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

K!NGS – Hold On [Slime Recordings]

K!NGS "Hold-On" album-cover

K!NGS “Hold-On” album-cover

Delivering another release on Slime Recordings is the versatile talent known as K!NGS. Hold On continues his journey through the realms of UK Garage and House, containing further explorations in bringing other genres into that mix as well. From the lush atmospherics he crafts to the vibrating basslines that hit deep in your soul, it’s another stellar release showcasing this rising talent.

Right from the start, he cements a killer vibe on “Escape.” The bassline and drums instantly have your body pulsing and swaying to the beat, with the soothing vocals giving just the right touch that make the drop simply perfect. It’s a deft touch, wherein the beat goes just hard enough and counterpoints the ethereal effects that float in and out extremely well; thus it illustrates the struggles and desires of the world’s current state as few could.

Further blending the sounds of yesterday and today is the title track, “Hold On.” Reminiscent of melodic techno and house with its glistening atmospherics and longing female vocals, it creates that anthemic feel that captures your attention and hooks you in. It then brings in the more challenging beats of today’s bass music and the kind of bass design that could only exist today. Marrying light and dark elements as he does on this track is a difficult task K!NGS pulls off expertly and encapsulates the difficult fact life has no easy answers.

“Lost” is a foreboding track that hypnotizes you with each and every layer. The echoing motifs twist and morph their way deeper and deeper into your brain; meanwhile, the thunderous bassline carries you along as if you’re on a river of eeriness. As the track hits the break, the tension builds and builds until the massive drop hits like blinding white light, simulating a moment of enlightenment that changes how you see things from now on.

Rounding out the release is “Never Again.” Bringing out an offbeat style of drums and driven by a soulful male vocal, it’s a track that hits deep in your feelings. The bassline further sets the tone of the piece, providing just enough movement yet retaining enough space to reveal its own lush tones. Another standout element of this particular tune is the way it slowly crescendos throughout the piece, creating a subtle rising effect that makes it a wonderful tune to get lost in over and over again.

Out now on all the major platforms, this is one you’ll want to add to your collection ASAP!

OnNow.tv Guiding The Livestream Revolution

onNow-tvCovid-19 has drastically changed the landscape of our lives, from wearing face masks everywhere we go to the still uncertain future of reopening. The world of music has been struggling to cope with the loss of live events and festivals; in response, the world of live streaming has sky rocketed into the spotlight. Many artists are using it in creative ways to bring the excitement and vibe of a show to our bedrooms: DJ sets on balconies, weekend long streams, concerts in empty venues, streams for charities, and more.

However, there have been struggles with live streaming. With so many different platforms to host it from, it can be difficult to find and tune into the stream you are looking for. Streaming is also relatively easier to do than putting on a full live show, thus there are a huge number of live streams going on at any one time. As a result, these two factors often make watching live streams more complex than it should be. OnNow.tv was founded by Stephan Jacobs, Mathew Adell, Terrence Scoville and Henry Strange as a direct response to these challenges.

onNow-tvJacobs and Strange shared their unique insight into its development. Both of them have a long history in the music industry: Jacobs has been producing music for over fifteen years. He has led multiple music projects, including Kether, Pizza Party, Bosa, and his own Jacobs material. Strange produces hip-hop and dance music. He is also the owner of Strange Electronic, who manufacture hardware as well as software for live performance use.

The genesis of OnNow.tv began when the coronavirus hit the hardest. “Right around when we went into lockdown……. we both are in the touring business so everything shut down, meaning there were no shows so even what my company does was rendered useless,” explains Strange. “We were scrambling to come up with ideas to help us all survive and solve this coronavirus problem; Stephan and I talk almost every day, and were tossing ideas around with one idea centered on live streams. Live streams became a hot item, and one of the most difficult things to do with them is figuring out when they are going on.

“We are all performers and had our own livestreams; and it’s hard to round up all your friends, let them know when you are going to go on, and make sure they get there on time. Usually in the first thirty minutes of a lot of sets, there is no one there because they are just realizing you started already. So, we had the idea of a livestream guide.”

With the idea in place, they started hammering out the specifics that would make it a reality. “Originally, it was called OnNowGuide and was heavily modeled after TV Guide, even going so far as to look like TV Guide,” says Strange. “Then we were thinking of making it simplified like Craigslist – something where people could just jump on it and see what livestreams were popping off. But that wasn’t quite it so we just kept throwing ideas for how it should work out. That was in the beginning of March, and the beginning of OnNow.tv”

onNow-tvThe platform itself is a creative mix of factors that make it well equipped to become a hub for live streams. “It’s a live stream guide,” elaborates Strange. The idea is that the viewer can discover livestreams and find ones they didn’t know about. We have specific ones that we feature which we think are extraordinary in both quality and content. The viewer has the opportunity to add their livestreams into a watchlist, similarly to how it works for a movie in Netflix. So, they can always go back and go through their own list of things they want to see. Basically, it helps the viewer narrow down what they are interested in and save all those things. All of the things that get saved have a notification, such as an email, thirty minutes before a stream is due to start, so that people can watch it from the very start. On the livestream host side, it works kind of like Eventbrite. We aren’t a host for livestreams, i.e. we aren’t like Twitch or YouTube live but instead are a marketing platform for livestreams.

“This means that if you have streams on Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, etc. and want a central place to display them, you can do so on our OnNow.tv Profile page,” adds Jacobs.

“Thus, they can promote the event page to their fan base,” continues Strange. “This is especially useful if you have the stream in multiple locations, as they can all be represented in one place. And the fanbase will get the notifications thirty minutes before the stream starts. This makes it a handy tool for both ends, the viewer and the livestream host.”

As with any company there have been hardships throughout its development, but one came from a surprising source. “About two weeks into launching it – it was of course in a rough stage – there was another site that launched and was doing the same exact thing,” relates Strange. “It was called LivePilot.io and was started by Matt Adell, who is the ex-CEO of Beatport and also worked for Napster back in the day. He saw our site, got excited about it, and we merged the companies. So, he is now the CEO of OnNow.tv. It was a challenge, especially as it was such a raw dog idea that suddenly became a sort of corporate merger.”

Overall, this is a platform with a lot of promise. Live streaming is only going to continue to grow in popularity, and a tool like this one is only going to help in exploring the landscape of live streams. As it continues to host more and more content, OnNow.tv’s ability to spread all kinds of new music is only going to increase. Check it out ASAP!!

The Force Behind The Dub Wars

Dub WarsWhether it’s in sports, cooking, or the arts, seeing talented artists collaborate or go head to head is an exciting sight to see. It creates an intense world of mystery where it is impossible to guess what will happen next, and truly tests the participants skills as they must use all that they have on the spot while under pressure. On this note, Dub Wars is bringing us a competition between many of the most cutting-edge producers in Drum and Bass right now.

The brainchild of Ben Green, AKA OB1, his long history in the drum and bass scene gives him a unique insight into making this the high caliber event that it is. “I got started in music at a very young age working in distribution,” says Green. “I got a job working for Virus, Valve, Infrared, Prototype Recordings, and Metalheadz working as a sort of office assistant for the labels. Later, I went on to work solely for Metalheadz and that ended up with me becoming the label/tour/club manager at Metalheadz for a number of years.

“After that, I went off to have a family and start a new business as an independent; but realized pretty quickly there was something missing in my life and I needed to be involved in music on a daily basis,” confesses Green.

“That was the dawning of Rebel Music, who has now pulled together 18 artists from all over the world including Australia, UK, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Europe. Rebel Music has released 14 EP’s, and just released our debut LP, Rebel One.We offer it for free for those affected by the current situation and those who pay for it are helping to raise money for the NHS, in support of the health workers fighting against Covid-19.”

Rebel Music has been storming the scene and pushing boundaries since, but this is only one half of the formula that led to the creation of Dub Wars.

Dub Wars poster

Dub Wars poster

“Going back to my early years, I was raised in a household where music was a big part of the family and the house on a daily basis,” he points out. “My mum listened to a lot of reggae music, and part of that is clash culture and sound systems. That got me into clash culture, and I have a huge love for reggae music. Over the last eight to nine years, I’ve also gotten into battle rap and is something I have spent quite a lot of time on i.e. I’ve got favorite battlers, going to events, going to all the UK things when the US artists were coming over to battle, getting into all the forum… just really digging it and getting into all the channels of it.

“So, clash culture has been a large part of things that I enjoy, and I love people putting their skills up against each other. The situation being what it is with no events going on, there are livestreams and album projects going on, but felt we needed to do something new and exciting and this was the perfect opportunity to bring these two parts of my life together. That has ended up being the Dub Wars battle clash tournament.”

Thus, Dub Wars was born and the format OB1 developed is a stroke of efficiency and genius.

“The way the tournament is setup is that it is a 16-artist tournament that takes place over four weeks,” explains Green. “Each week there is a live draw every Sunday at 9pm BST. Each artist will be drawn against one other artist – this creates eight battles that will take place so there will be eight sample packs. Each battle gets a sample pack and the artists will have five days to make their dub. The rules are they have to use the ten sounds that are in the sample pack at least once in the track and the track must be at least three minutes long, but outside of that there are no rules. When the dubs are handed in, they will go up for a 48-hour poll online that is hosted by Native Instruments.”

While many such competitions like this can come off as a popularity contest, or even be controlled by such notions, this will not be the case in this competition.

“In those polls, you won’t know whose dub is who’s. For instance, you might see Creatures Vs. Dark Ops but in the poll, you will only see dub one and dub two. It’s all about the music and makes the focus on which dub you think won the battle.”

The entire lineup is filled to the brim with exceptional talent: Creatures, Wingz, Ill Truth, MD, kolectiv, Objectiv, Volatile Cycle, Wreckless, Dark Ops, Hadley, Screamarts, Inner Terrain, HLZ, and Missledz. It’s a well-crafted lineup, as any single pairing is set to deliver an epic showdown….let alone the fact we are getting four weeks of new tracks from them. Round one has started off the competition with a jolt, having some intense pairings that are sure to result in tracks with major heat. Round Two is shaping up the ante even further as the stakes raise even higher.

“It’s certainly a format that is exciting, it brings new sounds together. The other day someone said, ‘We are creating sonic fuckery’, which I actually quite like. It’s breaking the mold a little bit…. it’s putting a number of artists under the clock to a degree; they are also having to adapt to sounds they may not have selected for themselves for a track. We are also going to see, perhaps especially with some of the younger artists, having to use ones they have never used, and they will do exciting things with that. I think there is going to be a lot of exciting music from this project.”

Stay locked! This is a massive event the likes of which haven’t been seen before and will change the landscape of the scene. Not only is it a brand-new avenue for showcasing artist talent but has the potential to bring together the diverse talents and listeners of the scene in a totally brand-new way. Get involved, vote for your favorite tracks every week, and watch history unfold as the Dub Wars competition heats up!

The Ever-Expanding World Of Kaleidoscope Productions

Kaleidoscope Productions

Kaleidoscope Productions

“We started Kaleidoscope Productions about six years ago, in 2013,” explains Ryan Kirros, one of the three founders of the label. “It was small parties we did at first, and music production wasn’t a factor yet. We were hosting stages at different events, such as silent discos and things like that.

“We all kind of met through raving; basically, we sat down one day while mixing and realized, ‘This is it. This is what we want to do’ and got straight into DJing. Ryan Dettmer, AKA Zereticz, was the producer. He’s been producing before anyone really, whereas I was the DJ. We all meshed together; from there we began hosting at events, meeting artists throughout festivals, doing renegades, and other forms of networking until it became what it is now.”

“It definitely started with us throwing parties,” adds Dettmer. “There was a community of people who had started coming around our parties and called themselves the K tribe. I asked them, ‘What’s the K tribe?’ and they told me they went to Kaleidoscope parties, and that started our whole festival family.”

“As the years progressed, I pushed us to focus more on producing and we put out a compilation last May. This (Vol 2) will be our second one and our first official release on Beatport, which also establishes us as an official label. We’ve definitely come a long way; we have a bunch of artists coming along with us that are part of our core group, as well as a bunch of new friends and artists who have thrown down on the compilation with us.”

“There are a lot of different styles of House, and one of the great things about our label is that we touch on a lot of different styles of it,” Dettmer continues. “We do house, techno, tech house, deep house, melodic techno, etc. Each artist brings their own style to the table; and when you look at a kaleidoscope, it has a lot of changing colors and that’s what we wanted for the label. For it to have all different types of house music on it – every artist brings their own style, but it still has that core House music beat.”

"Vol. 2" cover art

“Vol. 2” cover art

There is no doubt that Vol. 2 of this compilation series is a serious tour de force. “Old School” by Zereticz opens the release with a bang, showcasing the intense highs and lows tech house has to offer. Listening to this one conjures up images of the warehouse dance floor, and how impossible it would be to resist grooving to this tune.

“Dance Like This” by Fiasko and Tandros is a real party starter, creating epic tension with its robotic vocal refrain along with its driving bass beats. These elements create a surging sensation that sucks the listener deeper and deeper into the track, as the subtle elements of the high-end creating brain food for the tech heads who love to analyze minute details of tracks.

One of the most standout and interesting facets of house music is its potential for exploring the low end of the music spectrum. “Double Down” by Kirros does this in spades: bass wobbles, rising bass tones, fuzzy bass stabs… if you love bass then this is a track to get lost in. And on top of all that, he flexes his mastery of placement for all to hear and revel in.

Things get deep and trippy on Slippy Toad’s “Space Dust” trek, with bass frequencies that seem to shake the ground you’re standing on. Echoed vocal samples and ethereal atmospherics collide with a hypnotic motif that refuses to let up, putting the listener into a trance state that removes all sense of time.

Carbon Street takes us down the rawer side of the genre with “Travel”, using everything from solid beats to melodic motifs to entrance the listener. Filled with echoey atmosphere and vocals as well, it is a bit more restrained in nature but through that it further expands the listeners mind as they journey through the album.

There is nearly everything under the sun on this release, and Kaleidoscope co-founder Macheddie’s track truly shows this on “Mystico.” He crafts a tune which delicately balances the deep bass tones of modern house with the horns and swing rooting from Latin music, making for a melody that brings a fun and fresh sound to the genre. It’s rare to hear a track blend the new with the old so effortlessly as this one does.

The buildup and drop is a key element of most modern dance music, with Just Henry demonstrating some true skill in delivering this moment on “How Did You See Me.” Over and over again, he employs removing the bass to build perfect moments of tension and release, playing with each break in new and exciting ways each time. And as the bouncy bassline hits, it’s nigh impossible to stay still.

Creating a rich texture of sound is no small feat, yet ATTE nails this on their track, “Risen.” Just like the name suggests, it is a tune that evokes the sensation of slowly rising from the deepest depths into the light through use of echoed out FX stabs and serious sub bass that carries you along the track.

Ending the release on a gloriously melodic note is K!NGS, bringing us that perfect fusion of American and UK Bass music. A tune that explores both the broken surge type beats of house along with the blissful consistency the genre is known for, it ends the release with an anthemic vibe that suits the label’s mission masterfully.

Available now via Beatport, Vol. 2 by Kaleidoscope Productions is an excellent collection of house music that has something for everyone. Treat your ears by scooping it up ASAP!!!

