalists.

Virus recordings are at more than 20 years in the game a frontrunner in the Neurofunk genre, with releases by Audio, Cause 4 Concern, and many more, but mostly still Ed Rush and Optical.

Fun Fact: Even though they’re known for their dark and brooding style of DnB, Optical also produced lots of other stuff in the early to mid-90’s under different monikers, like this track here, Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter & J.D.S – “Let It Lift You”. Hey, everybody needs to make a living, right?

 


 

15. DJ Hype

DJ_Hype

When you have to follow just one DnB artist on social media, you should make it DJ Hype (born Kevin Ford). His jokes and banter are always a welcoming sight, and he’s really just a well-meaning and funny guy.

 

Hype started out as a DJ, spinning mostly Reggae and Hip Hop on a London pirate station. He started producing as early as 1988 under names as Doctor K (the same name he took as a radio-DJ) , The Warrior, and M Double A. When a new House radio station called “Fantasy” started up he managed to get a show on it in August 1989. He needed a new DJ name to call himself as he had used Doctor K on the other station. He was wearing a T-Shirt with HYPE printed on it, so he decided to call himself DJ Hype.

Later he lost his Day job, and luckily enough for him around that time Kickin’ records was looking for an A&E person, and through some mutual friends, they decided on giving the job to Hype. There he came in contact with a Techno producer called Scientist and thought it to be a good idea to mix his love for breakbeat and Scientist’s passion for Techno, which resulted in the track “The Exorcist” to critical acclaim. Unfortunately for him, all the praise went to The Scientist. Later (in 1993) he released his first record under his DJ Hype moniker called “Shot In The Dark” on Suburban Base Records, setting a blueprint for all his future work.

Later in 1993, he got a booking through his good friend Brockie to play a full on Jungle set at Jungle Fever. After this the bookings just started to flow in, skyrocketing his career as a Jungle-DJ.

In 1994 he decided to start up his own imprint “Ganja Records”, with his first releases being under the name “Dope Style“, and later releasing classics like DJ Zinc’s “Super Sharp Shooter“. In 1996 he teamed up with Pascal and Zinc to release the compilation album “Still Smokin” (featuring the excellent “We Must Unite“) and later form the “True Playaz” label.

1996 saw Hype aiding in the creation of the semi-legal dubplate containing the remix of The Fugees “Ready or Not“. Even though it’s officially been released as a “DJ Zinc remix”, Zinc himself later confirmed everybody’s suspicion that Hype helped him out with the bassline, which had that signature Hype-feel to it.

 

16. Kemistry † and Storm

Kemistry_Storm

Kemistry and Storm are not only the first (and only) female entries in this list, they’re both regarded as being the first female Drum and Bass DJ’s, paving the way for women in a male-dominated industry.

Kemistry (born Kemi Olusanya) and Storm (born Jayne Conneely) met at the college they both attended in Northampton. Starting out in various bands together, Storm ended up in a cover band, while Kemi discovered raves. Being somewhat weary of Kemi’s new-found pass-time, Storm and a third friend decided to go along to a rave in Cambridge for Kemi’s birthday, an event that changed their lives for the better. They later borrowed some money (from Goldie), bought some decks and started spinning records themselves, taking turns between them, Goldie and some other friends.  Kemistry brought Goldie along to a rave, and after returning home, Goldie stated  “Right, I want to make this music, you’ll be the DJs, we’ll have a label and a club, we’ll make some t-shirts”, which later became Metalheadz.

Kemistry and Storm helped Goldie out at the beginning of the Metalheadz era. Summer 1995 saw the start of landmark drum ‘n’ bass night Metalheadz at Blue Note, with Grooverider and Kemistry & Storm as residents in the basement sweatbox. They had arrived as DJs – and the vision forged in the crucible of Rage’s dancefloor had been realized. Touring the world the duo finally ended up doing a mix for the renowned “DJ Kicks”-series. Their LP on !K7 came out in January 1999, three months before Kemistry was taken from us in a car accident.

 

A woman DJ was killed in a freak accident when a reflective marker was flicked up from the road byanother vehicle and smashed through the windscreen of a car in which she was a passenger, an inquest heard today.  

Kemi Olusanya, 35, who performed under the name Kemistry, died instantly with a fractured jaw after being struck in the face by the 4.5kg plastic and metal reflector.  

The object was thrown up by a van which swung out from a slip road on the M3 at Winchester.  

Ms Olusanya, of Finsbury Park, was in a VW Golf GTI driven by her friend Jane Conneely returning from a late-night gig in Southampton.  

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Grahame Short said he would be writing to the Highways Agency because it as clear some reflectors were not set in the road properly.

Her death sent shockwaves of grieve through not only the DnB-scene but the electronic music scene in general. “We went from the pinnacle, touring America and having the !K7 release, to me looking at coffins.” Storm said. “I always wonder what would have happened if Goldie hadn’t seen Kemi in Red Or Dead that day. Imagine if he had walked past…”

Drum and Bass would defiantly not be the same.

 

 

Top Tunes Of October 2017

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

A site about lists and music wouldn’t be complete without a monthly chart, I thought to myself. But then I had to rate songs and with DnB being such a diverse genre, I just couldn’t compare a Liquid song to a Neuro tune. So instead I opted to just list them, and put them in random order. You’ll notice that the playlists on the bottom are in a different order than here, but that’s just to create a flow, and let similar songs follow eachother. Each month I’m going to select the 10-ish best songs that were released in the last month.
These are the 11 best tracks of October 2017, according to us, in random order.

 

Kiril – Minimal Instinkt (Critical)

BUY HERE


Spline – Be Elephant (Dispatch)

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Calibre – Broken Wings (ft. DRS) (Signature)

BUY HERE


Unkut – Underground Sound (Full Cycle)

BUY HERE


Benny L – Low Blow (Metalheadz)

BUY HERE


 

Survival – Roots (Dispatch)

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T.R.A.C. – Step Tune (ft. Random Movement & Adrienne Richards) (V Recordings)

BUY HERE


 

Current Value – Eager Fight (A.M.C. Remix) (Blackout)

BUY HERE


 

S.P.Y. – Hardcore Harry (Hospital)

BUY HERE


 

Cyantific – Cyborg (ft. BMotion) (Viper)

BUY HERE


 

Misanthrop – The Lick (Neosignal)

BUY HERE

 

 

Check them all out in this handy Spotify playlist here:

And for the YouTube Crew, check here: