GROUND – Ein EP [Overview Music]

overview-ground-ein-cover-art

Overview GROUND Ein EP cover art

As one of the premier labels spearheading the deep and dark side of drum and bass, Overview Music continues to expand their diverse sound; this time bringing us none other than GROUND with his Ein EP. Well-known for his unique production style that features top notch sound design and creative beats, the four tracks on this release will blow your mind and possess your body.

“Ein” starts the EP off; using a blend of moody atmospherics, driving rhythms, and a vocal chant to create an intense build into the drop. The drop itself hits like a jackhammer, as he brandishes the rolling sound that dominates it. The second drop reveals the inventive drive he has, mutating the original pattern into a darker version of itself that leaves you in a state of awe.

The ominous opening of “Amnesia” drift in next, with a mind melting blend of elements which accompany the hypnotic motif that defines this track. GROUND reveals his production chops on this one: with lush soundscapes, a carefully crafted snare, deep subs, and the techy click of the cymbal section that are balanced and arranged in perfect sequence. This creates the spaced-out vibe that makes it so addicting.

“When I” makes use of a shifting drum pattern and a weighty sub to create an infectious hard-edged tune that gets the body moving. It’s easy to see this tune taking over any dancefloor, with its combination of energetic pacing and surging basslines. The myriad of elements which interplay throughout reinforce the quicksand nature of the track, swirling endlessly in and out of your head.

Going all out on the last track, “DIY” is a menacing tune that takes no prisoners. The repetitive snap of the snare and growl of the bass set the perfect stage for the gritty, tripped atmospheres which populate the track. The distorted foghorn melts perfectly into the high-pitched drone that carries the break, slowly morphing back into the foghorn and leaves you reeling from the experience.

This is a massive release; four killer tracks that reveal a fresh take on the genre. Out now via Beatport, go cop this now!

ALBUM REVIEW: Public Memory “Ripped Apparition”

Public-Memory-Ripped-Apparition-cover-art

Public Memory “Ripped Apparition” cover-art

Hovering between the grounded rhythms of dub music and the pure atmospheric sounds of indie music lies Public Memory. Having crafted a distinctive sound that is amorphous yet impactful with releases such as Wuthering Drum and Demolition, the newest release Ripped Aparition continues in that vein yet expands upon it in new and imaginative ways.

The album begins with the ominous warblings of “Worn Shadow,” which slowly builds the tension until it feels like it’ll burst. Which it does, into the hypnotic bass vibrations of “Bad Orbit.” The consistency of the bass develops the perfect backdrop for the crescendo of the melodic motif. When the vocals enter, it grabs ahold of you despite its ethereal nature. The song then holds its steady groove, as endless waves of effects float in and out until it slowly winds down.

The blissful keyboard of “Dusseldorf Witch Hat” drifts in, lulling the listener into a false sense of time and space; the trip hop beat backed by the overdriven bass counterpoint the meandering sounds and melodies perfectly. This gives the song a feeling of always moving forward yet staying in the same place, and it’s the perfect kind of song to get the creativity flowing.

Building up the epic feeling of this release, “Courtroom Tap Water” establishes itself with laser precision; by employing reverb and a slow well-placed snare pattern, it evokes a cavern hidden deep in the forest that keeps calling out to you. All of this feeds into the lumbering behemoth named “Butcher.” It’s a tune that has an overpowering heavy presence, which only highlights the peaceful musings of the lyrics. It is mind numbing the way in which this song infects the brain and lingers long after it’s gone.

“Azimuth” keeps those vibes rolling along. The methodical pacing, the metronomic click of the ride, and the warmth of the bassline fuse together to forge a surrealistic sound that’s hard to get enough of. All of this paves the way for “Midsummer Shadow,” a song that truly goes hard. The vocals and rhythm each have a barely contained feeling of anger as an undercurrent, with the bass and other elements helping to build the atmosphere which seeps down into the depths of your soul.

Public-Memory-press-photo

Public Memory press photo

The playful trip hop beat of “Epigone” stands in contrast to the previous works, but somehow still matches the delicate ferocity of what came before it. It accomplishes that with a mesmerizing melody and a rhythm which feels like a ship rocking back and forth that is taking you to an uncertain destination.

Taking a cue from the previous track, “Dracula AD,” takes the melodic sense and turns it on its head. While containing some very pleasing motifs, there is a darkness floating around in the track which creates a sense of rising anxiety. When the otherworldly vocals enter, it becomes apparent this is a track that adeptly combines polar opposites into something fresh and exciting.

Closing out the release is the massive “Lost Future.” Combining all of the disparate elements found throughout the album into one song, it never veers into chaos and instead stays ever sure of itself. In addition, this song plays with the experimentalism so prevalent on the album; it is eye opening how this song sounds truly experimental yet instantly gets stuck in your head.

Public Memory has crafted another fantastic gem with Ripped Apparition. Whether you are looking for an introspective album or love the left-field explorations of lo-fi, there is plenty to dig into here. Get it now via pre-order or on general release this November 20th on Felte Records!

Tommy Castro And The Painkillers Bring The Perfect Panacea (Rerun)

Tommy Castro; photo Jayson Carpenter

Tommy Castro; photo Jayson Carpenter

TOMMY CASTRO AND THE PAINKILLERS 2020 tour never took place thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic so we thought we’d rerun the interview…

There is no doubt the Covid-19 epidemic has drastically altered and affected all of our lives. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the music community, with so many essentially getting their entire way of life halted in an instant. Despite this, musicians have been charging forward even harder than before.

Tommy Castro and The Painkillers are such a band; having been around for over two decades, they have seen their ups and downs. Our current pandemic situation has postponed all future events, including The Painkillers night at The Coach House.

“It will continue to be rescheduled until we can play it,” remarks Castro. “I don’t know what the next date is but the one in June I don’t think is going to hold. Even if the state decided to open things back up by then, it won’t give us enough time to promote it. So, we are probably looking to have our show there in the fall.”

The Coach House is a favorite venue for many blues and rock bands, with Castro and his band included in the mix.

Tommy Castro; photo Bob By Request

Tommy Castro; photo Bob By Request

“The Coach House is great, and I even remember the first time we played there,” reminisces the bluesman. “We were coming up in popularity and our current record was doing well. That was not an easy gig to get, you had to earn it! When we finally got booked in there, we were really excited about it and haven’t missed a year since then. It’s got to be about twenty straight years that we have been playing there. It’s a good-sized room, not too big and not too small. It suits our audience very well. Blues audiences tend to be an older crowd and they like to sit down and enjoy the show.”

Speaking of Covid-19, everyone has that moment when they first heard about the shutdown.

“We were on tour, being in the middle of the northwest and Canada,” he reveals. “We came down from the mountains in Canada into Montana and worked our way back towards Sacramento, with that and Paradise being the last shows we played. It was very up in the air whether those were even going to happen. After those ones, we all went home and have been on lockdown ever since. I would have never imagined a thing like that happening.”

Life has been very different and difficult since the stay at home orders were first issued, but not even that can get the guitarist down.

“I’ve been keeping myself really busy with a couple of live stream shows,” divulges Castro. “I have a lot of work to do – working on songs, practicing my guitar, working on my house, the weather is warmer so getting some exercise, and just making the best of it. I’m not going around and visiting people in their homes or anything of that sort. I had my birthday on the fifteenth of April, and all of my adult kids and I got on zoom and had a little birthday party for me which was a lot of fun.”

Tommy Castro; photo Jayson Carpenter

Tommy Castro; photo Jayson Carpenter

Recently, he performed live over the internet for John Lee Hooker’s live stream show. “I’m a big fan of John Lee,” he affirms. “We knew each other and were friends, he recorded on one of my albums back in the early 2000’s. We had the same booking agency in those days so were playing on a lot of the same shows. It was a real honor and great way to pay tribute, with me playing a couple songs of his.

“It was cool because I had the time to learn to play one of his songs I didn’t know before,” relates the guitarist. “This one is in a very particular tuning and really went into the John Lee Hooker style. I’ve done his songs my own way so this time I did one that way but on the other one, I just really tried to imitate his style in Open G on an old Harmony guitar that I have. It was fun preparing for it and also playing my own songs. His Facebook page has a couple hundred thousand subscribers from around the world, so it was great exposure for me and a lot of fun.”

Moving from live shows to live streams over the internet has been a sudden and intense change for any musician out there.

“Anytime I have to learn something new it’s good for me,” explains Castro. “It always reminds me of a quote, ‘If you’re green, you’re still growing.’ Those things I don’t know that much about and I need to learn about and am put in a position where I have to learn it, it’s good for me…good for my brain. It expands my abilities. You tend to get stuck in what you know so I know how to play live and make a record, I’ve learned over the years how to be involved in online promotions, and most importantly how to keep in touch with my fans through social media and the internet.

“All of that has been a constant learning situation for me but this was a crash course in live streaming,” he points out. “Especially because it was completely solo. I never play, never in my career have I done a solo show. There have been times on the radio or something where I would play a song or two, but it was never me having a fully worked out acoustic set for a show. What I do is electric blues that requires a band and is what I really know how to do. So, learning how to step up and play a solo show like this was really good for me.”

From their humble beginnings to their current status as blues stalwarts, their journey and outlook on life is a fascinating one.

“When I was about eight years old, my brother got a guitar and started playing it,” explains Castro of his musical origins. “I had always been interested, and being six years younger, thought it was the coolest thing. Eventually I got my own guitar and started playing with friends my own age. For most of my life it was something I did for fun. I enjoyed it and didn’t get any schooling or lessons on it. I just listened to lessons and had a basic chord book and figured it out. Growing up in a lower middle-class neighborhood, nobody I knew was taking lessons or getting any proper musical schooling so my friends and I would just listen to the records and figure things out.”

That was the start of it all and it just kept rolling from there.

“I just kept playing, blues was the thing I liked best,” he elaborates. “I listened to rock and roll but was always most inspired by the blues-based stuff i.e. The Rolling Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin, etc. A lot of the blues in the sixties was being played on FM radio when it was still relatively new. FM stations were super progressive and could play anything they wanted since there wasn’t much corporate involvement yet. The DJ’s played everything: from psychedelic blues to psychedelic music, bluegrass, folk music, and a good bunch of blues music. That’s how I could hear Albert King, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland on the radio.

“That’s how I was exposed to it. Most of my friends were into rock so I was always the guy in the band who wanted to play blues. And that’s what I did for some time. I would play in various bands, we would get bar gigs and play on the weekends; until one day, I decided that this is what I was meant to do. I gave up on any other plans I was working on and decided to take a shot at making a living as a professional musician.”

One of the biggest leaps one can ever make in life, the future was tentative, but it was also a great time for this move.

“At the time, this was the eighties, and there was starting to be a market for blues bands and especially guitar players,” details Castro. “On a professional level, I played with a number of local San Francisco bay area bands until I decided it was time for me to start my own band. I’ve been doing that ever since – we have eighteen albums out there and have toured around the world for 25 years.”

This is an unprecedented time in history; but with musicians such as Tommy Castro and The Painkillers pushing forward, they give us a glimpse of the path forward and provide hope for the future. Through their commitment to make music regardless of the circumstances, it demonstrates how we can overcome anything. This is a band you want to keep up with, as they keep heartfelt live streams and stellar shows heading our way.

Ink, Loxy, & Resound – The Eternals EP [I.L.R. Studios]

Ink,-Loxy,-&-Resound-–-The-Eternals-EP--cover-art

Ink, Loxy, & Resound “The Eternals” EP cover-art

Three legends of jungle and DnB are back, with a killer four track release that will blow your mind and get your body shaking. Having established themselves with a long career of releases on everything from Metalheadz to Cylon Recordings and even Renegade Hardware, these three have always shown a deep love for pushing the envelope in fascinating ways. On this latest release, The Eternals EP, they continue to demonstrate their production prowess and why they are hailed as such innovative producers.

Kicking things off is “Frequency,” a heavy track that has a grimy bassline pulsing at its center. This is a track that goes full force, refusing to let anything stand in its way. Each element, from the tight snap of the snare to the metronomic click of the hats, are perfectly balanced and give the track its massive sound. The slow crescendo of the track builds slowly yet relentlessly, overpowering the listener with reckless abandon.

“Shodown” maintains the vibe but introduces a more diverse palette: the bouncing rhythm of the basslines reinforce the rolling feel of the drums. Employing a myriad of effects which ebb and flow throughout the track, the tune draws you in more and more as the song progresses. It’s a head bobber that satiates the need for sub bass, while taking the mind to unexplored regions.

Hypnotic warblings start off the title track, The Eternals, before the ferocity of the drums drop in. The fierce jungle of sounds that comprise this track is something these three producers are well known for; even here they find countless ways of calling forth the past while paving the way for the future. It’s a tune that showcases the intricate origins of jungle music and reminds why it has the staying power that it does, as well as its potential to constantly evolve into new forms.

Get ready to be propelled into hyperspace, as the frenetic rhythms of “Zoom” come rushing in. The wild, chaotic sounds of the drums are mind numbing, with a rumbling bassline that not only compliments them but is highly addictive. With echoing FX sprinkled precisely throughout, this is a track you will come back to time and time again to both study and enjoy.

It’s a true testament to both DnB as well as Ink, Loxy, and Resound to see them still going as strong as ever and continuing to raise the bar of production. Cop this one as soon as you can, directly through their Bandcamp page!

Various Artists – Raw Cuts Vol. 4 [Vandal Records]

Raw-Cuts-Vol-4-cover-art

Raw-Cuts-Vol-4-cover-art

Vandal Records is a fascinating label to behold; outputting the whole gamut of DnB since 2004, it has demonstrated a keen eye towards dancefloor numbers that expand upon the genre in exciting ways. Whether it’s deep soulful liquid, hard hitting rollers, mind melting neuro, or the mutations of halftime, count on them delivering tunes that take you by surprise and turn your mind inside and out.

Launching things from the get-go is Arkoze, Interline, and MC Fokus with the vibrational rolling vibes of “Don’t Hold Back.” The powerful surging pace of the rhythm and the deft lyrical stylings of the MC create a writhing sensation that is impossible to resist. With myriad layers of FX coming at you from every direction, it’s an intense tune that stays true to the title of this release.

Synth Ethics takes things in a weird direction, with slow rising ominous atmospheres and a mutated vocal line. “Bad Attitude” takes pleasure in laying down the kind of minimal vibes that demolish a dancefloor, using a warped distorted bassline to hypnotize the listener as it seeks to control the body like a puppeteer.

Taking things even darker come Black Opps & Dunk with “This Feeling.” A wobbly bassline that meanders every which way dominates the track, working its way deep into your soul. The energetic rhythm of the drum pattern will have anyone stepping to it in a heartbeat, lost in the happy void of the tune.

Technical brings out “Switch,” a tour de force of precisely textured layers with an undercurrent of hypnotic drums. The repetitive crash of the ride creates a swirling sensation, while the clanging of the otherworldly effects reaches far into the psyche. The many motifs which run around the tune are the perfect balance between musicality and experimentality, creating an experience hard to forget.

Objectiv and Haribo team up for “Broken,” a serious banger of a tune that hits all the right buttons. Overwhelmingly heavy subs, growling basslines, a thrashy drum section, and hard-edged lyrics are all combined with the mastery each are renowned for. Each layer draws the listener in time after time, while as a whole it pulses through you like a shockwave and leaves you craving for more.

“No BBQ Sauce” closes out the release, crafted by Brain and Hazey. A stuttering rolling bassline forms the backbone of the track, creating a high energy vibe to die for. As the variations of the bassline make itself known, the metronomic click adds even more energy to the track. It’s a killer mix that is sure to destroy any dancefloor it comes into contact with.

Out now on your favorite platforms, Raw Cuts Vol. 4 is a killer release you’ll want to cop ASAP!!

Grey Code – Masque/Curve [DIVIDID]

Grey Code cover art

Grey Code cover art

One of the premier sound design technicians on the DnB scene at the moment stands Grey Code. Known for his epic intros, lush soundscapes, and his creative take on the genre, he has released on some of the most seminal labels around: Metalheadz, Dispatch Recordings, Demand Records, Music Squad, and Skankandbass. Now he ventures over to ABIS and IMANU’s label DIVIDID for two tracks that push even further into the farthest reaches of the genre.

“Masque” starts off with high pitched eerie synth vibes backed by his trademark swirling orchestral sound, building and building into the drop. This is a massively fierce drop, accompanied by chopped up breaks and a steady minimalistic rhythm. As the song progresses, the distorted bassline roars and counterpoints with each individual layer in unique and interesting ways. This is a precisely crafted tune; using the contrast between noise and musical elements, he creates constant shifts in mood that defy the senses and leaves you in a state of pure awe.

Cross pollination among genres is a staple throughout music history, and on “Curve” Grey Code pushes into this territory full force. There is still plenty of his ethereal atmospherics and intricate sound design sprinkled throughout the track, but this is a tune that seeks to challenge what is possible. Elements of the free form experimentalism found in bass music form the backbone of this track, as it bounces from four to the floor DnB to the expansive bass modulation seen in dub music. The roar of the crunchy bass and the melodic motif are treats for the ears, reminding us to always expect the unexpected.

DIVIDID has given us another stellar release and cements why Grey Code is such a sought-after talent. Out now via Beatport and Bandcamp, pick this release up as soon as you can!

ALBUM REVIEW: Jupiter Sprites “Holographic”

Jupiter Sprites “Holographic” cover art

Jupiter Sprites “Holographic” cover art

Creating a full-length album is an arduous process for any musical act – long hours in the studio, multiple takes of particular sections, nailing that one specific sound, blending the disparate sounds just right, etc. There is a lot that can go wrong and plenty that can go right; it’s that tug of war that has shaped some of the most iconic albums in music history. The Jupiter Sprites are no stranger to this process and journey, having embarked on their own trial by fire with the album Holographic. Filled with lush soundscapes that fuse the intimacy of the bedroom with the technological breadth of the modern studio, they have created a work that expands the mind as it touches the heart.

Jupiter Sprites press photo

Jupiter Sprites press photo

Starting off with the ethereal beauty of “Ocean of You,” they immediately get to work demonstrating their prowess in using beautiful sounds with lilting rhythms to create a signature sound. The tune takes pleasure in establishing itself as a hypnotic pop song, before meandering into a fuzzed-up jam section that is as enjoyable as it is unexpected.

The slow pace of “A Radiant Eclipse” glides in next. There is a soft surging vibe that is executed with such extreme precision it’s breathtaking. This is the sound of being in a waking dream; the kind where you have a certain amount of control and have the pleasure of wandering around at your own leisure. The manner in which the spacey vocals interplay with the bubbling effects provides even more detail, making this one a pleasure to get lost in.

“Feeeel” uses the mesmerizing power of the trick beat with infectious vocals to work its magic. While employing chillout vibes, it creates the perfect amount of movement that gets your body rocking back and forth in ecstasy. The subtle introduction of the bassline creates a slow rising sensation that builds and builds, until a momentary break launches you into space backed by a delayed-out motif which carries you to the next dimension.

Mike Elliott / Jupiter Sprites press photo

Mike Elliott / Jupiter Sprites press photo

“Haunt” takes things to the heavier end of the spectrum. It’s impossible to resist the hypnotic flavor of this one, taking you on a merry go around which exists in the celestial world of the clouds. This track puts on full display the depth and power of subtlety that the Jupiter Sprites have spent so much time perfecting. Each note is as a perfect drop in a pond, slowly rippling out into the recesses of the mind.

Chimes, vibrational bass tones, and the warmth of a buzzy synth motif begin “Continue On.” The deep tones of the bass and the interplay with the rhythm create the perfect backdrop for a heady trip here; the rising melodies, long harmonization of the vocals, and airy layers all fuse together to create a never ending trip through the interior of the mind, creating the perfect bridge from one moment to the next.

“Resolving Resound” is not just an aptly titled track, but a wonderful fusion of shoegaze rock tendencies with the blissful leanings of this band. This song recalls the best aspects of the past of music with the exciting glimmer of the future – before you know it, you’re humming the words and sucked into the landscape of the tune – reminding you of meeting a long lost friend after too much time apart.

Portia Capp / Jupiter Sprites press photo

Portia Capp / Jupiter Sprites press photo

“Stakes” closes the album out, and like any good closer, it reminds you of every step you’ve taken along this journey and wrapping it into the perfect package. It has the lush symphonic textures, chilled out vibes, rhythms that groove, and melodic twists that have dotted the entire album. Yet it has its own unique blend of it all that carries you off to infinity as the album comes to a slow close, refusing to ever leave your thoughts.

This is an album anyone will thoroughly enjoy, with its layered textures and fresh take on the music process. The first time through is a pure joy to listen to, while repeated listens slowly reveal all the subtle intricacies that will keep you coming back for more. Grab a copy yourself and dive in!!

Various Artists – Spectrum LP [Subplate Recordings]

Spectrum LP cover art

Spectrum LP cover art

Exploring the farthest reaches of the dark side of DnB lies the label Subplate Recordings: operated by Typecell, with a keen focus on the minimal and experimental side of DnB, it has built a formidable repertoire of artists and releases which continue to push the boundaries in every way imaginable. They just dropped a massive release entitled the Spectrum LP, a various artists compilation that is chock full of genre-bending tracks the likes of which have never been heard before.

Starting off the release is label boss himself Typecell with the tune “Observer.” It introduces the LP with an ominous tone that perfectly sets the stage, building intense levels of tension that ebb and flow as you try to anticipate what comes next.

VRUM picks up where the previous tune left off on “Oracle,” continuing the sinister undertones as it brings in hypnotic effects that hint at the radical diversity contained within. Rumbling bass, distorted chords blasts, and dub influenced beats creep slowly into your brain.

On “The Devil Wears Nada”, Hickupz brings out the deep DnB vibes. With an emphasis on the metronomic click of the snare and the heavy thump of the kick, he creates a track that explores the limitless potential of drum and bass by using a mutated bassline that does whatever it wants.

Bringing out chopped up drum patterns, Exsitu showcases his adept skills of crafting challenging beat patterns with “Unfold.” Deceptively simple, each layer interacts in unexpected ways that give this song a compelling flavor that takes you by surprise.

Driving the listener onwards with reckless abandon is Surgence and Noir, delivering the energetic mood of “Enigma.” This tune layers mind boggling techy drums with a bouncy, vibrational bassline. This makes for an insanely heavy tune which infects the body as well as the mind.

Black Opps delivers a fierce workout of a tune on “Metal Advocates.” With relentless drumming, foreboding atmospheres, echoing vocal motifs, and a haunting bassline, the tune demonstrates the power contained in richly designed sound textures.

Keeping things rolling along is “Valve” by Nobiz, creating one that revels in repetition. He deftly weaves a track that seems to contain endless layers and movements, yet it’s glued together by familiar components that weave themselves in and out of the tune with their own otherworldly elements.

The grimy sounds of neurofunk grace the next track, “Delirium” by Parasite. Just like the name implies, this track evokes the chaos one would find in the netherworld. The grinding buzz saw sounds burrow deep into your brain, yet the vibe-heavy beat has you loving every second of this track.

Stuttering basslines, high octane cymbal work, and hypnotic drum patterns comprise Resslek’s tune “Picanha.” A whirlwind of a track that grabs you and carries you off before you even know what’s happening, it leaves you fiendishly craving for more.

Voortrekker and Cling bring out “Chafe” next. It employs a constantly shifting bassline peppered with creepy effects and metronomic drumlines; these create a feeling of shadows creeping in, instilling a desire to let them flow into you.

With “Asmodeus,” Mew Zu brings us an absolutely evil bassline that sucks you into the underworld. The sucking sound of the vocals sound demonic, playing with your mind in a sinister way that you can’t help but get infected by.

Get ready for a truly wild ride on “Omen” by Nodsy. The rollicking sub bass of the track defies the senses, as the melodic stabs and precisely crafted beat carry you away. Brandishing all of his production power, each layer stacks ever so subtly and coalesces into the huge sound which defines the track.

Building a tech lover’s dream is the trifecta of Against Odds x Hewson x Jaise, bringing us “Cylinder.” Just like a whirlpool, this song spins you around relentlessly as you gladly give into it. The closer to the center you get, the more you realize the freedom of losing yourself in music.

“Thunder” by Demented closes this LP out. It possesses an addictive rhythm you can’t help but step to. Even during the break, it refuses to let up, keeping the momentum at full drive. Finally, it clobbers you over the head with a massive drop, pulsating with wave after wave of sub bass.

This is an album not to be missed; from its experimental approaches that create addictive tunes to reveling in the wild frenzy DnB offers, it’s a real eye opener on what the future holds for this genre. Available on Beatport, scoop this one up immediately!