The Stream We All Need!

Emotional Support Stream

Emotional Support Stream

The coronavirus has drastically changed the world in an instant, with everyone effectively under orders to stay at home. The music landscape has been especially affected, with many artists having to cancel whole tours and even months worth of events. Despite this, artists refuse to let that stop them and have instead turned up the faucet by giving us more music than ever.

Livestreams in particular have exploded, with many DJ’s performing in a variety of new ways; from sets on their balconies, to cleverly themed attire, and even festivals themselves. People from all walks of life are coming together to work out the logistics of hosting a festival you can be a part of right from your home. One such group is The Emotional Support Stream collective and they have an epic one in store for us:

Emotional Support Stream lineup

Emotional Support Stream lineup

“The main idea was to have a virtual rave,” explained one of the event organizers who requested to remain anonymous. “The plan is to have a twitch stream that’s going to be over the course of three days, and we have about ten crews helping us book people. We got a few headliners and some label heads to join us so that will be really cool. While that live stream is going, there is also going be a discord where people will hang out, and also have vendors who will be selling clothes or whatever it is they make.”

This simple yet effective formula will create a digital version of a rave, and at a time that it is sorely needed. Streams bring people together, and remind us we still have avenues to help and support one another. Yet streams can be sporadic, and part of the experience of a rave (or festival) is the long exposure to multiple artists throughout the night. Having three days of solid music this way creates that consistency and it is a surreal experience to be able to tune into music people all around the world who are watching.

Emotional Support Stream

Emotional Support Stream

While a central focus of this collective stream is to provide the emotional support we need, this is also a charity event; it will be providing a central avenue for donating and distributing financial support to artists who have been hit hard during this crisis. Thus, this makes this a truly landmark event for the scope of its goals, the sheer number of people who have come together to make it happen, its multi-genre lineup, and its unique setup.

Get ready to get down as The Emotional Support Stream is set to air from May 1 through May 3. Comprised of a massive lineup of the best in Bass Music from all over the world, don’t miss out on the amazing music and this opportunity to support each other during this time of crisis.

Watch it here: The Emotional Support Stream

K!NGS Reign Supreme

K!NGS; press photo

K!NGS; press photo

Bass music continues to get better and better here in LA. Mark Kingsley has long played an active role in this development; through his acts Da Moth and K!NGS, as well as co-producing Mutate Events and being the COO at Producers Social. K!NGS latest release is through the UK label Slime Recordings, which Transgressions Part 2 dropped February 7th.

K!NGS is a newer project for the producer with a unique history of development. “It’s actually a part of my last name,” states Mark Kingsley. “I wanted to use something that involved or used my last name, so I went with the kings thing and just dropped off the last few letters. And then I put the exclamation point because I live in LA and there is the Kings team so there’s that competition. So, for branding purposes I added that exclamation point.

K!NGS Transgressions Part 2 cover art

K!NGS Transgressions Part 2 cover art

“Basically, where Kings came from is that I have been making bass music going on for about twenty years now. I felt like I got to a point where I wasn’t feeling I could grow as fast as I wanted to so went back to my roots. When I first started DJing, I played a lot of UK 2-step and garage. I started looking back at some of the older music and became really inspired by it. So, I started tinkering around with that and it just came really naturally as it was the first music I got into when I started DJing.”

That older influence is readily apparent on the EP: Tracks like “Turn It Up” employ that classic beat and vocal sound that has long set dancefloors ablaze, with a funky type vibe and heavy bass line that everyone can get down to. “Gone” is much more restrained and mellow yet uses subtle breaks and FX to create emotive landscapes that fully affect both the mind and the body at the same time.

“So, I was still looking to make bass heavy and bass forward music, but more accessible to the mainstream, I would say, something more pop-oriented and vocal heavy, more happy music,” conveys Kingsley. “Most of the stuff I write for Da Moth is dark and psychedelic, and really heavy nighttime club music. I wanted to go on the opposite end and more explore another side of me and my art, like love songs and the pop-oriented material.”

Speaking towards the name of the EP, he elaborates on this idea: “I’ve spent the past 15 years creating a brand with my other project that was very strange, dark and psychedelic and that’s what a lot of people got to know me for…But being a child of the 80s, I’ve always had a passion for pop music and songs about love and heartbreak. I’ve always kind of hidden that side of me in my music…So I was working on K!NGS for about a year before I had the nerve to actually show anyone in fear of being judged I guess…So K!NGS really felt like it was this secret lover that I visited on weekends in my studio…I feel like it’s so far from what I’m known for that no one would get it…I am glad I finally got the nerve to share it because its honestly some of my favorite work I’ve ever done and I’m super happy to show this lighter side of me.”

K!NGS; press photo

K!NGS; press photo

“Wait For Love” is the best example of this lighter side. The beat is poppy and upbeat indeed, with synth melodies and effects that join the rhythm in evoking an uplifting mood. You can hear a little of his other side in the longing desire of the vocals, but nevertheless the overall atmosphere of the tune is positive and one that would get anyone out of a bad funk throughout their day.

One place this is demonstrated is in the song titles themselves. “Out of Love” has love in the title itself, but even the feelings created through the lyrics themselves and the melodies employed quickly recall the kinds of emotions we all experience when dealing with the complexity of love and relationships.

It’s a challenge producing music that satisfies all the spectrums of listeners out there, and Kingsley has spent many long hours fine tuning this into the hybrid sound he showcases on this EP.

“My first two releases as K!NGS were very 2-step influenced and UK sounding whereas this one I feel has more of my own sound,” he describes. “I was having trouble finding my own audience in the US and then got picked up by the UK label, so it’s had a lot of success overseas. Part of the reason for that here is I think it’s a sound that is a little different than what people into house are used to. They can be like “yea, its bassy” but aren’t really sure about it. And on this EP, I think there is a nice medium – like it has a lot of US House influences but still has that UK Bass/Grime sound when it comes to the lower end. I’m really proud of it because it has a very unique sound and there’s not much out there that sounds like it.”

K!NGS logo

K!NGS logo

“Let You Go” unites these two sides seamlessly. The bass is very deep and heavy, along with the hypnotic use of the melodic motif. The rhythm is driving and deep, contrasting nicely with the ethereal vocals that have a darker theme to them as well. There are a lot of subtle complexities employed on this particular tune and that’s why this is a great hybrid of styles from both sides of the pond.

Being a huge fan of the UK sound, it’s a huge success story for K!NGS to be featured on a seminal label like this one.

“It’s a really cool story…. They are called Slime Recordings, and pretty much my favorite label even before I got contacted by them,” says Kingsley. “I’ve played a lot of their music in my sets, and a lot of my current top ten producers are on that label. I got an email one day from the head of the label, saying they heard one of my tracks from a Spotify playlist and that they really liked it. Basically, asked me to put material on their label, and were starting a side label that featured fresh artists and wanted me to be a part of that. I sent them my release and they said, ‘Screw the side label, we want to put it out on the main one’. This is the second release on the label, they have been super supportive, and really done a lot to help me along the way.”

Expect big things from K!NGS going forward! Grab the EP Transgressions Part 2; and you can catch K!NGS live at his first official SoCal show, Lost in the Sauce, happening April 17-19.

BC Rydah And YESKA Beatz Keep The Jungle Growing

Yeska

Yeska

“I don’t know, it’s something about those breaks, you know?” says BC Rydah. “I feel more connected to those breaks and come from that kind of chemical music.

“When I got introduced to this stuff, I was watching Liquid Television, with Alex Reece playing on the videos and stuff like that. But it’s just something about those breaks, all the elements of it are dope. Like every single break that I’ve heard, every manipulation, just brings a lot of excitement to the dance floor and to the music.”