FD First Sound EP

FD "First Sound EP" cover art

FD “First Sound EP” cover art

Get ready for another exquisite offering from the master beat smith known as FD. A legend in the world of drum and bass, his prowess in creating rolling beats, lush atmospherics, and thundering basslines is unmatched. Having released everywhere from The North Quarter to Symmetry Recordings and even Sun & Bass, he has cemented his reputation for precision with every tune. He is back for another round with CIA Records, bringing three fresh tunes on his First Sound EP.

Starting things off with his trademark elements peppered with vocal stabs is the title track “First Sound”. A rollicking beat drops in, building up the momentum until the drop hits with the force of a high magnitude earthquake. In no to time flat he gives us the ideal template of a roller, defying expectations with the intense production on it.

For “True North,” he joins with legends Total Science to create a dark and deep banger like no other. Right off the bat, the surging rhythmic interplay between the kick and snare gets you locked in tight. Noisy FX and a vocal sample come together to highlight the dynamics of the drop, and with the song fully underway, the heavy vibe of the song makes it impossible to resist stepping to it. Bringing in ethereal atmospherics during the break is like a breath of fresh air, before diving back in with reckless abandon.

“Timberline” is our last outing on this EP, beginning with a haunting crackling backdrop reinforced by a deep and chaotic drum section. The rumbling bassline in this track is one to die for, containing a hard-rocking rhythm that is so singularly focused you won’t realize you’ve been bobbing your head to it since it started. Never letting up, this is one fierce tune that is destined to decimate any speaker system or dance floor it comes into contact with.

FD demonstrates why he is one of the most sought after and revered producers in the DNB genre, fusing his distinguished sense of melody with hard hitting challenging beats that are out of this world. Head over to CIA records Bandcamp and cop this ASAP!

Various Artists – GOLD I [Midas Touch Recordings]

GOLD I - Midas Touch Recordings cover art

GOLD I – Midas Touch Recordings cover art

Fresh onto the scene and armed with an innovative take on the drum and bass genre stands Midas Touch Recordings. Based in Belgium and founded by none other than Sceptiz and SVB, it’s a label committed to bringing us the best in forward thinking electronic music as well as showcasing the brightest graphic designer talent around. Belgium itself has a long history of heavyweight artists: Bredren, Phase, Solace, Glyph, Msoul & S27, and more all originate from there and share a real drive for testing the limits of DnB.

Their first outing was the Spoko EP and is available as a free download (which you definitely need to get ASAP) exposing the sound of the label to everyone for the first time. They’re back already with the first edition of their GOLD series, GOLD I. Get ready for some serious heaters as you trek through this massive release!

SubMarine starts us out with “Jitterbug.” Beginning with the funkiest of intros, the grinding buzz of the atmospherics slowly instills more and more tension, until the full flair of the drop catapults the song into a frenzy. Known for his extremely unique rolling basslines, he crafts a track that fuses the deepest of vibes with the exhilarating fun of a funk song. This is a definite foot stomper that will easily set any dancefloor on fire.

Bringing out ominous atmospherics, warbling synth melodies, and a finely tuned drum section is Solace with “Dawn.” Right off the bat, the rhythm has your head shaking as the synth motif worms its way into your head. The chattering cymbals keep the pace intense and without even realizing it, you’ve become totally lost and entranced in this tune. The wobbly bass line that comes in after the second drop further blows the mind, revealing a truly creative use of layering seldomly heard.

Label heads Sceptiz and SVB flex their musical muscles on the next tune, “Paniek”. Revered for their dark tones and challenging beat patterns, this tune is no exception. Creepy atmospherics counterpoint the magnetic groove of the drums, employing that classic dark jungle snare snap which drives the song forward. All of the elements combine in a way that is as infectious as it is overwhelming, as evidenced by the warping bassline and subtle layering that summon otherwordly sensations.

Last but not least is OaT, a producer with an absolute killer sense of bass sound design that consistently pushes the boundaries of what is possible. “Diamonds” has this on full display, along with showcasing his versatility as well. This is a tune that reaches deep into the soul; the sub bass is seemingly bottomless with such a soothing warmth, the drums are intensely busy yet create a sense of bliss, and the atmospherics glide along with the soulful vocals in a way that evoke such pure emotion it’s unreal.

Together, these songs reveal the powerhouse that Midas Touch Recordings is, and how seriously they take their name. Out now on all the major platforms, cop this one without delay!

Available through Beatport