A stunning endorsement of Jungle music, straight from the mouth of one of LA’s best practitioners of the style. A part of YESKA Beatz, who run the local magazine Jungle Juice, he has been involved in bringing Jungle to the masses for over a decade now.

“My name, BC, stands for Beach City,” explains Rydah. “That’s pretty much what it means. I go by BC Rydah because that’s what I represent and it’s just a cool name that came together following a bunch of homies just kicking it and smoking together. I’ve been running with this since about 2009; before that, I had other names and monikers, but it wasn’t until this one that I started taking music and my approach to the sound and culture more serious.

“The jungle scene found me! Like, when I was a youngster, me and the homies used to listen to tapes. Back in the late 90’s, one of my boys gave me a jungle tape and a hardcore tape, and I also came across compilations. But I was always listening to other stuff, was always listening to like the Chemical Brothers and Crystal Method because Big Beat was really big around that time. That was a part of my introduction as well as having the LA Hard House scene heavily surrounding me. So it was like I’d hear all of it: whether it was on the radio or like having DJ’s come to our school dances and playing it there with our homies battling in circles and stuff.”

Like many, he ended up finding his way to the music via raves, shows, and the culture behind it.

“I was kind of always around electronic music, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that I started going out and going to raves. I remember going to this one party, it was a club that was a gutted-out hotel that they turned into a rave club. I saw R.A.W. spinning there and he blew me away with turntable techniques. It was that and another party, at Utopia, where they had hip-hop one day and drum and bass the next day. It was pretty much after those events that I was like, ‘This is what I do now’.”

What is YESKA Beatz? According to Rydah, “We are a Junglist movement, based out of Long Beach, that started in 2012. Our goal is to bring back good, real jungle music from this area. In the beginning, I was trying to do something different but now I really like how we are putting out a different sound than the rest of what’s out on the west coast. Originally at the start, it was a skate crew that I was a part of. Later we incorporated that with the beats and now, here we are.

“The name came together while smoking a blunt in a backyard and it just created itself. We have about twenty different DJ’s and producers who are part of the crew; we also have producers from all over the world who put out stuff on our label. We stay dedicated to the cause, making sure that the culture keeps extending and people get fed that knowledge and understanding.”

Jungle Juice itself is a magazine but the events that celebrate each release are also an integral part of it as well.

“The magazine was supposed to be a monthly thing, but dealing with issues and trying to stay organized we decided to start dropping the issue without it needing to be a monthly thing,” Rydah elaborates.
“When it comes out, it comes out. But whenever we do drop an issue, we are going to do an event; this way people are informed as well as entertained. Because these are all about everyone having a good time, coming out and having a good experience. I want people to experience what it was like for me when I got into music. It’s all about experiencing that love, that vibe.”

Throwing these shows takes a huge amount of effort and planning, and it’s his genuine love for the music which drives his zeal for putting the shows together.

“I’m really excited; it’s all about all these ones we have done but really excited for the artist who is coming out. He’s a good friend and I’ve done some art shows with him throughout the years, and really want people to see his talent. Next year is going to be really exciting, as it’s going to be coming back full force with the same Jungle mind state in a new area, and ready to be in your hands.”

The future of this movement is only gaining more and more momentum as time goes on, with a blistering amount of material in the works.

“YESKA Beatz has done about sixteen releases,” reveals Rydah. “We are working on the single series, which will have stuff from R.A.W./6Blocc and Ed808 and is beginning next year. It will be single releases every month with full album releases every few months, and vinyl releases every six months. So definitely be on the lookout for a lot of new dope releases from the streets of Cali and abroad. But the focus will be on our stateside Jungle sound.

“With Jungle Juice, everyone should just come out and support! A big thank you goes out to all those involved – all the crews, different promoters, Supply and Demand in Long Beach. We are just going to keep this thing growing and spreading the vibe!”